Policy University Management Recruitment, Selection and Appointment Policy

Recruitment, Selection and Appointment Policy

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James Cook University (JCU) is committed to the attraction/recruitment, selection, appointment and ongoing support and retention of quality employees from diverse backgrounds. This Policy outlines the requirements and principles to ensure that employee recruitment and selection practices are consistent, merit-based and in accordance with the University’s needs.

This Policy must be read in conjunction with JCU’s ‘Recruitment & Selection – Best Practice Guide’.


This Policy applies to all staff members covered by James Cook University’s Enterprise Agreement.

This policy does not apply to Honorary Appointments, Volunteers or Occupational Trainees.


Except as otherwise specified in this Policy, the meaning of terms used are as per the Human Resources Policy Glossary.

Acting Higher Duties

  • Staff receive a Higher Duties Allowance in accordance with the JCU Enterprise Agreement to undertake work at a higher level.
  • Staff undertaking work at a higher level are neither shown as employed in such a position in organisational charts nor are listed as such in online contact directories.


Advertise may include formally advertising a role externally in paper media (e.g. The Australian), online media (e.g. Seek.com) or formally sourcing passive candidates through social media (e.g. LinkedIn).


A person who is engaged by the hour and paid on an hourly basis with no commitment to the duration of the employment or the day or days (or hours) of work.  Casual staff will be paid a loading of 25% in lieu of benefits for which the casual staff are not eligible.

Conflict of Interest

Arises when a staff member’s personal interests, or those of a person with whom they have a close personal relationship, conflict with their primary obligation to act in the interests of the University. A conflict of interest may be actual, perceived or potential.  It can be pecuniary (involving financial gain or loss), or non-pecuniary (based on enmity or amity) and can arise from avoiding personal losses as well as gaining personal advantage, financial or otherwise.  Conflict of interest includes conflict of commitment.

Eligibility List

An Eligibility List is made up of all current Order of Merits for similar positions of the same classification or below where the selection criteria are directly comparable.  An Eligibility List drawn from an Order of Merit is current up until 12 months from the date of Selection Committee approval.  Once applicants are sourced from the Eligibility List, a decision will be made as to which Selection Technique(s) are appropriate for the position.


The approved organisational structure that defines the makeup of the overall organisation from the Division Level to the individual team level.

Expression of Interest (EOI)

A form of advertising used in the event that a full recruitment exercise is considered unnecessary. An Expression of Interest may be used under the following circumstances:

  • Where managers   wish to gauge the level of interest   and skills available internally, or from within a particular workgroup or team,   for fixed term positions up to and including six (6) months or for Acting Higher Duties opportunities.
  • Used internally as a way for employees to express their interest in training and/or developmental opportunities.

External Resource

External Resources are resources that include contractors, consultants, labour-hire and any other person who is paid via a third party or who invoices James Cook University for their professional services.


Employment and promotion are based upon open competition and upon the merit of the individual. The merit principle aims to ensure:

  • Equal opportunity for people to compete for a position;
  • That people are judged fairly and without bias, favouritism or unfair discrimination;   taking into account achievements relative to opportunity
  • The selection of the best person for the job; and
  • That, when a person is assessed for a job, only those aspects that are relevant to their ability   to perform in that job are considered.

Order of Merit

Where more than one applicant adequately meets all selection criteria and is appointable, an Order of Merit can be established by recording such applicant names.  Appointments can be made from the Order of Merit for the same position, where a vacancy occurs within 12 months from the date of Selection Committee approval, without having to go through the recruitment process again. The Order of Merit forms the basis of the Eligibility List.


Pre-Employment Medical

A pre-employment medical is an assessment conducted by an external health professional to satisfy the University that the employee has the physical capacity to perform the University’s duty of care under health and safety legislation.


Relative to Opportunity

Evaluation of a candidate’s activities, outputs and achievements, in the context of career and life opportunities and experiences, including, where relevant, significant career interruptions.



An existing employee appointed to a position for a fixed-term period usually not exceeding two years. The employee’s substantive position is relinquished for the secondment period only, after which time the employee will return to their substantive position/classification.

For fixed term employees, a secondment opportunity will not extend past the substantive position’s contract completion date.  In this case, a new fixed term contract will be issued.


Selection Technique

A method of assessing candidates’ against the selection criteria for the position, with the intention of obtaining information to lead to correct selection decisions.  Common selection techniques include, but are not limited to:

  • Shortlisting
  • Structured Interview
  • Referee Checks
  • Assessment Centres
  • Work Samples
  • Psychometric Assessments
  • Skill Assessments
  • Competency Tests
  • Job Knowledge Tests
  • Situational Judgement Tests (Scenario based tests)
  • Practical Assessments (such as Academic Staff delivering a lecture to the Work Unit).


Recruitment and selection occurs within a transparent and merit-based context. Eligible applicants are equitably considered at the start of the recruitment process and each subsequent stage and the best applicant for the position is appointed.

Recruitment and selection at James Cook University:

  • is merit-based
  • is a confidential process
  • provides a positive experience for applicants
  • positively promotes James Cook University’s employer reputation
  • is preceded by planning in relation to the organisational structure; job analysis, job design; position descriptions/position outlines, including selection criteria
  • is preceded by approval to establish the position


1. Sourcing Applicants

1.1  Requirement to Advertise

a)  All continuing positions, and fixed-term positions greater than 12 months, will be advertised on Jobs@JCU for a period of at least 7 days.  Concurrent external advertising may be used for a period of at least 7 days.

b)  While casual positions do not need to be advertised prior to filling, it is recommended that casual positions are advertised as required.

c)  Fixed-Term positions of less than six months duration are not required to be advertised; however an Expression of Interest (EOI) is strongly encouraged to accurately gauge the level of interest and skills available at JCU or from within a particular Work Unit.A fixed-term position that was filled without advertising and is subsequently required to extend beyond six months duration must be advertised in accordance with 1.1a).

d)  A position which has been formally evaluated and reclassified to two or more levels above the current classification level, must be advertised in accordance with section 1.1a).

e)  For a position to be advertised, it must be formally created, analysed and evaluated, and approved to fill by the delegated approver.

1.2  Casual Appointments – existing staff

a)  Full-time research only or professional and technical employees may be permitted to be engaged in casual teaching provided there is no impact on their regular duties and the supervisor agrees. This would require the work to be undertaken outside of normal working hours or, where the teaching is undertaken during normal working hours, for the time to be made up.

b)  Members of the full-time academic employees are ineligible to hold a casual appointment in addition to their academic appointment.

1.3  Extension of a Fixed-Term appointment

a)  Consideration must be given to section 3.3 below where a fixed-term appointment is expiring and the position to be advertised has the same or similar duties.

1.4  Sourcing from the Order of Merit

a)  Appointments may be made from the Order of Merit for the same position, where a vacancy occurs within 12 months from the date the Selection is approved.

1.5  Sourcing from an Eligibility List

a)  Where an Order of Merit does not exist, an appointment may be made from the Eligibility List for a similar position of the same classification and where the selection criteria are directly comparable to the current position, within 12 months from the date the selection is approved.

b)  Positions will be considered similar (at 1.5a)) where they either share the same position description, including selection criteria, or have such a close similarity or resemblance as to be essentially the same, including with respect to the classification level and geographic region of the vacancy.

1.6  Applicant already identified (i.e. potential Direct Appointment)

a)  A person may be considered for Direct Appointment to a fixed term or continuing position, in accordance with section 3.4 below.

b)  A person may be considered for Acting Higher Duties, in accordance with section 3.2e below.

1.7  Employees eligible for Redeployment

a)  An employee who is eligible for redeployment (Redeployee) as a result of a formally managed organisational change  may be appointed to a comparable position without the position being advertised, in accordance with section 3.6a) below.

b)  Where a Redeployee is being considered for a vacant position, at the same or lower classification of the Redeployee’s previous role, considerations should be finalised prior to advertising the position.

1.8  Use of a Recruitment Agent to source applicants

a)  A Recruitment Agent may be engaged to conduct a recruitment activity for Senior Management positions of Dean, Director and above or Associate Professor / Professor in specialist or difficult to fill disciplines.

b)  Where a Recruitment Agent is engaged to conduct a recruitment and selection activity, it will be conducted in accordance with this Policy. A JCU Selection Committee should be established and at least one selection technique (e.g. interview) should be applied in addition to shortlisting.

c)  A Recruitment Agent may provide applications to a position in accordance with the requirements of Section 1 above.  The recruitment and selection process will be applied consistently to applicants provided by the Recruitment Agent and to applicants who apply directly to James Cook University. The recruitment and selection process will be conducted by the Selection Committee and in accordance with this Policy.

2. Assessing / Selecting Applicants

2.1  Selection Panel

a)  A Selection Panel will be established consistent with the Recruitment, Selection & Appointment – Best Practice Guide, with a minimum of two members that are relevant to the position.

b)  Members of the Selection Panel must identify any conflict or potential conflict of interest in accordance with Section 4 below.

c)  While it is not a requirement to establish a selection committee to appoint casuals, it is recommended that the candidate is appropriately screened and assessed to ensure suitability for appointment.

2.2  Selection Techniques

a)  The Selection Panel will use the applicable selection criteria as the basis of the selection techniques used and the assessment of applicants.

b)  In addition to reference checking, the selection committee will use a minimum of two selection techniques, in the selection process conducted for each position.

c)  The Selection Panel will consistently apply the same Selection techniques to all applicants as they progress through the selection process, for each relevant vacancy.

2.3  Verifying qualifications, other credentials and additional inherent requirements

a)  The Chairperson of the Selection Panel or Manager recommending a direct appointment, will certify evidence of required qualifications, licences, etc. for every applicant that is recommended as suitable for appointment prior to finalising the Selection Panel’s report for approval.

b)  The Chairperson of the Selection Panel or Manager recommending a direct appointment, will validate international qualifications for every applicant that is recommended as suitable for appointment prior to finalising the Selection Panel’s report for approval. Ideally certified copies will be in English or where translated, they will be certified by the relevant body.

c)  The Chairperson of the Selection Panel or Manager recommending a direct appointment, shall ask each applicant to provide evidence of their right to work in Australia, (e.g. Australian birth certificate, proof of Australian Citizenship, passport, work visa, etc.) or identify the requirement for a visa application to be sponsored by JCU, prior to finalising the Selection Panel’s report for approval.

d)  A Pre-Employment Medical may be conducted as discussed with Director, HR.

e)  Background Checks may be conducted as necessary in line with the requirements of the position description/duty descriptor.

3. Appointing Applicants

3.1 All appointments (excluding Acting Higher Duties arrangements)

a)  An offer of employment shall not be made verbally, or otherwise, until approval from the delegated approver is received in writing, and provided in accordance with this Policy.

b)  A person with any employment offer shall not commence employment / secondment prior to formally accepting the offer of employment, which once signed forms the basis of the employment contract.

c)  An offer of employment shall not be made to a previous JCU employee who has received a redundancy package within the time period equivalent to the severance benefit paid, without the previous employee repaying the severance benefit proportionate to the remaining time period surrendered by the reappointment.

d)  An offer of appointment shall not be made to a previous JCU employee who has received a voluntary redundancy / retirement for a period of two years.

e)  An appointment will not be made to a classification level higher than which was advertised.

3.2  Internal appointments to fixed term and continuing roles

a)  Where the successful applicant is an existing employee, the employee's current manager and new manager will discuss and agree on an appropriate release date for the candidate.

b)  Where a secondment is to be offered to an employee, the employee’s current manager and new manager will discuss and agree on an appropriate release date for the candidate.

c)  Approval for a secondment will be made in consideration of operational requirements and impacts. No secondment opportunity should be unduly withheld. Where practicable, the employee should be released within four (4) weeks of receiving written confirmation of the formal offer.

d)  Where an Acting Higher Duties arrangement is to be offered to a Professional and Technical employee, the period must be for a minimum of one week and generally not exceed three months.

e)  Where an Acting Higher Duties arrangement is to be offered to an Academic employee, the period must be for a minimum of 20 consecutive days and generally not exceed three months.

3.3  Extension of a Fixed-Term Appointment

a)  Where the University proposes to extend a fixed term appointment and where it is determined that the position will be maintained with the same or similar duties, the staff member will be offered that further fixed term contract where:

  • the duties of the position continue as they were at the date of expiry of the fixed- term appointment; and
  • the staff member was initially appointed through a merit based selection process, and
  • the performance of the employee has not been assessed to be unsatisfactory.

3.4  Direct Appointment

a)  A direct appointment to a fixed term or continuing role may be made under the following circumstances:

  • Where unique or specialist knowledge and/or skills is required and it is considered that no other suitable candidates would be identified had section 1.1a) been undertaken,
  • Where the person is a leader in their field of expertise and/or has qualifications, credentials and experience that would assist the University in achieving its overall strategic objectives,
  • Where a person has been identified as holding skills and/or experience directly relevant to the particular research project,
  • Where an extension of an initial appointment of less than six months was made without advertising, where the total period of employment does not exceed twelve months duration, in special circumstances.
  • Where a researcher outside of JCU applies for a fellowship via a granting opportunity, and the application is approved by the relevant academy Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC), the delegation for Direct Appointment of the researcher will be considered as approved at the time the fellowship is approved.
  • In addition to meeting the requirements of 3.4a), a justification for a direct appointment must demonstrate that the appointee's suitability for the position has been formally assessed.

3.5  Appointment by Invitation

The University may appoint by invitation, with the approval of the Vice-Chancellor. These positions do not need to be advertised.

3.6  Redeployment

An employee may be redeployed to a comparable position to mitigate the effects of organisational change formally managed in accordance with the current JCU Enterprise Agreement.

4. Conflict of Interest

a)  All members of the selection panel must declare any conflict of interest, real or perceived to the chair of the selection committee who will then consider whether the circumstances are likely to influence the selection outcome and determine appropriate action.

b)  The Chairperson will consider if any further action is required, in consultation with the Director, Human Resources. Further action may include the selection panel member stepping down from the committee where the Conflict of Interest may preclude them from making an objective assessment.

c)  Where a selection panel member considers prior knowledge of an applicant as an important consideration in the applicant’s assessment, the applicant should be afforded the opportunity to respond to the knowledge (i.e. additional information).

d)  An employee must not take any active part in any formal recruitment, selection or appointment process in respect of another employee (or potential employee) who is a relative of, or in a close personal relationship with, the employee.

Related policy instruments

Academic Staff Probation Procedure

Professional and Technical Staff Probation Procedure

Human Resources Sub-delegations Register

JCU Enterprise Agreement

JCU Staff Code of Conduct

Recruitment & Selection – Best Practice Guide

Relocation Assistance Policy

Other related documents and legislation

Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld)


NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy DomainUniversity Management

Policy Sub-domain

Human Resources

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services & Resources

Approval Authority

Vice Chancellor

Date for next Major Review


Revision History


Approval date

Approved by

Implementation date





HR Committee


Amendment to the policy to include the employment and recruitment of casuals and minor changes to reflect contemporary language including a definition for relative to opportunity.

Manager, IR & Policy and Manager Talent




Minor amendments to policy to align with HR Delegations Policy and Register

Deputy Director, Human Resources




Minor amendments to procedures to align with JCU Enterprise Agreement, 2013–2016, approved by Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services & Resources.

Policy Officer, Quality, Planning & Analytics




Approved by Council. The new policy replaces the following documents, which in turn are abolished:

  • Advertising
  • Application Procedures
  • Continuing and Fixed Term   Appointments
  • Principles of Recruitment
  • Selection Committees
  • Selection Criteria
  • Selection Interview
  • Selection Methodology
  • Selection Decisions
  • Selection Process

Deputy Director, Human Resources


Recruitment, selection, appointment, eligibility, order of merit, recruitment agencies, delegations

Contact person

Manager, Talent Acquisition