June 28, 2012

July Retirements Mean Open Positions for Supervisors and Interested Current Employees

By Monica M. Walk

AS UNIVERSITY of Illinois employees eligible for retirement embrace the July 1 fiscal-year deadline, continuing employees may want to consider the ramifications of these open positions.

VETERAN ACADEMIC Professionals may see opportunities for advancement or new career paths. Supervisors will be looking for swift ways to find and hire replacements.

BOTH GROUPS will want to heed the advice of Assistant Vice President for Human Resources Robert Crouch.

“FIRST AND foremost, individuals need to keep an eye out for opportunities, and apply based on the position requirements,” said Crouch, noting that positions may continue to open as individuals decide to act on the retirement deadline. “Positions are posted campus-wide through DDDH. It can be a little more difficult to know about open positions across campus, but special announcements let people know about openings in colleges and departments. The tricky part can be timing and understanding what is available campus-wide, so monitor the HR job board and pay attention to DDDH special announcements.”

WHEN A current employee spots an opening of interest, swift communication is key. APAC has created the following webpage to assist with your search, and it includes links to current campus job postings: https://sites.google.com/site/uicapac/careers.

“INDIVIDUALS WITH interest need to communicate with the appropriate levels of leadership in their organization or entity:  their supervisor and the HR contact in their college,” Crouch said. “Keep resumes updated, so they can be fine-tuned for positions that become available. Brush up on skills, or develop skills, so you’re ready in the event a position becomes available. Be ready to market yourself.”

APAC HOPES to sponsor a resume building event in the future.

SUPERVISORS INTERESTED in filling an open position with an internal candidate need to understand the process.

A CANDIDATE search is required, but can start as solely an internal search, Crouch said.

IF A supervisor identifies an internal candidate with the skills and experience needed for a position, he or she must contact the Office for Access and Equity regarding the search waiver process. Crouch noted that the search waiver process is not standard protocol in filling positions. “We are required to do a full search,” he said. “There is a process requiring justification for circumventing the full search process. The supervisor must provide thorough rationale for hiring an applicant outside of the full search process.”

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR for the Office of Access and Equity Tanya Jachimiak elaborated.

“HIRING OFFICERS should consider whether the University's interests are best served in foregoing the standard search process,” Jachimiak said.  “Waiver of all or part of the regular search process is appropriate in situations where it can be amply demonstrated that the investment of time and effort in a search is simply not in the University's best interests (i.e., whether foregoing a standard search supports UIC's AAP or would have little impact on others' equal employment opportunities, or whether forgoing a standard search is otherwise justified). While waiver decisions are within the sole discretion of OAE, it is critical that hiring officers understand that affirmative action and equal employment opportunity are an integral part of UIC's mission.”

FROM TIME to time, Jachimiak noted, rare circumstances exist that make it permissible to forgo a standard search. “Search waivers are the exception to the rule, and are reviewed on a case-by-case basis,” she said.

FOLLOWING ARE examples of such circumstances:
  • Grant Funded Positions:  When an individual is named in an externally funded grant.
  • Promotion/Transfer/Rehire: When a current, or former, AP staff member best qualifies to fill the vacancy.
  • Previous Search:  When a qualified candidate is available from a previous search for a similar position.
  • Tenure to Non-tenure:  When a faculty member changes from a tenure track to a non-tenure track or staff positions.
  • Groups:  When groups of employees join the campus work force by institutional decision, e.g., a previous state program becomes a UIC program or hires pursuant to the Chancellor's Cluster Hire initiative.
  • Reorganization:  When a unit undergoes administrative reorganization or reassignment.
  • Spousal/Partner Hires:  When a spouse or partner is appointed to an AP position for which he or she is qualified.
  • Unique Experience:  When an opportunity to appoint a distinguished individual to faculty arises, where it is highly unlikely for a search to result in a more qualified individual, and where delay in the appointment may result in loss of the opportunity.
  • Sponsored Funding Restoration:  When an employee is involuntarily terminated from a sponsored program due to lack of funds, the funds are shortly restored, and where the employee would return in the same position.

THE SEARCH waiver process is neither burdensome nor time-consuming, according to Jachimiak. A unit submits a Request for Waiver form to OAE, along with supporting documentation, including:
  • The candidate's or employee's CV or resume;
  • The detailed reason(s) for the request, including but not limited to the employee's skills and backgrounds as well as departmental needs; and
  • The HR approved job description (or PAPE if applicable).

BECAUSE ALL requests are determined on a case by case basis, circumstances may require that additional information be submitted.  OAE will continue to process such requests within 24 - 48 hours from receipt of the required documentation.

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