The Search Exception process – including search waivers, emergency hires, and promotions – is used in place of a formal search. Before utilizing the Search Exception process it is important to read through and follow the steps below:

Identify Type of Request

  1. Review the respective policy in the WSU Policies and Procedures to ensure the reason for the Search Exception Request is justified by the respective policy. The types of Search Exceptions are described below:
    1. Search Waiver – A tool used to hire a position without conducting a search when certain conditions apply:
      • The individual, or the position the individual is to assume, was provided for and/or referenced in a grant application or contract proposal that has been approved and funded.
      • The position is funded by a grant or contract and the employment relationship is anticipated to be no longer than eighteen (18) months in duration.
      • The individual has been previously employed by the University as a student employee or a research assistant for a minimum of eighteen (18) months prior to the proposed hire.
      • The position is a Visiting Professor or Visiting Scholar position anticipated to be no longer than three (3) years in duration.
      • The individual has previously been employed in private business or industry or in a governmental position, and possesses unique qualifications, experiences, talents and skills that would benefit current or prospective University students.
      • The individual meets the minimum requirements for the position and helps the University meet its goal of a diverse workforce. This applies to those who fall within job groups with goals targeted by the Affirmative Action Plan including individuals with disabilities, veterans, minorities and females. Job groups not targeted by the Affirmative Action Plan will be considered under appropriate circumstances. An interview process is necessary to ensure the candidate meets the job qualifications and is committed to WSU’s goals.  
    2. Emergency Hire – A tool used to fill a vacancy that was sudden and/or unexpected without conducting a search. Emergency hires may hold the vacant position for only twelve (12) months with a full local, regional or national search for the replacement to be concluded by the end of the 12th month.
    3. Promotion – Movement of a current employee to a position classification in a higher pay grade or pay grade with a higher midpoint, based on the increased scope of responsibility, which requires more advanced skills, education, or certification.

Initiate Request

  1. Department contacts the assigned HR Business Partner to communicate the need for and creation of the position, and finalize the position description. The HR Business Partner will work with HR Total Rewards to determine FLSA status (i.e. exempt vs. non-exempt) and position classification (PCLASS), and to receive a pay recommendation for the Search Exception Request.
  2. Department completes the Search Exception Request Form with the appropriate signatures and submits the information and required supporting documentation electronically (i.e. email or DropBox) to HR Talent.

Provost approval must be obtained for all faculty positions prior to submitting documentation to HR.

The supporting documentation that is required for each type of Search Exception is outlined below:

  1. Search Waiver – Position description and resume/CV of the candidate. Provost approval must be included for all faculty positions.
  2. Emergency Hire – Position description, and resume/CV of the candidate if an individual has been identified. If a candidate has not been identified, “N/A” can be entered in the “Candidate/Employee Information” section of the Search Exception Form. Provost approval must be included for all faculty positions.
  3. Promotion – Position description, annual performance evaluations for the previous two years, a list of those individuals who are being considered for the promotion opportunity, and resume/CV of the candidate. Provost approval must be included for all faculty positions.

Routing Steps

  1. Requestor sends the completed form to the College Dean or Division VP for review and approval.
  2. Provost (Academic Affairs only) – The completed form is sent to Academic Affairs for review and approval.
  3. Academic Affairs or Division VP sends the approved form and required documentation electronically (i.e email or DropBox) to HR Talent.
  4. HR Talent reviews the information to confirm that the candidate is eligible for hire/promotion based on the minimum qualifications of the position description and rehire eligibility (if applicable). HR Talent sends the information to HR Total Rewards (FLSA Queue in PeopleAdmin) to complete a compensation analysis. This analysis includes final determination of position classification (“PCLASS”), FLSA status (i.e. exempt vs. non-exempt), ADA requirements, and salary recommendation based on comparison of positions in the same PCLASS.

HR will contact the College Dean or Division VP prior to review by the HR Leader if there is any discrepancy between the Search Exception Request and the analysis, or if the candidate is not eligible for hire/promotion.

  1. HR Total Rewards provides the Search Exception Request information and analysis to the HR Leader for review
  2. Review is completed by HR Leader and sent to OIEC Leader.
  3. Review is completed by OIEC Leader and sent to HR Talent.
  4. HR Talent communicates the status of the Search Exception Request with the approved justification to the requestor, College Dean or Division VP, and Academic Affairs (if applicable) once it has completed the routing steps.

Offer and Onboard

  1. HR Talent enters the position description and starts the routing process in PeopleAdmin. Verbal offer is made to the candidate.
    1. Search Waiver/Emergency Hire:
      1. Teaching positions –The college makes the verbal offer and notifies HR Talent of the acceptance.
      2. Non-teaching positions – HR Talent makes a verbal, contingent offer to the candidate.
    2. Promotion:
      1. Verbal offer is made by the department to the candidate.
      2. Department notifies HR Talent of the acceptance of the offer.
  2. Once the position description is approved in PeopleAdmin, an email is sent from HR Talent to the candidate providing information about applying for the position. The supervisor, as indicated on the Search Exception Request Form, also receives the email to keep them apprised of the status of the process.
  3. Once the candidate has applied to the position, the following steps are completed by HR Talent:
    1. The hiring proposal is started and routed in PeopleAdmin.
    2. A written offer letter, contingent upon successful completion of the background check (if required), is emailed to the candidate. (For teaching positions, the written offer letter is sent by the respective college.)
    3. A link with information about the background check is emailed to the candidate (if required) to complete prior to approval of the hiring proposal, and prior to the first day of work/promotion.
    4. A link with new hire paperwork (Onboard) is sent to the candidate to complete prior to the first day of work/promotion, if required.


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Who to contact:

Director of Institutional Equity & Compliance-Unclasified/Faculty
Executive Director of Human Resources

Christine Taylor
Director of Institutional Equity & Compliance
Phone: (316) 978-3205

Judy Espinoza
Executive Director of Human Resources
Phone: (316) 978-3540

Talent Acquisition Team
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Revised: 04/12/2019 MJ