Select a Candidate

Ensure you have completed all prior steps for recruitment before proceeding.

For Academic Faculty hiring please refer and follow the Academic Selection Procedure . For all other staff types, follow the instructions below.


1. Evaluate the candidates

When interviews have been completed, the hiring manager facilitates the evaluation process. The goal is to objectively evaluate candidates against the selection criteria, the department needs and preferred competencies to determine if there is a good match.

The evaluation considers:

  • Application documents (resume and cover letter).
  • Certifications, education credentials Interview assessments (incorporates selection criteria).
  • Team meeting feedback (if applicable).
  • Pre-employment assessment or test results (if applicable).
  • Personal suitability; such as level of competence, experience, and soft skills that contribute to the position requirements, team culture and diversity of thought.
    • Personal suitability factors are specific to an individual work unit and often include consideration for the work environment, the level of professionalism and work location, existing team member competencies, and the level of teamwork and support available.
    • Interpersonal soft skills and behavioural competencies become critical when working within a team environment.
    • Personal suitability factors should reflect important facets of the department/unit and the work environment.
2. Select your candidate

To minimize subjectivity, each candidate should be evaluated against the same selection criteria and factors. It may be helpful to use a spreadsheet or the scoring scale found at the bottom of the interview guides.

Avoid making quick selections. It is important to consider all factors and evaluation results over a day or two before proceeding with reference checks on the final candidate(s).

If there is a close match between candidates, a second round of interviews and/or checking references may be required on all the top candidates before making a final selection. Alternatively, it may be that none of the candidates meet the requirements, making it necessary to re-post the job.

The official note taker should record the outcome of the competition, summarize the evaluation results and list the rationale for the selection decision. In the event the interview panel/committee needs to defend their decision, they will be able to access this information from the competition file.

3. Check references

Preparing the reference check

Work-related reference checks are a tool that can substantiate and validate a final candidate’s information and provide further insight into a candidate's skills, abilities, and knowledge.

  • A minimum of two work-related references that include a current supervisor and/or recent supervisor(s) should be requested to ensure that follow-up questions from the interview and assessment can be probed. If the current supervisor is not included, find out why and follow-up with an additional past supervisor reference.
  • Telephone reference checks are the most informative method if you need to probe for specific follow up information; however, online reference checks are available through Shared Services and provide an efficient way to save time. Either approach is acceptable and both are completed through the same questions through the reference template .
  • Ensure the candidate signs the consent for collection and verification of information form  to prevent legal or FOIP implications.
    • This form indicates that for current and previous University of Alberta employees, reference information may be obtained from their personnel file as well as from their current and previous supervisors at the University of Alberta.
    • When considering a previous or current University of Alberta employee for a position, consult your HR Service Partner prior to making an offer.
    • If online references are being requested through Shared Services, they will request the consent form is completed.

Our standard Pre-Employment Reference Guide  can be used and/or customized to the specific job requirements. Questions range from verifying candidate information to identifying and confirming levels of competencies.

Conducting the reference check

Start the reference check by introducing yourself, explaining the purpose of the call, confidentiality standards and whether this is a good time (or confirm a call back time).

  • Establish a rapport and provide a brief description of the position.
  • Listen carefully to what is said and what is not.
  • Probe for details if flags are raised.
  • Human rights legislation applies the same as in the selection interviews.

For positions where credentials are required, it may be necessary to confirm that candidates have the credentials. This may include confirming educational accomplishments, previous employment, research or licences/certifications. Reference information must be compiled and retained in a secure file for the competition to ensure compliance with privacy and FOIP legislation.

Finalizing the reference check

When reference checks are complete, an update should be provided to the interview panel/selection committee to confirm the top candidate. However, if the reference check(s) were not positive, other alternatives such as requesting additional references from the top candidate checking references of the second or third ranked candidates; or re-posting and starting the recruitment process again will have to be discussed.

Inform all the candidates of the outcome as soon as possible, whether successful or unsuccessful and keep in touch if the decision is delayed.

If an unsuccessful candidate asks for specific feedback, connect with your HR Service Partner for advice about appropriate feedback to provide.

4. Regret candidates and close the competition

Send regrets to unsuccessful candidates

Hiring managers or HR Service Partners should contact interviewed candidates by phone or email to thank them for their time and advise them that they are not the successful candidate. This promotes goodwill between potential employees and the university and is consistent with current best practices in recruitment.

Hiring a Foreign National?

If applications are open to foreign nationals, there are additional steps you must take. Learn more

  • Interview documentation and official interview notes on candidate selection must be saved for one year as per the records retention policy.
  • All recruitment files involving foreign nationals must be retained for a minimum of six years.
  • Records for tenure-track academic foreign worker positions must be retained permanently.

Need support?

Shared Services (via the Staff Service Centre) can provide support related to initial candidate screening.

The Talent Acquisition Support team (via the Staff Service Centre) can provide support related to job postings, immigration and coordinating recall and duty to accommodate processes.

Your HR Service Partner can provide support for interviews at the leadership level and any other questions throughout the steps for recruitment.