Campus Human Resources Services

Hiring & Onboarding New Employees

A new employee's onboarding is one of their first experiences as an employee of USM. It is critical that supervisors devote enough focus, time and energy to ensuring their new employees are properly welcomed to the organization. Additionally, onboarding is an opportunity to teach the new hire about USM and clarify expectations. A proper onboarding experience will help the employee be productive more quickly and increase their engagement and retention.

Hiring Resources

The following information will help you determine your hiring needs and start the process. Please contact your HR Partner if you have questions.

Visa/Immigration Issues

If you are considering hiring a foreign national (typically an employee who will need an H-1B or, on rare occasions, an O-1 visa) please contact usmhr@maine.edu or 780-5989. This does not apply to immigrants or aliens with work authorization but only to foreign nationals who may require visa support.

Please be aware that the process to obtain an appropriate visa may be lengthy and that the hiring department is responsible for all costs involved in obtaining visas. If later the employee seeks permanent resident status to maintain employment with the department, the department would pay for the employer-driven parts of the process (Labor Certification and the Employer-Based Preference Petition) and the employee would pay for the final part of the process which he/she files.  The University does not pay for and is not involved in immigration matters for family members of the new foreign national employee of USM.

Note: This can be a financial burden on a department; therefore, you are not required to hire someone needing sponsorshipWe would state in our job announcement "We are not considering candidates who require Visa sponsorship support.” Additionally, the University typically only considers visa support for employees placed in positions that are continuing regular University appointments.

The H-1B visa allows foreign nationals to temporarily work in the U.S. in specialty occupations.

The H-1B visa category has the following key requirements:

  • Applicant must have theoretical and practical application of a highly specialized body of knowledge.
  • The position must require a minimum of a Bachelor's degree.
  • USM must file the H-1B petition; prospective employees cannot obtain H-1B visas on their own.

If the employee has had a J visa and is subject to the 2-year home residency (212e), they may not be eligible for an H visa. Contact HR for details.

DEEMED EXPORT CONTROL

Per federal rules, all H-1B and O-1 petitions must include attestations regarding deemed exports. 

USM must certify whether the University needs a license from the Federal government in order to allow the prospective H-1B or O-1 employee to access certain controlled technology or technical data. 

The licensing requirement affects only a small percentage of USM's international employees because most types of technology and technical data do not require a "deemed export" license or because one or more exemptions will apply.

For more information on export control, visit http://www.usm.maine.edu/orio.

The decision to designate someone who performs work or provides a service to the University as a consultant or independent contractor (IC) vs. a regular employee is one that should be made in close partnership with Human Resources. When an individual does not meet the conditions for consultant or IC status, the IRS says an employer/employee relationship exists and they must be paid through Payroll, not Procurement. Failure to do so subjects the University to possible penalties.

Since the burden of proof is on the employer, and the rules make it hard to sustain a claim that a person in not an employee (unless it is clear that the person has an independently established business and the worker is not under the University's essential control), you are advised not to claim IC status for workers of questionable independence.

The State of Maine has increased both its review of these matters and the bar that has been set to establish IC status. Please review the below resources for more information on how to determine whether IC status is appropriate, or contact Human Resources at usmhr@maine.edu.


Resources

On-Campus Interviews - Preparations by the Search Committee

The committee must decide on the interview format before candidates are called. You must bring at least two candidates, who meet qualifications, to campus for interview.

  • Who will be involved?
  • What constituency groups need to be represented?
  • How should the interviews be scheduled?
  • Who will do the arranging?
  • Who will escort the candidate through the day and monitor the time?
  • Who will introduce the candidate, ask the questions and moderate the process?
  • What questions should be asked?
  • Who will develop an evaluation sheet to be completed by invited interviewers; who will collect and evaluate them?
  • Is the interview location wheelchair accessible? If not, call Space and Scheduling to arrange a site. Applicants should be asked if they would like to request any other accommodations.

These are just a few of the questions that need to be answered as early as possible to hasten and facilitate the process. Please keep in mind that the interview and associated arrangements allow the candidate to evaluate the job, future coworkers and the institution. The candidate will be evaluating you, USM and the broader community.

Expenses: The recruitment budget pays for Affirmative Action advertisements.  All other expenses are picked up by the department.  In some cases, the Dean/Director's office may provide additional funds if requested.

Travel: Air travel reimbursement will cover coach fare only for commercial travel. If auto travel is feasible and costs less than commercial travel, USM will reimburse the cost of auto travel at the current University rate for mileage.

LodgingNo candidate should be provided lodging in the home of any person on the screening committee.

Meals: Meal costs should be kept within reasonable limits. USM will not cover any liquor expenses. The university will normally reimburse meal costs for only the candidate and two or three committee members.

Preparing the Candidates:  With the above plans in place, the candidates can be notified by phone or email to set up the appointment. Appropriate materials regarding the program and the university should be sent to each candidate well in advance of the interview. Note: Ask the candidates if they would like to request accommodations or have interests that could be arranged for during the visit.  

Conducting the Interview: Criteria and/or areas for discussion must be consistent for all candidates. The questions for candidates need to be job related and, when appropriate, to broader issues related to the university. The same set of core questions must be used for each candidate (even internal candidates) with individualized questions added for the purpose of clarifying information about applicable experience. Questions regarding age, race, veteran status, or sexual orientation are also not to be asked.

Special considerations: Laws and policies of non-discrimination prohibit you from asking questions about a person's disability. Do not make assumptions about the person's ability or inability to perform the job. You may always ask a candidate to describe or demonstrate how he/she would perform any essential functions of the position.

All individuals or groups involved in the on-campus interview should be given interview guidelines for use during the interview. Their responses should be submitted in writing to the Chair of the committee.


Additional Resources

Scenario 1: Resigns regular position; rehired in temporary status
Normally the individual is paid at the starting rate of pay in the temporary position. However, if rehired in temporary status in the same classification, by the same department, within three months, then the rate/step will be equal to what the person was paid in regular status.

Scenario 2: Retires regular position; rehired in temporary status
A University retiree who retired after ten or more years of University service may be placed at higher then the start rate when re-employed as a temporary classified employee. The appropriate step is that attained prior to retirement. An employee in a wage band without steps shall be paid at the pre-retirement rate adjusted for any wage increases applicable to all employees or at a comparable rate if hired for a job in a different wage band.

Scenario 3: Retires full-time regular position; rehired as part-time regular into the same or closely-related job
This is generally permitted, though it usually is not permitted at times when employees are offered special retirement incentives. Also, added scrutiny of such a request is likely if the part-time position exceeds 50% time.

Please remember to follow your college/division/department processes for pre-approval.

Contact your HR Partner if you have questions.

USM temporary employees may be hired for up to six months. Generally, a temporary employee is someone who will work on a short term project. If your need is for a temporary employee who is required on an irregular basis throughout the year (for example, survey interviewers, scoreboard keeper, etc.) please see your HR Partner to discuss possible 'part-time as needed' employees. 

If you plan to hire a temporary employee for more than one month's duration, you must obtain approval from the Position Review Committee. Please see your Human Resources Partner for details.


I. If a temporary assignment will last less than three days, and:

  • You have identified the possible employee:
    • You have not identified the possible employee:
      • You can contact Manpower, the UMS approved temporary agency, at 207-774-8258 to conduct a search for you. Please note that using Manpower comes with an added cost of using their services. Contact your HR Partner for details.

      If a temporary assignment will last more than three days and less than 6 months, and:

      • You have identified the possible employee:
        • You can have the possible employee register with Manpower 207-774-8258.
        • You can conduct a competitive search through HireTouch, have them apply, and make them a USM temporary employee if they are the most qualified applicant. See below for HireTouch process steps.
      • You have not identified the possible employee:
        • You can hire Manpower to conduct a search for you: call 207-774-8258.
        • You can conduct a competitive search through HireTouch and hire a USM temporary employee. See below for HireTouch process steps.

        Summary of steps for temporary employee search through HireTouch:        

        1. Complete a brief description of job duties send to Michelle Nadeau in Talent Acquisition.
        2. HR Liaison or Department trained designee creates the job requisition in HireTouch.
        3. Talent Acquisition places the job ad.
        4. Search chair is assigned, but no committee is required for temporary hires.
        5. Search chair to screen applications and update applicant status.
        6. Search chair to perform phone interview.
        7. Search chair to perform Campus interview.
        8. HR/Salary approval is sent through HireTouch.
        9. Verbal offer is extended to the candidate.
        10. Background check done on candidate.
        11. Offer letter sent to candidate through HireTouch.
        12. Offer acceptance electronically in HireTouch.
        13. Candidate is able to start work – new hire paperwork needs to be complete in the department on or before the employee's first day of work and sent to payroll.

        Guidelines for how temporary employees will be paid:

        Consult with your HR Partner to determine how to pay a temporary employee.

        All employees paid through UMS payroll are expected to enter their time in MaineStreet on the day worked, and a supervisor or department time approver should be assigned to approve the time entered weekly. Please see Time Entry Resources for more support or contact UMS Payroll with any time entry related questions.

        Other payment options:

        • Honorarium
        • Independent Contractor
          • Please note – The burden of proof to demonstrate someone is an Independent Contractor is on the employer. The regulations on this status make it hard to sustain a claim that a person in not an employee (unless it is clear that the person has an independently established business, and the worker is not under the University's essential control), you are advised not to claim independent contractor status for workers of questionable independence. Contact your HRP with questions!

        Note: Unless hired through Manpower, temporary staff members must complete the mandatory compliance training on UMS Academy.

        As a public agency, USM has more latitude in the use of volunteers than do private businesses. However, there are a number of criteria to be aware of in deciding whether accepting volunteer help is appropriate in a given situation.

        Scenario 1: A private individual (i.e. not a USM employee) may volunteer and we may accept his/her services as long as the following three conditions are met:

        1. Services are performed for civic, charitable, or humanitarian reasons
        2. There is no promise, expectation or receipt of compensation. (Note: Volunteers may be reimbursed for certain limited expenses and/or paid nominal fees. This could include such things as out-of-pocket expenses incurred during volunteering, such as meals and transportation. Please check with Human Resources if anything of this nature is contemplated since there are a number of factors to consider in determining whether an amount is nominal).
        3. There must be no real or perceived coercion to volunteer. There must not be any manipulation or abuse of minimum wage or overtime requirements by coercion. The services must be offered freely and without pressure, direct or implied.

        Scenario 2: A USM employee may volunteer to work at USM if he/she meets the above conditions as well as the following:

        1. The volunteer position must be substantially different from his/her paid work. Individuals may not volunteer to do what they are otherwise paid for. The volunteer service may not be closely related to the actual duties performed by or responsibilities assigned to the employee. (Note: Please check with Human Resources for clarification in any specific instance if there is any doubt as to whether the work is substantially different).
        2. Student workers, both work-study and department-funded, are also covered by this provision. The concept of once paid, always paid applies if the work is similar to that performed as a paid student worker. Students as well as UMS employees may not volunteer to do what they are otherwise paid for.

        Please also note the following:

        • If you are contacted by a third-party agency asking to place a disabled volunteer with you (as opposed to being contacted directly by a volunteer with a disability) please contact Human Resources before proceeding further.
        • Provide the same screening of prospective volunteers that you would do for an employee performing similar work. If the nature of the work calls for things such as a background check or a post-offer physical exam when hiring a regular employee, do the same for volunteers.
        • Volunteers working at USM are covered under our general liability policy. Proper applicant screening and safety training will help reduce the likelihood of claims. Special diligence should be exercised where volunteers could cause damage to property, transmit communicable diseases, or cause litigation against the University.
        • Departments are responsible for obtaining and paying for parking stickers for volunteers. To obtain, send Police & Safety a photocopy of the car registration, a completed form (Parking Decal Registration), and a signed IDT form.
        • Departments should complete the Volunteer Statement form on all volunteers and retain on file as evidence of compliance with the legal distinction between employee and volunteer.

        Onboarding

        • New Hire Paperwork - To be completed on or before the employee's first day of work.
        • Onboarding Guide - Account activation and Activity Guide instructions (temporary employees may disregard the Activity Guide)
        • New Hire Checklist - It is recommended that new hires follow the Activity Guide but this checklist may be used instead
        • Compliance Training - All new hires, including temps (unless hired through Manpower), must complete the mandatory compliance training within 30 days of their hire date.

        Policies & Guidelines