Recruitment and Hiring During COVID-19

Hiring Freeze Information

In response to the continuously changing circumstances involving COVID-19, the University has suspended all hiring, with the exception of 9-month faculty, Graduate Assistants, Postdoctoral Scholars and critical need-based positions. The hiring freeze went into effect March 18, 2020 and will remain in effect until further notice. We are continuously evaluating the situation and will provide communication when regular hiring practices can resume. Official University Hiring Freeze Memo

Exceptions to the Hiring Freeze include 9-month faculty, Graduate Assistants, Postdoctoral Scholars and approved critical need-based positions.

Graduate Assistants and Postdoctoral hires are exempt from the hiring freeze. However, new hires for Fall 2020 will require language to be added to the appointment letters stating that the offer and start date are contingent upon the University resuming normal operations by the expected start date in the Fall. 
•    This language will not be required for Graduate Assistants or Postdoctoral Scholars who have accepted offers prior to March 18, 2020. 
•    Any pending and future offers must include this language in the offer/appointment letters.

When a current GA will be moving to another OPS job code for the summer semester due to the student’s class enrollment, the department can submit a job offer without an exception form if there is no changes to the job duties or department. 

One-Time Pays
One-Time Pays During the Hiring Freeze will require a Hiring Freeze Exception Form to be approved if the appointment falls into either of the below categories: 

•    New work/services performed 3/18 or later 
•    Requests for a new one-time pay record (for work unrelated to an existing appt) 

If the one-time pay is related to an existing job, this will be considered a continuation and not new work, therefore an exception will not be needed. 

Requests for Hiring Exceptions 
In the event there is a unique circumstance in which an exception is warranted to fill a critical position, the appropriate approval process must be followed.  Reasons for exception may include positions critical to:
•    Campus and personal health and safety
•    Compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations
•    Delivery of essential University services
•    Courses necessary for timely graduation
•    Advancement of the academic mission

To request an exception, the department must complete the Hiring Exception Form  and submit through DocuSign to Renisha Gibbs, Associate Vice President for Human Resources, for review and consideration. Then, add Amy Espinosa ( as the last recipient with action "receives a copy". Ensure the Approved/Denied checkboxes on the form are enabled in DocuSign.  Sample is displayed below.

The form will document why the position is viewed as critical and why the department feels the need to proceed with the advertisement/hire. The request will be reviewed, and if approved, the search would follow the University’s normal recruitment processEnsure the Approve/Denied checkboxes on the form are enabled in DocuSign.

Communicating to Applicants about the Hiring Freeze 
“Given the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 Coronavirus situation, the search for (Insert Job ID, Title) is temporarily on hold due to a hiring freeze. The University is working diligently to maintain daily operations while still ensuring the safety of the campus community in light of the ever-evolving situation. Please continue to check the FSU Jobs website ( for updates and any available positions. We appreciate your patience with this dynamic situation.”

Additional Questions about the Hiring Freeze
University’s Hiring Freeze FAQs 
Contact your department’s assigned recruiter 
or Amy Espinosa at (850)644-4286  

Guidelines for Recruitment and Hiring during COVID-19

As your department conducts the search process for positions that are exempt from the hiring freeze or have an approved hiring exception, keep in mind some changes that have been implemented during this time. 
Interviewing Candidates through Video Conference
We understand that an interview is one of the most important tools in the selection process when recruiting to fill vacancies. Due to the impacts of COVID-19, FSU has discontinued in-person interviews and is leveraging technology in the recruitment and hiring process.  Hiring managers are required to replace in-person interviews with phone or video conference interviews. 

FSU Faculty and Staff have access to Zoom, a web conferencing platform which is ideal for hosting group calls, remote meetings and web conferences. This technology is accessible with your FSU Log in. Now is a great time to download the application to your device or smartphone and begin utilizing it.  

Need help getting started? Check out the Zoom Quick Start Guide.

Recording Interviews
It is not the University’s practice to create audio and video recordings during the interview process. Although we would normally discourage recording interviews, we temporarily support committees recording interviews via Zoom in case all committee members are not able to participate. 
In the case where an interview is recorded, the following guidelines must be followed: 
•    The hiring team must notify the interviewee ahead of time that the interview/forum will be recorded and get their consent. In the state of Florida, consent is a legal requirement. 
•    If the recording is being distributed, the video must be accessible through a secure link and users must log in to access it. 
•    A recorded interview is subject to the same record keeping requirements as all other documentation related to the search. The recording is required to be kept in a secure place that is accessible by your department’s records custodian and must be maintained for a minimum of four years following the date of hire. 

For questions about recording interviews, contact your department’s assigned recruiter.

What Has Not Changed
ERS staff are working remotely and available to assist you with your recruiting and hiring needs. We are here to help and support your search and hiring process. Assigned Recruiters.

Work with your assigned recruiter to ensure the Hiring Team panels are updated in OMNI-HR for your job openings to provide the interview committees the proper electronic access to the applicant pools.

Reference Faculty or Staff Search Training for banks of sample interview questions. Even during this crisis, interview questions should be consistent with current practices.

All committee members must turn in their interview notes to the chair or department representative as per normal protocols. The department must keep the records on file for at least four years following the date of hire.

Hiring Candidates Remotely
•    Candidate Onboarding Portal: Steps in Smart Onboarding will continue to be  completed electronically.

•    Fingerprinting: If the position requires fingerprinting, the Background Check Team will send instructions to the candidate and department representative to complete fingerprinting at a local Fieldprint location.  If assistance is needed, please contact us at
•    I-9 Changes: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will defer the physical presence requirements for completing Section 2 of the Form I-9. Employers with employees taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19 will not be required to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence.

However, employers must inspect the Section 2 documents remotely (e.g., over video link, fax or email, etc.) and obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents, within three business days for purposes of completing Section 2.  Please complete a Remote I-9 Request Form to initiate this process and indicate that the employee will be starting remotely.  The Remote I-9 Request Form must be completed for any I-9 Forms that need to be handled through virtual verification.  Once the Remote I-9 Form is received, EDM will reach out to set up an appointment with your employee for a virtual verification. FSU Dropbox should be used to securely send confidential documents.

Once normal operations resume, employees will be required to complete a physical inspection within 3 days.  

If you have questions about this process, please contact Christie Riley, our I-9 Administrator. 

•    Notary service for Loyalty Oath: Due to recent changes, employees are not able to meet in person to complete and notarize the required loyalty oath. In addition, businesses that have offered notary services in the past, may be closed to the public at this time. 

Departments and candidates are able to use an online notary if possible. If that is not available, we will accept a signed version of the loyalty oath in onboarding. Once campus has returned to normal operations, a notarized loyalty oath will need to be submitted to Human Resources. 

Information on how department notaries can register as an online notary public and a listing of current online notaries can be found here.  

•    Continue to follow ITS online safety protocols: Delete downloads of confidential materials from your device after the hiring action has been submitted. For additional protocols and guidance, please visit

Resources & Training

•    Online Faculty & Staff Search Committee Training is available 24/7
Everyone involved in faculty and staff hiring is encouraged to enroll.  If you are a hiring committee chair, training is mandatory. 
To Access Search Training, go to

•    Hiring Checklists

•    HR OMNI Training Guides 

Wed, 07/29/2020 - 12:35 AM