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Hiring Process Reinvented

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Imperative 6 Inclusive Excellence

AU cannot be excellent without being truly inclusive, and the university, at all levels, is committed to ensuring inclusive excellence as an integral part of a strong AU. The Plan for Inclusive Excellence identified five areas of focus—training, learning, and development; campus climate, culture, and community; systems, policies, and procedures; access and equity in the way we recruit, hire, train, develop, evaluate, and recognize faculty, staff, and administrators; and curriculum and instruction.

Imperative 9 How AU Works

AU needs to ensure that our day-to-day operations are excellent—both in terms of outcomes and the experiences of our community members. We need to provide tools and support so that that faculty, staff, students, and other community members can excel at everything they do, including teaching, research, learning, athletics, and efforts to support those and other university activities. HR is fully committed to reforming its processes and infrastructure to achieve this goal. 

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How We Are Changing Recruiting & Hiring

HR is evolving and embarking on the Hiring Process Reinvented initiative which will improve our recruiting and onboarding processes to deliver an employee experience that attracts and retains high-performing and diverse faculty and staff at all levels.


HR initiated a Lean Six Sigma process to identify and address hiring pain points such as slow processes, old systems, and lack of diversity in hiring. The improved process featured the elimination of 170 unnecessary steps and a new Applicant Tracking System in AsuccessfulU.


  • Built a talent pipeline in one year to nearly 35,000 Talent Community members, and increased the number of unique applicants from 24,000
  • Increased number and quality of applicant pools by posting on 40 national job boards (previously 7), reaching a more diverse population
  • Reduced time to hire from 71 to 61 days
  • Decreased advertising costs significantly
  • Post all jobs on The Chronicle of Higher Education

Hiring managers who would like to learn more about using the Applicant Tracking System can contact HR Payroll Help x3836 or


As part of AU’s commitment to Inclusive Excellence, HR created an innovative “Inclusive Hiring” training program to help hiring managers become more aware of bias in the hiring process, and increase the number of diverse hires. Participating departments report more diversity hires, and a more engaged and high-performing team.


  • Increase diversity in AUx instructor advisors

2018 AUx Instructor Advisors 41% White, 6% Hispanic, 47% Black, 6% Asian

If you would like to bring this training to your group, please contact HR Payroll Help x3836 or


AU is using SkillSurvey, an online reference checking tool, that can help speed up the reference checking process and provide better results.


  • Provide faster and reliable feedback from job references
  • Increase the likelihood that new hires will succeed in the job by using the SkillSurvey results as another point of information in the hiring process, reducing turnover and keeping units productive

Please ask your HR Recruiter contact for more information.

Coming Summer 2019

Beginning in summer 2019, AU will transition to a new online pre-boarding platform, Equifax, to manage the I-9 Form, tax forms, and other new hire paperwork. This system will be used for all AU new hires including faculty, staff, and students. This new paperless system will allow hiring units to more easily initiate, track, and complete new hire paperwork than previously. 


  • Accelerate hiring tasks with the easy-to-use online platform
  • Eliminate the need for departments to distribute new hire paperwork and keep track of forms
  • Create a better experience for new employees
  • Provide departments with the ability to track new hire progress on paperwork completion
  • Ensure a secure information environment using the Equifax platform 

Questions? Please contact HR Payroll Help x3836 or

Coming Summer 2019

AU is transitioning how we hire and employ adjunct faculty who telework outside of the DMV. When the need occurs to hire an adjunct who will work outside the DMV, we will typically use nextSource, which will serve as the Employer of Record while the employee performs work for AU. We will start with adjunct faculty and then extend it to other employees. 


  • Hire the best talent, regardless of where they deliver their services
  • Avoid significant staffing increases to manage the tax and employment laws for each state or country
  • Reduce the compliance risks to the institution by utilizing nextSource

For more information regarding this change for adjunct faculty to deliver services from outside of the DMV, please contact HR Payroll Help x3836 or

We are currently reviewing our policies and procedures regarding staff who deliver services outside of the DMV. More information will be shared as we determine our next steps.

Frequently Asked Questions

COMING Fall 2019

HR has implemented background screening for full-time staff positions and is working to expand the initiative to include nearly all faculty and part-time staff positions. 

As we update the policy and procedures, we are developing a process that allows finalists to receive a holistic review of their backgrounds. Finalists with a criminal history will not necessarily be excluded. The final decision about whether to proceed will be made by the Dean of Academic Affairs for faculty and HR for staff.


  • Employ a fair and inclusive process for all applicants
  • Provide a safe and secure environment for all our students, staff, and faculty
  • Verify candidate information and qualifications for truthfulness and accuracy, and ensure we hire the very best talent

For more information about background screening, please contact HR Payroll Help x3836 or


Utilizing the learnings from our staff Lean Six Sigma process, we will adopt the AsuccessfulU Applicant Tracking System to hire our adjunct faculty. 


  • Provide a paperless adjunct hiring workflow that will  ensure a secure information environment
  • Expand the background screening process to adjuncts

Questions about this new hiring process can be directed to HR Payroll Help x3836 or


HR is working with JDXpert to provide faster, easier, and more transparent job description services to hiring units. Implementing the platform will allow us to create a job structure.


  • Provide transparent career paths to promote  qualified individuals into their next role
  • Harmonize salaries across the institution reducing possibility for pay inequities
  • Shorten the time to post a vacant role
  • Make job titles and duties more consistent across the institution
  • Clarify how roles fit into the overall university job structure

This long-term project includes a review of all staff job descriptions and is anticipated to run through 2021. 

Questions about JDXpert or the job architecture project? Contact HR Payroll Help x3836 or

Other initiatives in HR

The Office of Human Resources is committed to making it easier for you to find information or get help from us. We have set up an HR Payroll Help line to help resolve your questions fast. Contact 202-885-3836, or email for help.

Want to talk to a specific person or unit? See our new Who to Contact page.

In addition, HR is working with the Office of Information Technology to implement ServiceNow, the enterprise knowledge base and customer management software. Once implemented, this will allow you to find more HR information through the Just Ask HR! page, similar to the OIT and AU Central self-help.

Changemakers for a Changing World

American University values open and honest inquiry, servant leadership, and the affirmation of the human dignity of all. We envision a thriving American University community where individuals of all identities and experiences are understood, appreciated, and fully included, and where equitable treatment, opportunities, and outcomes prevail. At AU, we are creating meaningful change to address society’s current and emerging challenges by advancing knowledge, fostering intellectual curiosity, building community, and empowering lives of purpose, service, and leadership.

Adapted from AU’s Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the 2019-2023 strategic plan Changemakers for a Changing World