III. Recruitment Procedures (HEO Guidelines)


As noted earlier, CUNY, as a federal contractor and pursuant to Board of Trustees' policy, has adopted an affirmative action program that governs the process by which positions are filled. The search, i.e., the process of recruiting and assessing credentials as presented in resumes and interviews to determine merit and fitness, constitutes the University's approach to fulfilling its obligations to administer unassembled examinations. The search process preserves the integrity of campus selection procedures and increases the opportunity for members of protected classes to be represented in candidate pools and to be selected at rates that reflect their availability in the labor market.

The College President is ultimately responsible for ensuring the appropriateness and integrity of the affirmative action program at the college. The College Affirmative Action Officer is responsible for implementing the program with guidance from the University Office of Compliance and Diversity Programs.


Once the College has determined that a vacant position will be filled, a recruitment plan must be prepared in consultation with the College Affirmative Action Officer. The College Affirmative Action Officer will examine relevant data, including underutilization, overall representation, and hiring patterns, to determine the level of outreach that is appropriate. The plan must detail the outreach efforts that will be made. If underutilization is present in the title, outreach must go beyond the campus community. The recruitment plan must be approved by the College Affirmative Action Officer before the search begins. A copy of the approved plan must be kept with the search file. Typically recruitment plans consist of:

  • the University or college PVN,
  • sample wording of the advertisement,
  • a list of media and other methods by which outreach will occur (including samples of correspondence or announcements of openings), and
  • authorizations to hire.


Standard Search

A standard search requires aggressive outreach to potential applicants at the national or regional level. Most positions will be filled through the use of a standard search.

University-wide Search

A University-wide search relies on the distribution of the University PVN to a variety of local and national organizations and placement on the University's website to produce an adequate applicant pool. University-wide searches limit campus obligations to advertise outside of CUNY, but are not limited to CUNY employees. The College Affirmative Action Officer must approve the request before a search may be conducted at the University level.

College-limited Search

In circumscribed situations, the College Affirmative Action Officer may authorize a college-limited search for a HEO position. Authorization will be based on the justification offered for the limited search and

certification that the payroll title in which the position falls does not show any underutilization at the college.

Searches of this nature require posting of a PVN in the department where the position is being recruited, in the College Human Resources Office, in the College Affirmative Action Office, and in any other areas where vacancy notices are normally displayed at the college. College-limited searches may be restricted to college employees; however, any search limits must be clearly stated on the PVN.

Monitoring the Search

Before a posting period has ended, the College Affirmative Action Officer should examine the applicant pool to determine if additional outreach efforts are needed. Once the posting's closing date has passed, it is the responsibility of the College Affirmative Action Officer to certify that the processes up to that point conform with the University's procedures.

Concluding the Search

After approval of the applicant pool has been obtained, the hiring department can begin the screening and interview process. If it has not already been done, it is often helpful to have the search committee or hiring official meet with the College Affirmative Action Officer at this point to review procedures for screening resumes and conducting interviews in an appropriate manner. While screening of applications may begin at any time, interviews of candidates should not routinely take place before the closing date on the posting. Under special circumstances, it may be necessary to conduct a limited number of interviews at the same time that applications are being received (e.g., to accommodate a special conference or recruitment forum). In these cases, prior approval from the College Affirmative Action Officer is needed. Once a final candidate is identified and before an offer is made the College Affirmative Action Officer must review the interview documentation and certify that appropriate procedures were followed. A certification form, which includes elements of the recruitment plan as well as applicant pool information and that attests to conformance with the University Affirmative Action Policy, must be electronically sent by the College Affirmative Action Officer to the University Coordinator of Compliance and Diversity Programs upon the selection of a candidate (see Appendix B). This certification will be matched with entries on the Chancellor's/University Reports.

Special Considerations

Normally, appointments from a search occur within six months from the time the PVN closed. If circumstances warrant it, the College Affirmative Action Officer may approve the consideration of a candidate pool from a PVN that closed up to twelve months earlier, provided the position is exactly the same as previously announced.

On rare occasions, the search requirement may be relaxed by the University Coordinator of Compliance and Diversity Programs upon a written request by the College Affirmative Action Officer. Examples where this may be appropriate include: regularization of positions due to transfer of funding sources when the individual being appointed has come through a search, or appointment of an individual who has come forward from a technically flawed search (e.g., the salary posted was too low, but an excellent candidate surfaced and requires a higher salary).

Waiver of the Search Requirement

Under certain circumstances, a college may request that the University Coordinator of Compliance and Diversity Programs recommend a waiver of the search requirement in order to appoint an individual to a HEO position. Search waivers require extensive justification and will continue to be reported to the Board of Trustees.


Before any PVN may be posted, the University Director of Classification must approve the classification. Following approval, except for college-limited searches, the University Director of Personnel will post the PVN to the University website. The University Director may distribute the PVN further, consistent with University policy, and the colleges may also distribute the PVN more broadly. Posting periods must be consistent with these guidelines (see below). Colleges must make all CUNY postings, including University-wide postings from other colleges, available to potential applicants. Such access may be in print and/or electronic format. Reasonable accommodations that permit access to the application process must be made for people with disabilities. Examples of accommodations include use of technology to replicate speech, large-print PVNs, and posting of job notices in places accessible to wheelchair users.

Required Elements

All PVNs for full-time HEO positions must be completed in the prescribed University format and must include all of the following information:

  • a payroll title from the University Payroll Title Code List;
  • a functional title from the University Functional Title Code List; if the functional title desired by the college is not listed, a written request should be made to OFSR to create that title;
  • if the position is not currently available, but a vacancy is "anticipated," such should be noted above the functional title;
  • a statement of the essential job requirements; for positions where job requirements are established by OFSR or the Bylaws, those requirements must be listed;8
  • qualification specifications as set forth in the Bylaws must be listed;
  • a closing date of no less than two weeks and no more than 90 days; when a position is open "until filled" the posting will automatically close after 90 days unless re-issued;
  • the name and address of the person to whom applications, resumes, or other initial filing papers should be sent or delivered; when references are requested at the time of application, the minimum number required shall be stated;
  • the electronic code, signature or initials of the College Human Resources Director and the College Affirmative Action Officer;
  • The following statements will appear on the standard PVN format: 1) the University/College EEO statement, i.e., "CUNY is an Affirmative Action/EEO employer that encourages applications from under-represented groups. Reasonable accommodations will be made for disabled individuals who need assistance to participate fully in the application process. Disabled individuals may direct requests for reasonable accommodations to participate in the application process to (add name and address/phone number here)"; and 2) a statement regarding compliance with Immigration Reform and Control Act regulations.

NOTE: The proposed organization chart must be attached to the PVN.

For positions funded by the Research Foundation, a Research Foundation PVN must be used. The Research Foundation PVN should be sent directly to the Research Foundation Personnel Office.

Optional Elements

PVNs for HEO positions may include the following:

Colleges may wish to indicate the proposed salary either by specifying the full salary range (including the five-year and the seven-year steps), a part of the range, or a generic range (e.g., the "mid-80's"), or by stating that the salary is "commensurate with experience," consistent with the contractual payroll title being posted. Notations regarding future pay range changes that will occur prior to the anticipated date of appointment and which may enhance interest in the position may also be included. If the college chooses to identify a salary range, any addition to salary that is anticipated must be identified in the advertised range.9 When advertising a portion of a salary range, colleges must give considerable thought to the salary steps chosen, because applicant pools reflect the salaries offered. If it becomes desirable to offer a salary higher than that advertised, the College Affirmative Action Officer will determine if the effect on the applicant pool is significant enough to justify reopening the search.

For vacancies listed as "anticipated," the college may wish to provide information on the specific appointment contingencies (e.g., the position is subject to final approval at the college, subject to receipt of some special funding, or subject to approval of some special legislation).

Additional preferred job-related qualifications that may give prospective candidates an indication of skills that the college believes will allow the candidate to perform the job duties more effectively, but that are not required by the Bylaws or University policy, may be posted.

A degree beyond the baccalaureate as appropriate to perform the duties of a particular Higher Education Associate or Higher Education Officer position may be required.

Relationship of Advertisements to the PVN

Advertisements in the commercial press may be briefer than the PVN, but must include: the college name/CUNY, the functional title, representative duties, the qualifications, the closing date, the name and address of the person to whom resumes should be sent, and the AFFIRMATIVE ACTION/EEO/ADA/IRCA tag line. Publication of position vacancies in the commercial press may not appear prior to the approval of the PVN by the University. The closing date in advertisements must conform with the one noted on the PVN. The college is obligated to accept applications, resumes, or other initial filing papers postmarked (or, if the college accepts resumes by fax, e-mail, or online, electronically dated) by the published closing date.

Changes to a PVN

Colleges may request to:

  • EXTEND the closing date on an already announced posting for a minimum of two additional weeks. Such extensions must be posted anew and must be issued prior to the expiration of the initial posting. An extended posting may not incorporate any substantive changes to any items from the first posting and must follow the same rules as the initial posting.
  • REOPEN a posting within one year of the initial posting. A reopened posting may include changes to some of the elements of the original PVN e.g., salary, functional title (provided there are no substantive changes in duties), or preferred qualifications or credentials. The college may consider the original pool of candidates along with applicants from the reopened posting. Reopened postings may not include major changes in the core functions of the job. When the college desires such changes, it must initiate a new search.
  • CANCEL a PVN during the posting period. A re-issued PVN clearly marked CANCELLED will be posted until the original, now cancelled, closing date.


Substitute status for short-term temporary or emergency appointments is appropriate. Substitute appointments may be for periods up to six months. Searches are not required to fill positions on a substitute basis. If it is necessary to fill a vacancy on a substitute basis, a search to fill the position permanently must begin as soon as possible, or at a minimum after the first year of appointment. A substitute appointment may not become a regular appointment, unless a search is completed and the incumbent substitute is the successful candidate.

8 There is one exception to the requirement that a college post only the minimum qualifications stipulated in the Bylaws as required qualifications. A College may advertise a position for a Higher Education Associate or a Higher Education Officer and require an advanced degree "as appropriate to perform the duties of a particular position." See Bylaws, Sections 11.16 and 11.17, as amended on October 25, 1999.

9 When a "recruitment/retention initiative" supplement is anticipated, prior approval to include it in the advertisement must be obtained from OFSR.

II. Classification Table of Contents IV. Compensation

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Last Updated: 9/10/02

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