Section 3.1 Recruitment and Hiring

The process of recruiting and hiring Extension staff members is subject to UMaine and University of Maine System policies and procedures. The UMaine Human Resources site contains information for Managers and search chairs.

For information about how to fill a position within UMaine Extension go to Steps in the Hiring Process.

Equal Opportunity

UMaine Extension is an Equal Employment/Affirmative Action employer. All are encouraged to apply for employment with Extension and will be given consideration, based on the position requirements.

When recruiting to fill an open position, it is essential that the position is advertised extensively and includes targeted advertising meant to be sure a diverse applicant pool is aware of the opening.

Background Checks

All UMaine applicants will receive a pre-employment background check and additional background checks, such as a pre-employment physical, may be necessary based on the type of position sought.

The background check will only be conducted on the successful candidate. When a person is selected to fill a vacancy, the position is offered on a tentative basis. The background check is then conducted by the office of human resources, and Extension is informed if the candidate is acceptable or not.

The Role of the Search Committee

The hiring process is one of the most important processes in UMaine Extension. New employees should be selected carefully and based on the criteria for the position. This should result in hiring a person who will become a successful part of the program delivery system that helps Extension accomplish its mission, to help Maine people help themselves through education.

The hiring supervisor clarifies selection criteria for any new position to ensure they are job related and nondiscriminatory. Criteria should be reflected in the advertising and job description.

The search committee then screens applicants on the basis of these criteria. All decisions made regarding the suitability to the position must be made solely based on the criteria for the position. This approach ensures the search process will conform to legal and non-discriminatory requirements. See the UMaine Non-Discrimination Statement.

Special efforts should be made in screening and interviewing to avoid unconscious stereotypic assumptions related to members of protected groups. If a person with a disability is the most qualified applicant but needs an accommodation to do the job, such accommodation should be provided or explored.

Faculty: For each faculty position to be filled, the PAC will select the faculty search committee members that will be considered the “appropriate unit faculty” for the appointment process. The rest of the committee will be appointed by the Extension administration as follows:
For faculty positions the search committee will be comprised of four faculty total (one as chair or two serving as co-chairs), one professional staff member, one hourly staff member and one stakeholder. If the faculty member being hired has a split appointment there would be one faculty member from the partnering unit. The total composition of the search committee must be gender diverse. This is the ideal composition and may vary slightly due to the unique circumstances of the position.

Professionals: The supervisor or hiring administrator will establish the search committee to include two professional staff, one faculty member, one hourly staff member and one stakeholder. The committee must be gender diverse. This is the ideal composition of the search committee and could vary slightly due to the unique circumstances of the position.

Hourly: The hiring supervisor forms a search committee comprised of two hourly staff, one professional or one faculty member (in addition to the hiring supervisor) and one stakeholder. The committee must be gender diverse. This is the ideal composition of the search committee and may vary slightly due to the unique circumstances of the position.

Position Vacancies

When a position is vacated, the position itself ends. In order to establish a replacement position or a new position, the Extension Leadership Team (ELT) reviews the vacancy to determine if a replacement position or a new position is feasible. This is true for all base-funded positions at all organizational levels. After a favorable review by the ELT, the supervisor discusses the position with the appropriate constituents, which may include executive committees or advisory boards. A draft of the proposed position description is sent to Fran Sulinski for review. The next step will include the completion of the Request to Fill Form (by Angela Hart) within the HireTouch system. It will then be sent to the office of the vice president for academic affairs & provost, where it must be given final approval before further action can be taken. This procedure is followed for all positions, at all levels, both on-campus and in off-campus Extension offices.

Transfer of Staff Members / Internal Applicants

Normally, all positions are advertised externally, in which case existing staff members are not given preference. The COLT contract for hourly employees does include the ability to advertise internally and the first stage of all hourly searches does include a period of time the position is open to internal applicants only. UMaine Extension’s ELT reserves the right to transfer staff members with or without advertising, and to make individual workload assignments as necessary.

When positions at the county or state level are available, Extension encourages applicants from as broad a pool of individuals as possible. Only in rare and extenuating circumstances would the pool of applicants be restricted to internal candidates.

Internal applicants (those currently employed by UMaine Extension) compete with the total pool of candidates applying for a given position. At each level, all candidates participate in the same screening and selection processes. Any candidate can be eliminated at any stage of the process.

When credentials are reviewed, whether written materials or those resulting from the interview process, the decision-makers evaluate these credentials in the context of the job being advertised and the criteria or the particular position. The screening and selection process is designed to select those candidates who best fit the position being advertised and to recommend them to the next level of consideration.

There are no guarantees that internal candidates will be among the finalists for any Extension position. The decision as to whether or not an internal candidate is a finalist is made on an individual basis according to criteria described. A negative decision at any level should not be construed as a statement regarding the individual’s current performance.

Contracts for Services

Occasionally, UMaine Extension completes contracts with firms or individuals outside the University. In many cases, these contracts are for services that require technical expertise unavailable among staff members. In other cases, needs are more general, and require expertise that under other circumstances might be obtained from volunteers. In other circumstances it is probable that temporary employment is more appropriate than contracting for services.

Please, consult the following Administrative Practice Letter (PDF) to determine the appropriate method of securing the work to be done.

If you have questions consult with Fran Sulinski.

Relocation Expenses

A staff member who must relocate his or her home in order to take a position with UMaine Extension may be entitled to reimbursement for part of the moving expenses incurred. This applies to both internal and external candidates, and must be part of the negotiations at the time of hiring. When moving expenses are granted they must be spent within a 12-month period (or less). Original receipts should be presented at the office of the financial administrator.