APL Title: University of Maine System Administrative Practice Letter on Search and Hiring Practices 
Organizational Area: Human Resources
Proposal Date: February 2024
Effective Date: April 1, 2024
Review Cycle: 3-year cycle
Revision and Review History: Implemented 2024
Corresponding BOT Policies:  

Section 1:  Purpose and Scope

The University of Maine System (UMS) seeks to recruit and hire highly qualified individuals for all position openings. All positions lasting three days or longer, including temporary positions, require a competitive search process or an approved search waiver.  For information on requesting a search waiver, see APL XII. A APL for Search Waivers

The procedures outlined in this APL are designed to help departments carry out the search and selection process effectively and in compliance with University policies and federal and state laws. This APL applies to all positions at the level of Vice Chancellor and below. (The selection of Presidents is in accordance with Administrative Procedures for Board Policy 204 – Recruitment & Selection of Presidents.) The Board of Trustees, Chancellor, or the Office of Human Resources may grant exceptions to these procedures under extraordinary circumstances.  

The attached Administrative Procedures for APL XII. B – Search and Hiring Manual provides more detailed information relevant to all searches within the University of Maine System.

Section 2:  Definitions

Affirmative Action (AA) and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) – Policies that represent what UMS is legally obligated to do in order to meet federal and/or state mandates with respect to  fairness, equity and non-discrimination in all aspects of employment and/or education.  

Applicant – One who has expressed interest in a specific position and submitted application materials as noted on the posting.

Hiring Manager – Typically the supervisor or other individual with departmental authority to make the final hiring selection.

Senior Hiring Authority – Typically the Cabinet or Senior Staff/Management Group leader or designee with budget authority to approve the filling of positions.  In the case of executive searches, the Hiring Authority is the Chancellor or Board of Trustees as appropriate.

Section 3:  Search Procedures

1. Job Description and Search Authorization

 Hiring Manager, Supervisor, or Designee 

  • Consults with HR and the department’s Senior Hiring Authority.
  • For hourly positions covered by the Hourly Employee Classification & Compensation Program (HECCP), reviews the  HECCP Job Specification 
  • For salaried positions:
    • Reviews and updates the job description and
    • Completes a new Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ), if applicable. (Applies only to salaried positions covered by the Salaried Employee Classification and Compensation Program (SECCP).
    • Consults with HR and the Senior Hiring Authority on appropriate salary range in accordance with the Equal Pay Act, collective bargaining agreements, UMS compensation programs and equity considerations.
  • Submits the Position Requisition and the final job description in the UMS Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
  • If requisition is approved, submits the Position Request in the ATS to initiate the search process.

Note:  For Salaried positions, the job description may not be altered once the position has been posted and/or advertised without officially pausing the search.  In such cases, the position must be reposted with the revised job description and/or qualifications and all applicants must be notified of the changes to the job description.  Any changes resulting in financial consequences require the search to be reauthorized.

Human Resources/EO

  • Provides guidance and assistance in staffing, organizational and position design and employment, equal opportunity and affirmative action policies, procedures, goals and law.
  • Manages and administers the UMS ATS and 
  • Supports search committees throughout the hiring process.

2. Determine Search Scope and Recruitment Strategy

Hiring Manager, Supervisor or Designee

Human Resources

  • Assists in ensuring that posting and/or notification procedures adhere to requirements in the applicable collective bargaining agreement or handbook.

3. Candidate Selection

Search Chair or Hiring Manager, Supervisor

  • Ensures that all search committee members complete required equal employment search training and submit the search confidentiality agreement in the ATS.
  • Discusses and clarifies selection criteria and any screening tool(s).
  • Conducts or oversees screening of applications.
  • Utilizes the ATS to update statuses of applicants and to document all steps of the selection process in a timely manner throughout the search process.
  • Obtains authorization to schedule interviews and/or campus visits as appropriate and conducts and documents interviews and reference checks following best practice and the Administrative Procedures for APL XII. B – Search and Hiring Manual.
  • In consultation with HR, notifies finalists for faculty, mid-level administrator and above positions, including management group, that finalist names and brief biographical information will become public in the final selection process and requests disclosure to HR of employment related media coverage or other information readily accessible to the public online or otherwise (excluding the candidate’s personal social media) that could negatively affect their ability to carry out the responsibilities of the position or that could cause loss of trust in the University of Maine System or any of its campuses, locations, sites, centers, or affiliated entities, by the public or others. 
  • Schedules and conducts open meetings and similar opportunities for departmental, campus and other stakeholder input into the selection of faculty, mid-level administrators and above including management group.
  • If Search Chair, leads the committee in identifying relative strengths and weaknesses of the finalists and communicating the outcomes of the committee’s deliberations to the Hiring Manager in accordance with the committee’s  charge.

Applicants may request and must be granted reasonable accommodations in completing and participating in all aspects of the search process including completing the application and interviewing.

Reference information or candidate disclosure of past convictions, employment or professional investigations or media coverage referenced above must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the search chair, Hiring Manager, Human Resources and, depending on the severity of the misconduct, Office of General Counsel, prior to making finalist information public and/or the committee making any hiring recommendations or decisions. Note, depending on the specific facts, past misconduct is not an automatic disqualifier. Consult with the above offices.

4. Final Vetting and Concluding the Search

Hiring Manager, Supervisor or Designee

  • Ensures completion of all necessary referencing including a reference check with the final candidate’s current or most recent employer and any previous UMS supervisor within the past seven years.
  • Selects successful applicant and documents final selection in ATS (may be designated to Search Chair).
  • For salaried positions:
    • Determines hiring salary within the established range.
    • Consults with HR if the proposed salary is outside the posted range.
    • Ensures salary and offer authorizations by the Senior Hiring Authority are documented in ATS prior to extending the tentative offer.
  • Obtains authorization from HR to extend verbal tentative offer and extends the offer.  

Hiring Department or HR

  • Sends written conditional offer of employment and background check authorization to the selected finalist. 

Human Resources

  • Coordinates required additional referencing, verifications and/or background checks in accordance with UMS Board policy.
  • Reports appointments at or above the level of Dean or equivalent per UMS BOT Policy 404.3 Appointments (at Dean or above).
  • Issues final offer letter.

Hiring Manager, Supervisor, Search Chair or other Designee

  • At the conclusion of the search, promptly notifies unsuccessful candidates through the ATS or individual communication channels.

Section 4:  Revisions to the APL

  1. This APL provides guidelines for search and hiring practices at the University of Maine System. Future modifications may be considered based on recommendations from the appropriate governing, academic or administrative area and supported by advice from the General Counsel to the UMS CHRO or designated Vice Chancellor. The final authority for the approval of such modifications sits with the CHRO or designee. Notification of changes to this APL should be distributed to all UMS employees. 
  2. The CHRO or designee will determine if revisions to this APL are substantive or non-substantive. Substantive changes are required to follow the APL creation and revision process. Non- substantive changes to this APL do not require any review beyond the Responsible Official. Non-substantive changes are minor changes that do not affect the overall purpose and instructions outlined by the document. Non-substantive changes may take many forms, including, but not limited to: grammar or spelling corrections, inclusive language, technical revisions, updated names and contacts of pertinent offices or departments, or reorganized APL sections. 

Section 5: Contacts

For questions regarding this APL, please contact the Office of the CHRO or designated Vice Chancellor.

Section 6: Resources

For more information regarding UMS Search and Hiring practices and procedures, see: 
Administrative Procedures for APL XII. B – Search and Hiring Manual