Assisted Recruiting Resources

How to Use an Executive Search Firm to Recruit for a Position

Executive search firms are used to recruit for high-level, highly-specialized or hard-to-fill positions. The University of Texas System has entered into contracts with twenty executive search firms approved under a Request for Proposal (RFP) process. All of the contracts provide a provision that they are accessible to all of the UT System institutions. This means that in order to engage one of these vendors, university departments do not need to repeat the RFP process.

Visit the UT System secure Executive Search Firms contracts page to view the executed contracts, contract launch brief, and contact information for all contracted vendors.

Purchasing and Contracts Process

The university’s Handbook of Business Procedures outlines the requirements that affect Purchasing and Business Contracts. Specifically, Part 7. Purchasing, 7.5.2. Use of Existing Contracts, Item B. “The University of Texas System Contracts.” Additionally, The Purchasing Office maintains a list in Box of existing contracts that are currently available, which includes information about the executive search contracts. 

Check the existing contracts webpage to determine what executive search firms are currently under contract and to determine which vendor you would like to use. Also, consider whether you want to try to negotiate better pricing than on the contract. At that point, contact the Business Contracts Office. They will walk you through the process, which includes creating a scope of work using the project addendum as a starting point. 


Records Retention

Once a search firm has been engaged, the vendor must adhere to the university’s record retention policies. Forward the Records Retention Guidelines document developed by Human Resources to the vendor.



Human Resources
Kirsha Del Pino, Principal Human Resources Consultant

Purchasing Office

Business Contracts Office

Records and Information Management Service

The University of Texas System
Siria Barrera, HR Business Partner
(512) 499-4588

How to Respond to Applicant Calls and Email

If people call, e-mail, or approach you to express interest in your vacant position, you should make sure they understand that they cannot be considered for the job until they complete the online application. You can refer them to the job application instructions or have them call the Human Resource Service Center for more information at 512-471-4772 or 1-800-687-4178. You can also tell them that their online application and qualifications will go through a screening process, and that someone will contact them in the event that they are eligible for an interview.

How to Create a Large Applicant Pool

The simplest way to create a large applicant pool is to make the job posting open to the widest number of people. Using Workday, take the following steps to broaden your applicant pool:

  • Edit the Job Requisition and change the Recruiting Instructions to "Post Internally & Externally," which will open up the position to the public as well as the university
  • Limit detailed descriptions of purpose and preferred qualifications so applicants will be more encouraged to apply
  • Increase the minimum and/or maximum salary
  • Change some non-job description requirements to "Preferred"—the fewer required qualifications, the more applicants can apply, because every required qualification must be possessed by everyone in your applicant pool
  • Broaden degree fields by not specifying a major, or by making the major less specific (i.e., instead of bachelor's in journalism, advertising, or mass communications allow for a major in communications, which encompasses all of the above)
  • Add educational equivalencies to allow coursework to substitute for required experience and vice versa

How to Add Educational Equivalencies to a Job Posting

Incorporating educational equivalencies into a job description can help attract a broader applicant pool because equivalencies allow various levels of education and experience to substitute for one another. You can add educational equivalencies to your job posting using the following guidelines:

Education Level

Equivalent Experience

High school graduation or GED1 yr. experience
A conferred associate’s degree2 yrs. experience 
A conferred Bachelor's degree4 yrs. experience
A conferred Master's degree6 yrs. experience
A conferred Bachelor's degree4 yrs. experience
A conferred Doctorate8 yrs. experience 

Applying Internship Experience to Work Experience Requirements

Internships may or may not count as work experience. Here are the best practices HR recommends:

Count as Work Experience

  • Internships that are part of a degree program, e.g., becoming a licensed social worker
  • Internships related directly to the applicant’s profession
    • This will be a bit subjective; the hiring manager may ascertain if the internship experience is directly relevant to the position upon review of the resume.

Note: Hours worked should be a factor. If the internship was full time (30-40 hrs.) for 6 months, this should be counted as 6 months experience. If internship was part time, months of experience should be proportional (e.g., a job related internship for 6 months for 20 hours a week would count as 3 months experience).

Do not Count as Work Experience

  • Unpaid internships
  • Internships not related to applicant’s profession (e.g., applicant interned at a Law firm as a paralegal assistant, but is applying for an IT position)

How to Administer Pre-Employment Assessments

The HR Service Center no longer administers typing and spelling tests, nor is there a way to save test scores to the Workday candidate profile. Typing and spelling scores from the legacy job application system could not be converted to the Candidate Profile in Workday; assessment scores prior to 10/24/2018 will not be available.

A Pre-Employment Test is intended to measure a job applicant's knowledge, skill, and abilities as it relates to the position and successful performance on the job. Federal regulations require the validation of employment tests. Any test or assessment tool must have been developed and validated in accordance with the Equal Employment Opportunity Guidelines. Skill testing and assessment should be used as only one component, among others, in the overall evaluation of a candidate's skill, qualifications and suitability for the position. Pre-Employment tests may also serve as a resource in utilizing objective measurements that predict an individual’s future potential and a department's succession planning efforts.


  • As a best practice, hiring departments should indicate that they will use a pre-employment assessment when submitting the job requisition and identify the specific assessment along with what skill will be measured.
  • Skill(s) being assessed must be noted on the job posting as a "Required" skill, at one of the following levels: Entry, Intermediate, or Advanced.

Assessments may be conducted pre-interview or post-interview for the selected pool of applicants. Hiring Departments will identify a vendor and follow university purchasing guidelines when engaging a vendor. Hiring Departments are responsible for the cost(s) of the Pre-Employment Tests, which vary based on the type of skills test administered.

Contact your SWS HR Consultant for further details and questions.

Recruitment File Requirements

Departments are required to maintain a recruitment file and follow Record Retention rules for each job posting. Recruitment files need to contain the information related to the recruitment effort that is not stored in Workday. Recruitment files are subject to open records requests, EEOC claim responses and Texas Workforce Commission audits. Here is a list of common items stored in the recruitment file:

  • Interview questions and notes
  • Candidate evaluation matrices or forms
  • Additional materials submitted outside of Workday
  • Reference check questions and responses
  • Justification for hire for candidate selected
  • Justification for non-hire for candidates interviewed, but not selected