System Office Recruitment Procedures

Before filling any vacant position at the System Office, the hiring official must conduct a search as described below. The process as described below may be modified as circumstances warrant with appropriate approvals.

External Search

Advertising/Posting a Vacancy

A position or job description must be submitted to the Office of Human Resources for prior approval.    Once the position description is finalized, and the appropriate pay range is determined, the hiring supervisor submits a completed employment requisition form to the appropriate hiring authority for review and approval that includes the following:

  • The finalized position description
  • An advertising/recruitment plan,
  • The duration of the job posting, and
  • A list of the committee members including the names, race and gender of the proposed committee members.

Once the hiring authority has approved the employment requisition it is forwarded for approval to the Diversity & Equity Officer.  The review and approval of the Diversity & Equity Officer will include the advertising/recruitment plan, as well as the composition of the committee members.  Once approved the Diversity & Equity Officer the Director of Fiscal Services will review.  The review and approval by Fiscal Services will include whether the position is included in the approved budget and funded at the level to be advertised. Once approved, Fiscal Services will forward the request to the Office of Human Resources.  Human Resources will verify the correct job description is being used and the appropriate posting duration is listed.  Once approved by all offices, Human Resources will post the position on the TBR website and any outside entities as previously identified in the advertising plan and notify the hiring supervisor the position is posted.

All advertisements must include the abbreviated affirmative action statement; The Tennessee Board of Regents is an EEO/AA/ADA employer.

The advertising / recruitment plan must comply with the provisions of TBR Guideline P-010.  If committee members are not confirmed at the time of posting, or changes are made after the initial approval, the supervisor shall submit all changes to the Offices of Human Resources and the Diversity & Equity Officer for approval prior to the first committee meeting, or as soon thereafter as applicable.   

Minimum Amount of Time for Advertising

EEOC Code one (1), two (2), and three (3) positions shall be advertised for a minimum of thirty (30) days. The time required for advertising clerical and supporting position vacancies, EEOC four (4) through seven (7), is a minimum of ten (10) calendar days.

Application Process

All prospective applicants must complete the System Office application form, as well as any additional materials requested. In this way, all applicants will be given an opportunity to indicate their status as a member of a protected group and there will be consistency in the application material received.

Applicants who are applying for positions which require specific clerical skills may be tested by the Office of Human Resources. If administered, the Office of Human Resources will use the test results to screen applicants according to the minimum clerical skills requirements. To assure the System Office's compliance with the Federal Employee Selection Guidelines, any testing of applicants by departments shall be limited to tests which have been approved by the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources.

The Applicant Pool 

The applicant pool must generally reflect the availability data for the defined vacancy in that discipline or field as determined by the appropriate job group in the Affirmative Action Plan.

Review of Applicant Pool 

The search committee shall review all applications to determine the qualified applicant pool. Human Resources will pre-screen the application pool for minimum qualifications and forward those meeting minimum qualifications to the committee for consideration.  In cases in which an applicant is clearly and obviously not qualified for the position (example holds an M.A. when the job description requires a Ph.D.); the applicant will not be included in the applicant pool.

Based on the search committee’s review, the supervisor will recommend and forward for approval a list of candidates for interview.  The qualified applicant pool shall be reviewed and approved by the Office of Access, Diversity & Equity under TBR Guideline P-010 to ensure adequate representation of applicants from underutilized groups. If there is inadequate representation of minority and female applicants, it may be necessary to reopen the search and/or extend the deadline to strengthen the efforts. In determining whether or not the search must be reopened or the deadline extended, the supervisor and the Office of Access, Diversity & Equity shall consider the efforts that have been made to recruit minority and female persons in the appropriate labor market. Any candidate invited for an interview must be listed by the hiring authority when submitting the Certification Pool form (A-1 Form) for approval.

The interview pool shall be reviewed and approved by the Office of Human Resources for the qualifications of the prospective interview pool.  The same standard set of interview questions shall be asked of each interviewee.  For sample questions related to the position contact Human Resources. 

Interviewing Process 

The following approvals are necessary prior to scheduling interviews: applicable hiring authority, Diversity & Equity Officer, and the Office of Human Resources. Upon receiving the necessary approvals the supervisor may make the appropriate interview appointments. Prior to the interview, the supervisor and committee members shall, in addition to becoming familiar with the applications, review the position summary/job description, required qualifications, and advertisement. The search committee chair shall invite a member of Human Resources to a committee meeting to discuss appropriate interview inquiries. At the discretion of the Office of Human Resources the committee may be excused from this requirement if a similar meeting has occurred within a reasonable period of time, or the committee members have otherwise participated in this type of orientation process.  The purpose of the interview is to collect additional information on the applicant's job related knowledge, skills and abilities, which should be helpful in selecting the individual most likely to succeed in the job.

An interview should be as structured as possible, yet tailored to each particular applicant. Each interviewer should evaluate the same general criteria for each applicant.

In some cases the search committee may want to conduct telephone interviews prior to conducting in-person interviews.  This can be especially helpful if there are a number of qualified individuals in the applicant pool.

Checking References 

Since reference checks provide useful indicators for predicting the applicant's potential for success, the interests of both the system office and the applicant are served by reference checking. Reference checks from recent employment are required before a candidate recommendation is made by the supervisor.

The Appointment of an Applicant

Procedure for Recommending Appointments

The supervisor will forward a request to offer to the appropriate hiring authority containing the following supporting material:

  • All completed reference checks
  • Justifications to support the decision
  • The proposed salary
  • Proposed effective date

Upon approval of the hiring authority the request will be forwarded to the Director of Fiscal Services for approval of the salary availability, to the Office of Human Resources for approval to hire based on the supporting material and the potential for internal inequities, and to the Chancellor for final approval.

All recommendations shall be accompanied by the supporting materials on the recommended applicant, as well as materials on all applicants. If the affirmative action goals for the job category in question have not been met by the System Office, TBR Guideline P-010 must be followed.

The Office of Human Resources will provide the hiring authority an appointment letter template to send to the candidate for signature by the hiring authority and copied to Human Resources.  Human Resources will also provide a background authorization form when applicable.

Prior Approval for Employment 

Under no circumstance shall a commitment be made to an applicant until the Office of Human Resources has reviewed and approved the recommendation for employment.

Notification of Applicants 

Using the applicant tracking system, the hiring authority will update the status of the remaining candidate pool to notify the applicants the position has been filled.  The supervisor may also write or call the individuals who were interviewed to personally notify them the position has been filled.

If a position is re-evaluated and re-advertised, all applicants shall be apprised of the status of his or her application.

Internal Search

The process shall generally follow the procedure for external searches. However, positions will not be broadly advertised but will be posted internally as approved by the Offices of Access, Diversity & Equity and Human Resources.


Promotions involve the reassignment of an employee to a position having either higher pay, increased responsibilities, or increased benefits. Promotions can occur between the various departments or within the same department at the System Office.

Employees may be reassigned either within a department or between departments of the System Office. The employee may be moved laterally to a position with the same job title and similar duties in another department either at the employee's request or at the request of the supervisor.

A search is not required for either promotions or reassignments; however, the vacated position may require a search. Promotions and reassignments must be approved by the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Human Resources and the Chancellor.

Employment Agreements, Contracts and Letters of Agreement

The Chancellor must approve employment agreements, contracts, and letters of agreement used in the appointment and employment of System Office personnel.

Procedure For Processing Dual Service Contracts

  1. The System Office Department that is procuring the service completes the Dual Service Agreement (template is available on the General Counsel’s website).
  2. Contact Payroll/HR for assistance with calculating benefits.
  3. Mail the contract to the institution where the employee will be working for signature by their signatory authority.
  4. When the contract is returned, forward to the Director of Purchasing and Contracts with a contract routing form and summary sheet, with a copy to the employee.
  5. When processing of the contract is complete, forward a copy to HR for inclusion in the employee’s personnel file.
  6. When the employee’s service is complete, the department procuring the service will send the institution a memo stating that the service is complete so that they will generate a bill to the System Office. When the invoice is received, the department procuring the service signs, dates, and indicates that services are complete and approved to pay. A confirming requisition is sent to the institution and to System Office payroll for processing.