Recruitment and induction policy


This policy supports the University’s capability to attract and retain skilled, motivated and client focused staff who will embrace the future with energy and creativity and be focused on the needs of our students and partners.


This policy outlines the University’s approach to recruitment, selection, induction and probation.

It aims to ensure:

  • a fair approach to the recruitment, assessment and selection process, ensuring consistency with equal opportunity principles
  • the recruitment process is effective and efficient: transparent, professional and timely
  • recruitment practices are aligned with RMIT’s teaching, learning, research and service priorities
  • selection processes are based on merit, comply with legislation and promote a diverse workforce
  • all new staff members are inducted appropriately to the University
  • probation is managed in a timely and appropriate manner so new staff members can easily adjust to their new role and environment
  • all staff members undertake a probationary period that is suited to their particular job and employment context


This policy applies to the recruitment and selection of all fixed term and continuing staff members.


This policy does not apply to the recruitment and selection of the Vice-Chancellor.

The probation provisions within this policy do not apply to:

  • certain categories of senior staff
  • casual staff members
  • an existing continuing RMIT staff member who is appointed to another position within the University and who has previously served a probationary period
  • a fixed-term RMIT staff member on a second or subsequent fixed term contract where the duties of the second or subsequent fixed term contract are substantially the same as a previous contract
  • staff members who have had their probation period waived due to exceptional circumstances

Policy provisions

General principles for recruitment and selection

Recruitment and selection will:

  • Be merit based This will be determined by assessing applicants’ skills, knowledge and behaviours against the relevant position description criteria
  • promote RMIT as an employer of choice to internal and external candidates
  • support a diverse workforce
  • be consistent with equal employment opportunity principles, ensuring candidates are treated ethically, fairly and respectfully
  • be transparent, while balancing the need for confidentiality
  • be timely and efficient
  • Be integrated with workforce planning. This ensures RMIT has the right capabilities in the right place at the right time and at the right cost.


  • Recruitment practices will encourage a quality pool of competitive internal and external applicants from diverse backgrounds.
  • Positions will be open to internal and/or external candidates.
  • Recruitment will primarily be conducted through advertising in order to ensure that the best person is selected through an open and competitive process; however, the delegated authority may approve a direct appointment without advertising.
  • There will be regular analysis of recruitment policy, processes and systems with regards to equal opportunity commitments including diversity of participation at sourcing, application, shortlisting and hiring stage to eliminate any bias. Such analysis will identify areas for improvement.


Selection panels

  • All selection recommendations will be made by a selection panel. The hiring manager makes the final decision on the bases of the panel recommendation.
  • Panels will use various methods to make their decisions, including:
    • review of curriculum vitae
    • behavioral interviews
    • assessments (for example, presentations, performance-based tasks, psychometric assessments)
  • All methodologies used in the selection process will then be further validated by reference checking.
  • If the position requires the staff member to have a mandatory check (for example, a Working with Children check or police check) this will be conducted at the final stage of the selection process. The offer will be subject to successful completion of these checks.
  • All level roles (that have less than 40% female representation) are required to have a minimum of 50% female representation on shortlists. This includes all roles sourced internally and externally by 2020.

Composition of selection panels

  • The selection panel is established by the hiring manager in agreement with the delegated authority who approves the recruitment request.
  • At a minimum, the selection panel must consist of at least three people:
    • the hiring manager or nominee (Panel Chair)
    • a person with relevant expertise, external to the area or the University (for an academic positions this person should be of equivalent standing)
    • a peer representative
  • Selection panels will strive for gender balance and diversity in composition
  • For senior executive positions an external RMIT Council Member must also be on the panel.
  • For professorial appointments, the panel must also include:
    • Vice-Chancellor’s nominee (may be the relevant Pro Vice-Chancellor)
    • Full professor of another work area, nominated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic).
  • In the case of identified Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander positions the selection panel should include:
    • a senior Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander RMIT staff member or
    • a respected Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community member
  • Where applicants identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander through their application, the Chair of the selection panel may choose to include an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander staff member or community member on the panel.
  • The panel should have appropriately mixed gender representation. If this is not possible, the hiring manager’s manager can endorse the panel composition, including the reasons for the lack of gender representation.
  • At least one formal interview is required. The interview process can be split over two or more interviews, as long as all selection panel members take part in at least one interview.

Selection panel responsibilities

  • The Panel Chair and/or the Hiring Manager will determine the recruitment and selection methodology, including the screening (short listing) processes.
  • The Panel Chair is responsible for the final selection decision and must ensure this decision has been made in line with the principles outlined in this policy.
  • The Panel Chair will ensure panel members are aware of and able to fulfill their responsibilities.
  • The Panel Chair is responsible for the smooth functioning of the selection panel and should ensure the principles of merit and equal opportunity are observed.
  • Internal staff members who sit on the selection panel should have completed the mandatory Equal Opportunity online training.
  • Staff responsible for recruiting will be trained in equal employment principles and anti-discrimination recruitment and selection practices.

Opportunities for promotion via internal recruitment and secondments

  • Opportunities for promotion via internal recruitment and secondment will be available to staff that are on parental and carer leave (paid and unpaid), long service leave, other long-term leave arrangements or career breaks.

Managing conflict of interest at appointment

Selection panel members must declare any potential and/or actual conflict of interest as required by the Conflict of interest policy.

For example, a hiring manager cannot appoint a candidate with whom they have a close personal relationship; the hiring manager’s manager must authorise such appointments.


Staff eligible for redeployment will be assessed and offered any suitable positions which may arise for fixed term or continuing positions. For further details refer to the Redeployment procedure.

Recruitment relocation for continuing staff and staff appointed on a fixed term contract of at least two years

These staff may be eligible for a relocation allowance if they are required to relocate more than 80 kilometres from their home in order to take up an appointment.

Relocation assistance is not an entitlement. It is used in certain circumstances in consultation with Human Resources.

The relocation expenses are funded by the hiring manager’s area and negotiated with the candidate on an individual basis, prior to a formal offer being made.

If a staff member leaves the University, or is dismissed for misconduct or serious misconduct, a reimbursement amount will be required as outlined in their employment contract.

Staff attached to external funding agreements

If a staff member is specifically nominated in an external funding agreement, no recruitment or selection process is required. The nominated candidate will be directly appointed to the position by invitation of the relevant Pro Vice-Chancellor. Appointment will be for the period of the relevant funding agreement on the terms of the University.


The hiring manager is responsible for providing new staff members with an induction to RMIT, their position and the work environment.

New staff members must complete the mandatory online induction modules within their first month.

For further details refer to the Induction and probation procedure.


The probation period gives the University an opportunity to review the staff member's suitability and effectiveness in their appointed position.

Successful probation requires both the staff member and the manager to be satisfied with the arrangements. It also provides the opportunity for the manager to address any deficiencies in performance and for the staff member to take corrective action.

Probation periods

Appointment type

Minimum probation

Maximum probation

Academic staff:
continuing or fixed term appointment of 2 years or more

12 months

3 years
This includes any extensions of probationary period, as specified in the staff member’s contract of employment.

Academic staff:
appointments less than 2 years

6 months

12 months
Probation period is set after considering the nature of the position and the entire circumstances of the employment.

TAFE teaching staff:
continuing or fixed term appointment of 2 years or more

6 months

12 months
This includes any extensions, as specified in the staff member’s contract of employment.

TAFE teaching staff:
less than 2 years

6 months


Professional staff:

6 months


Children’s Services staff

6 months


Probation periods for fixed term appointments will be no longer than 50 per cent of the duration of the fixed term contract.

Waiving or extending probation period

If a staff member takes leave to cover an unexpected absence of at least two weeks during their probation period, their probation period may be extended by the period of the absence.

Waiving of the probation period can only occur in exceptional circumstances and on the approval of the delegated authority.

Probation review meeting

Probation review meetings will be conducted regularly during the probation period to discuss the new staff member’s performance and work plan and to ensure the new staff member has the support they need to succeed.

The hiring manager should follow the probation process as outlined in the induction and probation procedure.

Confirmation of probation

Before the end of the probation period, and as specified in the staff member's contract, a decision must be made as to whether the staff member should continue to be employed with the University.

In the event that the staff member cannot meet the performance standard, employment may be terminated.

Further details can be accessed in the Induction and probation procedure.

[Next: Supporting resources]