Staff Recruitment and Selection


DATE OF APPROVAL: 20 August 2002, Council resolution: 2002/4/4

AMENDMENTS: 18 October 2005; 25 August 2006; 8 October 2014 (amendment Director: Human Resources); 22 July 2019 (amendment Deputy Director: People, Talent and Culture); Revised 17 January 2020, (Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture).

REFERENCE AUTHORITY: Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture


  • Working at UniSA Website
  • Redundancy and Redeployment Procedure
  • Applicable Industrial Instrument
  • Relevant anti-discrimination policies:
    • Inclusive Language Policy
    • Equal Opportunity Policy
    • Diversity and Representation on Committees and Working Groups Policy
  • Vice Chancellor's Authorisation Framework.



Policy Statement

This policy must be read in conjunction with the information provided on the Working at UniSA website.

The University of South Australia aims to recruit and select staff the organisation needs to achieve its strategic directions and who demonstrate attributes that are consistent with the organisation's directions and culture. Recruitment and selection of staff to employment in the University will comply with all legal requirements, and with relevant equal opportunity, affirmative action and human resource management principles, policies and guidelines adopted by the University.

This policy applies to all continuing and fixed term, full and fractional time appointments.



  1. The following key principles guide decision making in relation to recruitment and selection of staff at the University of South Australia. They are supported by, and linked to the statement of strategic intent, corporate plan as well as the specific human resource management plan, and local Research Institute, Academic and Central Unit plans.
  2. Recruitment and selection will be informed by the University's agreed priorities for developing the optimum workforce profile required to realise its legislated responsibilities and contractual obligations, its mission and strategic intent and its vision for the institution as a distinctive, innovative and internationally competitive organisation.
  3. Recruitment and selection will be guided by requirements of relevant legislation and the University's equity and diversity policies, strategies and initiatives and by its agreed priorities for developing a workforce profile that reflects the diversity and characteristics of the student population and the wider community.
  4. All appointments will be made on the basis of careful and consistent application of the principle of merit.
  5. Appointments will be made in open competition from the widest field of applicants, attracted by internal and normally external advertising.
  6. Recruitment and selection processes will be conducted on the basis of fair and equitable treatment of all applicants.
  7. Accountability will be achieved by recruitment and selection processes and associated documentation being open and subject to appropriate scrutiny and review, having regard to the confidentiality of the applicants.
  8. All processes will be conducted so as to guard the confidentiality of applicants and preserve the integrity of the process.
  9. Recruitment and selection processes will be consistent, transparent, professional and timely.
  10. The University will foster continuous improvement of recruitment and selection policy and procedures and supporting technology to deliver high quality services efficiently and effectively.
  11. Decision-making will be the responsibility of the relevant senior manager in accordance with the Vice Chancellor’s Authorisation Framework to ensure local ownership, responsibility and accountability for recruitment decisions.



Merit is the extent to which an applicant has abilities, aptitude, skills, qualifications, knowledge, experience and achievement (including community service), characteristics and personal qualities relevant to the carrying out of the duties in question. This includes, where relevant, the manner in which an applicant carried out the duties or functions of any position, employment or occupation previously held or engaged in (paid or unpaid), and the extent to which an applicant has potential for development necessary to fulfil the position within reasonable time and resources.

Position Description is the statement that outlines the principal accountabilities of the position and the essential and desirable criteria for appointment to the position.

Appropriate Academic Title for the purposes of this policy is Associate Professor or Professor.

Industrial Instrument refers to the applicable Collective/Enterprise Agreement, Award, Australian Workplace Agreement, contract of employment or legislation.


Recruitment and Selection Activity

Building Workforce Capabilities

Position descriptions will reflect criteria consistent with the strategic intent and the organisational directions, both local and corporate.

Selecting on Merit

Appointment must be based on merit assessed in relation to the selection criteria and position description. Applicants must meet all essential criteria in the position description to be eligible for appointment.

Where equal merit occurs between an external and internal applicant, preference will be given to the internal applicant.

Outstanding individuals may be appointed to senior positions by invitation and without advertisement where it is in the interests of the University and contributes to the strategic direction of the University. Appointment to senior positions by invitation is to be approved by the Vice Chancellor.

Where an applicant for a position is considered qualified and, where it was not specified in the original advertisement, the Vice-Chancellor, on the advice of the selection committee, may recommend that the applicant be awarded an appropriate academic title on appointment. (Refer to Definitions).

Advertising vacancies

Prior to advertising, redeployees must be given priority consideration when filling vacancies within the University.

Fixed term employment must be in accordance with the applicable Industrial Instrument.

Research-only positions up to 12 months' duration do not need to be advertised. These positions can be offered to suitable staff provided the skill base requirements are met. Research-only positions are not advertised when the grant funds have been allocated in relation to the nomination of specified personnel to undertake the project.

Ensuring fairness and accountability

Selection and recruitment policy, guidelines and associated documentation will be available to all employees and applicants.

Accountability for selection and recruitment sits with the Chair of the selection panel.

People involved in the recruitment process will be mindful of unconscious bias, diversity, gender equity and how to select and interview in a non-discriminatory fashion.

Appeals may be made through applicable staff appeals and disputes mechanisms contained in the applicable industrial agreement. Appeals will only be considered where a case can be made that due process was not followed.

Efficient and effective process and practice

Selection and recruitment will be undertaken using expert panels. The panel membership is to be determined by the Chair and decisions made on the basis of the value and expertise that an individual can bring to the process.


Responsibilities and/or authorities

Offers of employment are made consistent with the Vice Chancellor's Authorisations.

The Executive Director: People, Talent and Culture is responsible for the development and continuous improvement of this policy.

All managers and staff with a direct involvement in the recruitment and selection process are responsible for the effective operation of this policy.

The Chair of the relevant selection panel is responsible for the outcomes of selection and recruitment and the proper operation of the process.


Further information or assistance

Management and staff may seek further advice regarding recruitment and selection from:


This policy supersedes the following policies:

  1. HR 2.0 Principles of Personnel Management
  2. HR 3.4 Policy and Procedures for the Selection and Appointment of Staff to Advertised Positions
  3. HR 4.2 Guidelines for Selection and Appointment of Staff to Advertised Positions
  4. 1 Transfer of Staff
  5. HR 22.0 Granting of an Academic title on Appointment
  6. HR 24.0 Appointment of Research only Staff to Non-advertised Positions.