Screening and Selection

Tools and resources for finding the right hire

Search and Screening Committees

A search committee is required for all Executive/Administrative/Managerial and regular Faculty positions and optional for Other Professional positions.

All searches should be in accordance with University Policy OP 01.09, Principles of University Governance.

HRM and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion are available to assist in the search process and conduct training for the search committee or department.

Search and screening committees are not required for Support Staff positions. It is recommended that more than one person take part in the interview process.

Screening Applicants

Employment Standards

  • Minimum qualifications are established for all positions at MSU and are considered necessary for successful job performance.
  • In addition, preferred relevant qualifications may be used.

Any applicant who meets the stated minimum qualifications should be deemed as qualified for further consideration.

  • Executive/Administrative/Managerial and Faculty – Search committee is responsible for screening applicants for minimum qualifications.
  • Professional (non-faculty) positions – Search committee or hiring department is responsible for screening applicants for minimum qualifications.
  • Support Staff positions - The department is responsible for screening applicants for minimum qualifications.

Standard Equivalencies

The equivalency statement on the job description should be “An equivalent combination of related education and related experience may be considered for this position.”

College credit hours must be from an accredited institution.

Table of Degree Equivalents

College Credit Hours Degree Equivalent Work Experience
30 - 1 Year
60 Associate 2 Years
90 - 3 Years
120 Bachelor 4 Years
- Master 2 Years


The structured interview provides the most successful format for collecting information from which informed and fair employment decisions can be made. The structured interview is a set of standard questions that are asked of all candidates and makes it easier to evaluate and compare candidates fairly.

Departments are encouraged to acquire information about a candidate's work experience, education, training, and knowledge that are related to the specific position. Inquiries should be job-related and directed equally and consistently to all candidates for the position.


Reference Checking

Employment decisions are among the most important we make, and they go a long way toward determining how efficiently and effectively the university functions at all levels. Everyone involved in the hiring process is responsible for helping to ensure that we exercise proper diligence at every step.

Search committees and all administrators responsible for reviewing and approving hiring recommendations should be particularly mindful of the need to conduct appropriate and thorough reference checks of any recommended job candidate. This should include, at a minimum, whenever possible, direct contact with the immediate supervisor of the recommended candidate in his or her previous place of employment. For many executive, administrative, and professional positions, contacting the next higher level of supervisor is also advisable.

Documentation that such reference contacts have been made and a summary of relevant findings related to reference checks of candidates should be maintained according to University Policy, HRM 60-109, Records Management and Security.


Extending the Offer to the Finalist

Salary offers should made in accordance with the policy and procedures found on the Compensation page of the HRM website.

The department should prepare an offer letter in the PageUp System and route through the appropriate approval process prior to extending an offer. For more information, please see Guide for Creating Offer Letter and Making Online Offer and Offer Card Notes.

If the applicant selected for the position needs assistance with work authorization, contact your HRM Generalist.

Non-Selection Letter

After an offer of employment has been accepted by the applicant, the hiring department is encouraged to send a notification to applicants not selected to inform them that the position has been filled. An email notification template may be found in the PageUp System. For more information, please see Manage and Review Applicants and Guide for Closing a Job.

Records Retention

After the completion of the hiring process, the department is responsible for retaining all job search documents (including any notes related to the search) in accordance with University Policy, HRM 60-109, Records Management and Security.