Recruiting and Hiring Procedures


This policy is intended to strengthen and systematize the recruitment and hiring of Berea College employees. First, this policy informs each hiring unit (e.g., department, office, etc.) of the procedures required to hire new staff.  Second, this policy seeks to improve the quality and diversity of applicant pools and selected candidates. Third, this policy seeks to align recruitment and hiring practices with Berea’s institutional mission. If there are any questions about the intent or application of the following policies and procedures, please contact the Office of Human Resources.

Prior to Recruiting

  1. Review the primary duties and responsibilities of the position and consider any necessary changes.  Determine what duties and responsibilities are essential for the employee to perform and what abilities are reasonably required for these tasks. Eliminate unnecessary criteria that might narrow the pool.  Non-essential duties should not be included.
  2. A new or revised Position Description Form is required whenever a position is requested for recruitment. (All forms referenced in this policy may be obtained on the Human Resources web page or in the Office of Human Resources).
  3. Complete the Staffing Request Form justifying the need for recruitment and submit it to the appropriate department head and Vice President or Dean for initial review and endorsement. Next, submit the endorsed Staffing Request Form along with the Position Description Form to the Administrative Committee for review and approval. 
  4. With approval notification from the Administrative Committee, the recruiting process begins. The Secretary for the Administrative Committee will provide official notice to the Human Resources Department when positions are approved. The nature of the search committee’s responsibilities (e.g., recruiting, screening, selecting, etc.) should be determined in consultation with the appropriate Vice President or Dean of the Faculty.


  1. Employment advertising will be developed collaboratively between the hiring department and Human Resources. Advertising will be carefully placed to increase diversity within the potential employment pools. Consider where to advertise as well as venues where qualified diverse applicants could be notified and recruited. Undertake concerted efforts to reach applicants from historically under-represented groups. Enlist current employees for assistance whenever appropriate. Use professional networks to increase the diversity of the pool.  Advertising will be approved and placed by Human Resources or by the appropriate Vice President or Dean of the Faculty in consultation with Human Resources.
  2. In seeking applicants from historically under-represented groups, it is important to identify the population being recruited and identify areas where applicants from these groups are present.  Applicants will be afforded an opportunity to provide voluntary demographic information which will be confidentially maintained by Human Resources. The overall applicant pool will be assessed by Human Resources for its quality, depth, and diversity. If the applicant pool is determined to be inadequate based on this information, Human Resources will consult with the hiring department and the appropriate Vice President or Dean of the Faculty to determine how the recruitment effort should proceed.
  3. All applicants to Berea College are required to complete an application.
  4. Prescreening, interviewing, and documentation methods (e.g. notes, etc.) are discussed with those who are involved in the interviewing process. All applicants considered for hire must be able to perform the essential duties of the position and meet the minimum requirements of the position. Additionally, Human Resources will be responsible for administering various assessment tools prior to interviews being scheduled. Attention will be paid to affording diverse candidates full consideration.
  5. All materials received directly by hiring departments must be forwarded to Human Resources for appropriate recording and processing. At the appropriate time, Human Resources will provide the applications to the hiring department or search committee for review. The Director of Human Resources or the appropriate Vice President or Dean of the Faculty will assist the department or committee in determining candidates to be interviewed.


  1. Each College employee who will participate in the interview process will receive a copy of the current Interview Guide from Human Resources and must become familiar with its contents.
  2. In preparation for the interview, interviewers must read the Recruiting & Hiring Procedures and the Interview Guide and should consider ways of making all applicants feel welcome before, during, and after their visit.
  3. During the interview, each applicant should be asked questions about the Workplace Expectations (e.g., teamwork, integrity, etc.). Attention should be paid to the applicant’s background and experience relevant to the particular duties of the position, including experience working with or mentoring people of different races, cultures, and genders. Ask for examples of the desired behaviors. (See the Interview Guide.)
  4. Ask the candidate the required questions found in the Interview Guide. Ask for any questions the applicant may have about the College and the position.

Staff Hires

Staff hires at Berea College are overseen by members of the Administrative Committee (AC). The individual managing a particular hire is referred to as the “Responsible Supervisor” in the following. Members of the AC may also designate a direct report to serve as the Responsible Supervisor for hiring in particular areas. Such delegation may be reasonable when the direct report in question supervises a unit of significant size and specialized purpose. In such cases, accountability for all aspects of the search and appointment remains with the responsible member of the AC, and, in particular, that member of the AC must approve proposed salary offers.

Reference Checks

The Responsible Supervisor is to conduct reference checks on the selected candidate.* References are very important in helping to determine if the selected candidate will be a great fit for the role and the particular work group. A minimum of three work-related references are to be done to gather both:

  • Hard data– confirmation of the candidate’s track record, skills, and competencies, including information about the role the candidate played within the organization, specific responsibilities, and performance; and
  • Qualitative data – tangible examples that allow a better understanding of the candidate’s management and communication style, track record, and both strengths and areas for improvement, including more qualitative questions about the individual’s style, interpersonal interactions, and approach to work.

The references on the selected candidate are to be forwarded to Human Resources for the HR file.

Applicant and search records are to be maintained for two years and then destroyed.

Prior to Offer

  1. Once an applicant is recommended for hire, a criminal background check comprised of a social security number verification, county criminal record, national criminal database record, national sex offender registry, and Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts searches is secured. Offers made to applicants for Public Safety positions will also be contingent upon completing a psychological evaluation to the College's satisfaction.
  2. To select an applicant for employment, the hiring supervisor will discuss with the Director of Human Resources, and with the Responsible Supervisor, the appropriate salary to be offered to the applicant. Salary determinations will be made based on the applicant’s relevant experience and only after conducting a review of similar positions within the department and across the College. Regional and national salary comparisons will be used as appropriate and available.
  3. Once the salary determination is made and approved by the AC member, an offer of employment will be extended on behalf of the College most often by the Director of Human Resources, but occasionally by the President or the Responsible Supervisor.
  4. Offers should be extended in writing in the form of a letter agreement including all terms and conditions of employment. Human Resources or the Responsible Supervisor can inform the candidate via phone or email to expect an official offer in the form of a letter.

Post Offer

  1. The Request for Personnel Action (RPA) Form must be completed, signed, and forwarded to Human Resources prior to the proposed hire date.
  2. An appointment letter will be sent to newly hired employees by the Vice President or Director of Human Resources or the Responsible Supervisor. If the letter is sent by the Director of Human Resources, a copy of the letter will be forwarded to the Responsible Supervisor.
    1. A department-specific plan for orientation will outline how the new employee will be oriented and acquainted with staff, departmental procedures, policies, etc.
    2. Newly hired staff members will be scheduled by Human Resources for benefits orientation and payroll enrollment normally within the first 48 hours of employment.
    3. Human Resources or the Responsible Supervisor will correspond with the remaining applicants in the pool to inform them that the position has been filled.

Approved by the Administrative Committee 11/25/03—Revised 11/30/04, 08/20/13 and 10/19/2018. 

Effective Date: 10/19/2018.