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Recruitment and Appointment of Staff

Approval Date
3 November 2016
Approved By
Chief Executive
Deputy Chief Executive: People, Culture and Safety
Baldrige Criteria
Workforce focus

Otago Polytechnic Limited (Ltd) seeks to attract and appoint appropriately skilled, qualified, and experienced people to all roles.

We achieve this through impartial appointment processes that result in the candidate best suited for the role being selected.

Our recruitment processes comply with legislative requirements and foster Otago Polytechnic Ltd’s commitments to the Treaty of Waitangi while building a diverse community of staff.

This policy sets out authorities and responsibilities with regard to the recruitment and appointment of staff and applies to all employment at Otago Polytechnic Ltd.



Permanent appointments refer to where the staff member is employed for an indefinite duration.


Fixed term appointments refer to where the staff member is employed for a specific time period.

Fixed term appointments may only be made in the following circumstances:

  • To relieve for a substantive position where the incumbent is on approved leave
  • To fill a vacancy pending permanent (tenured) appointment, including emergency relief positions
  • To undertake a defined task, usually for a period not exceeding two years
  • To match a period of contractual/targeted funding (e.g. for research)
  • To meet a temporary or seasonal workload need
  • To trial a new business initiative

Fixed term appointments may not be made as a mechanism for trialling staff prior to a permanent (tenured) appointment i.e. as a substitute for a probationary period.

Casual appointments refer to where the staff member is employed as and when required with no fixed hours. They may be made to meet the operational requirements of the Polytechnic for ongoing employment; or on an as and when required basis; or up to full-time for a maximum of six weeks for any one engagement.


Proportional appointment refers to a role where the staff member is employed to undertake a specified proportion of a full time academic workload up to 0.8 FTE, unless at the employee’s request.

Appointments below 0.4 FTE may only be made in exceptional circumstances and require the prior approval of the HR Services Leader.


Part-time refers to a role where a general staff member is employed to undertake a specified proportion of a full-time workload and to academic staff that are employed for less than a 0.4 FTE.


Formal Leaders refer to the leaders, (usually Head of Colleges and Service Leaders), who have a delegated authority to approve the recruitment of new staff.


Recruitment Co-ordinator: A Self Leading Team member (team to nominate) who has overall responsibility for ensuring the recruitment process for that vacancy within that team, and ensures the process is carried out effectively and efficiently; and in full compliance with this policy.


Selection Panels: A group of people who determine a suitable candidate and reach a recommendation for appointment consistent with this policy.


Human Resources: Responsible for advising and supporting the recruitment process and ensuring best practice is followed.


Policy & Procedures

All recruitment and selection processes must use the appropriate forms and systems overseen by HR.


1.          Authorisation to Advertise

1.1.         Advertisement of permanent positions must be authorised by the DCE: Corporate Services. The DCE: People, Culture and Safety will be made aware of the intention to advertise and will intervene as and when required.

1.2.         The DCE: Corporate Services must approve the advertising of positions for which there is not current budgetary provision.

1.3.         The Executive Leadership Team, Heads of Colleges and Service Leaders may authorise the advertising of casual positions and for fixed term positions which do not extend beyond the current financial year subject to budget provisions and delegated authorities.

1.4.         Only the DCE: People, Culture and Safety or delegate may authorise an appointment which has not been advertised.


2.          Advertising

2.1.         Permanent positions are to be advertised internally and externally wherever practicable.

2.2.         Fixed term roles 12 months and under do not need to be advertised.

2.3.         All advertising shall be placed through People and Culture.

2.4.         Only People and Culture or the Chief Executive may engage the services of an external recruitment agent.


Appointments other than through advertising

2.5.         In exceptional circumstances, or in the interests of fairness, a vacancy which is usually required to be advertised may be filled as a result of an invitation to one or more candidates to apply for the position or submit expressions of interest, provided that all aspects of 2.5 are complied with.

2.6.         Circumstances in which appointment may be made other than through advertising, include but are not limited to:

2.6.1    It is not practicable to advertise the failure of a prior and recent (generally within six months) selection process, which involved advertising, to produce a suitable appointee.

2.6.2.    Situations where suitable candidates can readily be identified because the position requires rare/specialised skills and/or experience.

2.6.3.    Situations where a current staff member is carrying out a role, is performing well and in the circumstances, it would be unfair and unreasonable not to confirm a permanent appointment.

2.6.4.    Redeployment in surplus staffing situations.

2.6.5.    The redeployment within a work area in response to a new business development within that work area.


3.          Shortlisting

3.1.         Shortlisting of candidates against the advertisement and position description requirements must be conducted by the Recruitment Partner within 5 working days of the vacancy closing date. The Formal Leader and the selection panel will be provided with the opportunity to review and challenge the shortlist before candidates are informed of the outcome. In the situation where agreement is not reached on the shortlist a discussion with the Selection Panel and the Recruitment Partner must occur.

3.2.         In the situation where difficulties arise in determining a shortlist HR are available to assist.

3.3.         No more than 4 candidates are to be interviewed for any one role at one time.


4.          Selection/Interview

Selection Panels

4.1.         Selection panels should not usually be more than four people and are to be convened for all permanent positions and fixed term positions of greater than one year.

4.2.         All selection panels must include team representation. A Union representative and People and Culture staff member may participate in interviews if they wish to/are in a position to do so.

4.2.1.    For senior positions (Tier 2 and 3 Management Leadership roles the Chief Executive shall determine the composition of the selection panel.

4.3.         Wherever possible appropriate learner/customer involvement in selection panels is encouraged.

4.4.         Selection panels for the recruitment of Formal Leaders must include direct reports to that position and Executive Leadership Team representation.

4.5.         The selection panel will ensure that Otago Polytechnic Ltd’s equity and Treaty of Waitangi expectations are given appropriate consideration. For appointments of Māori staff the Kaitohutohu must be consulted on the composition of the interview panel.

4.6.         The members of a selection panel, including team members, must have undertaken the interview module within Otago Polytechnic Ltd’s Recruitment and Selection training programme prior to being on the panel or have had previous equivalent experience.

4.7.         The selection panel is required to declare any conflict of interest, as defined by the Conflict of Interest Policy including family connection and/or being a business associate or a close friend that may exist in relation to any candidates for the role, as soon as they become aware of that.

4.8.         The selection panel will maintain strict confidentiality regarding all personal and candidate information pertaining to the recruitment process.


Selection/Interview Process
4.9.         All interview and selection processes will meet Otago Polytechnic Ltd procedure guidelines.

4.10.      All interview and selection processes will include assessment of candidate suitability against Otago Polytechnic Ltd values and strategic priorities.

4.11    Candidates for any position ought to complete a presentation or task appropriate to their potential role as part of their interview/selection process. The candidate is to be given a minimum of three full working days’ notice of the topic of the presentation. It is expected that the topic selected will be future focussed and be aligned to Otago Polytechnic Ltd’s strategic priorities relevant to the role.


5.          Team involvement in selection

5.1.         On completion of the formal selection process the preferred candidate(s) will meet with the members of the team in which the role is based in either a formal or informal setting. The results of which will inform the recommendation.

5.2.         Where required candidate psychometric or skills-based testing can be arranged by People and Culture.


6.          Pre-employment Checks

Reference Checks

6.1.         The Recruitment Partner will ensure that no fewer than two nominated referees are to be consulted, at least one of whom must be a person to whom the candidate has recently been directly responsible for work performance.

6.2.         All reference checks must follow the Otago Polytechnic Ltd template and associated processes.


Pre-Employment Medical

6.3.         Otago Polytechnic Ltd has determined certain roles that require the preferred candidate(s) to undertake a pre-employment medical as part of the selection process. The final offer of employment is subject to the results of the check.


Police and Credit Checks
6.4.         Police and/ or credit checks will be completed by People and Culture as appropriate to the role and must be completed prior to any offer being made.


7.          Recruitment Recommendation

7.1.         The selection panel is to provide the Formal Leader with a recruitment recommendation and the required supporting documentation. The Formal Leader may:

7.1.1.    Accept the majority recommendation of the selection panel and with the appropriate approvals proceed to negotiate the appointment of the preferred candidate.

7.1.2.    In the situation where there are valid reasons question the recommendation of the selection panel. In this instance the Formal Leader is required to make a case to both the selection panel and the DCE: People, Culture and Safety.

7.2.         The Formal Leader shall establish the terms and conditions, within Otago Polytechnic Ltd policy and practice and after taking advice from People and Culture, under which the preferred appointee will be made a formal offer of employment. Such terms and conditions must comply with OP policy, legal and contractual obligations.

7.3.         Approval of permanent appointments must be obtained from the DCE: People, Culture and Safety before any verbal or written offer is made.


8.          Offers of Employment

8.1.         All offers of employment must be made in writing by People and Culture with signoff as per P&C delegations.

8.2.         The Chief Executive, DCE: People, Culture and Safety and the relevant Executive Leadership Team member will determine the appropriate offer for Heads of Colleges and Service Leaders.

8.3.         Offers of employment must be made a minimum of 10 days before the employee commences employment.


9.         On completion of the selection process

9.1.          All interviewing, shortlisting notes and reference checks must be returned to People and Culture immediately after the recruitment process has been completed.


10.      Appointment of Temporary Staff

Fixed Term Academic Appointments

10.1.      Employment agreements for fixed term academic appointments shall make adequate provision of time for preparation prior to the commencement of learning activities and adequate provision for marking, reporting and course review following the conclusion of learning activities.


Renewal of Fixed Term Appointments

10.2.      Fixed term appointments generally may not be renewed unless there is an unexpected continuation of the circumstances which initially provided justification for the temporary appointment.

10.3.      Fixed term positions may not be rolled over. A new letter of appointment must be given stating starting and finishing dates, and the reason for the position being fixed term.

10.4.      Where a change in circumstances means that the work performed by a fixed term staff member becomes permanent, the position should be advertised as a permanent appointment in accordance with this policy, if practicable.



10.5.      Where there is opportunity for a team member to be seconded within a team, team members will be informed and invited to provide an expression of interest.

10.6.      In the case where a secondment opportunity within a team is to be made available to other OP staff then the team is to be informed of the role first and then the role advertised internally.

10.7.      Decision making on the role, length of time of secondment and the successful candidate will be the responsibility of the Formal Leader.

10.8.      The substantive role terms and conditions of the person being seconded will not change; however, the seconded person may be under new terms and conditions during the period of secondment.


Refer to the diagram in SOP OP Recruitment Process Flowchart and Required Steps for Each Type of Recruitment for the steps in the recruitment and selection process. Further information is available from HR.


Equal Employment Opportunities National Guidelines – Human  Rights Commission



  • Conflict of Interest
  • Establishment of Starting Salaries for Academic Staff
  • Allied General Staff Grading, Salary Review and Promotion
  • Relocation Expenses for New Employees
  • Key Skills Allowance
  • Employment Delegations