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Stephen F. Austin State University

Advertising & Filling Vacant Positions

Advertising Vacant Faculty, Staff, and Student Assistant Positions

Welcome to SFA's portal for Search Committee chairs and members!

The Hiring Process

The hiring process consists of identifying the vacancy and evaluating the need; revising the job description as necessary; selecting a search committee; advertising the vacant position; reviewing and screening applicants; conducting interviews; selecting the successful candidate; and finalizing the recruitment process. For a general overview of the hiring process for faculty, staff, and student assistant positions, see the Departmental Checklist for Recruiting, Interviewing, and Hiring form.


Vacant faculty, staff, and student assistant positions must be advertised on the Careers at SFA website. Graduate assistant, adjunct faculty, visiting faculty, and casual (short-term or sporadic) positions do not have to be posted unless so desired. Exempt positions must be posted for a minimum of 10 calendar days. Nonexempt positions must be posted for a minimum of 5 calendar days. Student assistant positions must be posted for a minimum of 3 calendar days.

All internal postings must be posted for a minimum of 5 calendar days.

A screening matrix is required for all posted faculty and staff positions. A sample screening matrix is included in Search Committee Reference Materials below.

The hiring department is required to submit the screening matrix and interview questions to Human Resources for approval prior to conducting interviews. Sample interview questions are included in Search Committee Reference Materials below.

Search Committee Training

Departments are encouraged to schedule search committee training by accessing mySFA and using the myTraining feature or contacting Human Resources. Please note that any SFA employee involved in the screening and/or interview process should be considered a search committee member. Accessing Search Committee Training Through myTraining.

Search Committee Reference Materials


Things to Remember:

  • Blank screening matrix and interview questions must be approved by HR prior to use.
  • Screening matrices must be completed by all search committee members.
  • Screening matrix must be based on information gathered from electronic documents in PeopleAdmin (application, resume, cover letter, etc.).
  • Use "supplemental questions" to help build matrix and improve screening success.
  • It is recommended to allow all search committee members to be involved in the creation of screening matrix and to review the posting prior to it being submitted.

The sample screening matrix below is a valuable tool designed to assist you in making a decision on which candidates to interview.

Screening Matrix


As a reminder, all interview questions must be approved by Human Resources prior to use.


  • Questions will be job related. Ask the same questions of each candidate.
    • Job-related follow-up questions are permissible.
  • Do not record any portion of interviews, including phone/zoom interviews.
  • Virtual Interview-Telephone/Zoom:
    • Narrows the field for face-to-face interview stage.
    • Recommendation- mention the salary range and ensure the candidate is still interested.
    • Zoom is the new campus-wide method for video interviews. For questions regarding Zoom, contact the help desk at X-1212.
  • Face-to-Face:
    • Understand the risks of extended periods with a candidate.
    • Ask your questions before telling them about the position.
    • ADA question should not be asked during interview, e.g. "Now that you know more about the job, do you feel as though you can perform the duties of this job with or without a reasonable accommodation?"
  • Inform Interviewee:
    • Mandatory participation in retirement program.
    • If funds are available for moving expenses.
    • 60-day waiting period for health insurance.
    • How & when candidate will be paid. For example, a faculty member is paid on a monthly basis on the first of the month.

Telephone Screening Interview Questions

Tips for Conducting the Interview

Sample Interview Questions and Inappropriate Topics

Competency Based Questions

Checking References

The are three ways in which to conduct reference checks:

  1. Request reference letters as a "Required Document" on the PeopleAdmin application. This will require the applicant to receive letters of recommendation and attach them to their application.
  2. Enable the PeopleAdmin system to send out automated reference requests via email directly to references through the workflow process during a state of your selection.
  3. Check references by personally calling.

Review the attachments below for detail and information regarding the process for each of these three steps.

Letter of Recommendation as a 'Required Document'

Enabling Automated Reference Check Requests

Tips for Checking References

Form for Checking References Over the Telephone

Filling Vacant Positions

The Faculty/Staff Hiring Proposal should be submitted through SFA PeopleAdmin for review and approval by the hiring department. The hiring department chair or director will receive notification through SFA PeopleAdmin (system-generated email from when the proposal has been approved.

The Hiring Proposal requires the following documentation and action in SFA PeopleAdmin system. Step-by-step instructions are included below in the Quick Guide- Hiring Proposals.

See the Hiring Proposal Checklist:

1. Select the Candidate to whom the offer will be made.

2. Move the candidate to the "Recommend for Hire" workflow status.

3. Fill all the required fields as noted in the hiring proposal form.

4. Upload documentation and justification that is needed for the hiring proposal.

5. After all documentation has been uploaded, the originator will select "Take Action" on the hiring proposal and submit the hiring proposal to Human Resources for review and approval. Note: Some staff proposals may require additional time for processing if the proposal contains a proposed starting salary higher than the midpoint of the salary grade. An exception salary review will need to be conducted by Human Resources as per compensation policy. Any salary above the midpoint of the salary grade requires the approval of the Human Resources Director.

6. The hiring department is notified through the SFA PeopleAdmin software. The department approver (department chair or hiring manager) reviews the proposal and will need to submit the hiring proposal to "Submit for Background Check" when the offer is accepted.

7. After all approvals are complete, proceed with extending the employment offer to the candidate.

8. If the candidate accepts the offer; the hiring manager can move the hiring proposal to "Offer Accepted/Hire Finalized."

9. Disposition the remaining candidates after the hiring proposal is complete and the offer has been accepted.

Additionally, once the successful candidate has accepted the offer and passed the criminal history check, the department should submit the appropriate electronic personnel action form (EPAF) to set up the employee's employment and job assignment. EPAFs should be completed, electronically approved, and routed to HR before the employee starts work.

For additional information about EPAF, see EPAF Resources.

Hiring Adjunct and Visiting Faculty, Graduate Assistants, and Casual Employees

Because adjunct faculty, visiting faculty, graduate assistant, and casual (short-term or sporadic) positions do not have to be posted, the hiring process differs slightly from what is described above. The major steps that departments should complete are as follows:

Applicant Software Guides

Quick Guide - Troubleshooting Viewing Applicants

File size: 204.99 KB

Updated: Thursday, May 30, 2019

Quick Guide - Accessing Applicants

File size: 256.10 KB

Updated: Thursday, May 30, 2019

PeopleAdmin Select Suite 7 Training

File size: 1858.25 KB

Updated: Thursday, October 05, 2017

Quick Guide - Logging In and Viewing a Posting

File size: 170.64 KB

Updated: Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Quick Guide - Creating a Posting

File size: 552.89 KB

Updated: Thursday, March 14, 2019

Quick Guide - Approving a Posting

File size: 269.71 KB

Updated: Monday, October 16, 2017

Quick Guide - Adding Search Committee Members and Using Evaluative Criteria

File size: 449.90 KB

Updated: Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Quick Guide - Assigning Disposition Reasons and Automated Emails

File size: 208.22 KB

Updated: Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Quick Guide - Hiring Proposals

File size: 435.61 KB

Updated: Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Drafting Student Job Descriptions

File size: 235.82 KB

Updated: Friday, November 10, 2017