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Steps in Hiring County-Paid Staff

Portions prepared by Bruce Stoll, Assistant to the Vice Provost, Human Resources.

  1. Develop or revise written job description in conjunction with all staff and council.
  2. Determine requirements -- minimum, preferred. Determine salary, benefits and hours. Write vacancy announcement.
  3. Write advertisement -- set deadline -- advertise.
  4. Distribute vacancy announcements.
  5. Review applications. Determine number to interview -- check references.
  6. Interview -- staff and council.
  7. If this position involves working with children, conduct a background screen of candidates, in accordance with the ISU Extension Child Protection and Safety Policy.
  8. Select candidate and hire.
  9. Train
  10. Evaluate



  1. The job description -- What do you want the person to do? This is your chance to change anything you want changed, to start fresh. Be specific where appropriate, but be sure to include a paragraph that states: "The above is illustrative of the duties performed. It is expected that the incumbent will perform all other related or similar duties as assigned by the supervisor." This is an excellent opportunity to gain consensus of other staff and council regarding expectations of this position.
  2. Requirements -- Remember, the more minimal the requirements, the larger the pool of applicants. If you say 60 wpm, as opposed to 40 wpm typing speed, your pool reduces. You or your local Department of Employment Services should test for skills. Experience required (successful) should not exceed three years and should probably be closer to one year. Computer skills should be noted if appropriate. Determine hours. Determine salary. Determine benefits. All three should be as competitive as possible, and stated in the vacancy announcement. Don't wait until you see who applies to decide these items.
  3. Advertisement -- Put key elements only in the ad -- title, requirements, general statement of duties, the employer and location, and application deadline. Basic skills testing may be done to determine if the applicant has the required job skills. The Iowa Work Force Development Office can do testing. Always add AA/EEO (Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity) at the bottom of the advertisement. The position probably should be listed with your local Department of Employment Services office, and also advertised in at least one local newspaper. There should be about 15 days between the time it is advertised and the deadline.
  4. Applications -- A standardized form is used for accepting job applications. Requesting resumes and cover letters are also acceptable.
  5. Review applications by committee and arrive at top candidates. References should always be checked. You should, on the application, ask the applicant if it is o.k. to check with references and former employers. If the application indicates "NO" then call the applicant to determine if he or she is a serious candidate. Prior to the interview it will be necessary to check references.
  6. Interview applicants -- It may be a good idea to prepare a list of questions to be answered by each applicant. Each person on the committee could ask one or two. This way you can compare apples to apples, rather than an apple to an orange. (Two county staff, along with members from the Council, is the normal committee.)
  7. If the position involves working with children, conduct a background screen of candidates in accordance with the Extension Child Protection and Safety Policy.
  8. Select and hire the best qualified. Notify those not selected for the interview in writing that they were not selected. Those actually interviewed and not selected should receive a phone call from someone on the committee.
  9. Training -- Using the job description, make a checklist of all those things a person needs to know to perform satisfactorily. Be sure to cover all things over a period of time.
  10. Evaluate -- Performance Appraisal