2.1 Hiring and Placement

This policy was last updated December 20, 2023. See the update history page for more information.

Responsibility for the recruitment of candidates for non-academic positions is shared between the hiring supervisor and Talent Acquisition in Human Resources. Supervisors are asked to provide a detailed description of job duties and experience requirements for each available position to begin a search to identify qualified candidates from within the Institute and from external recruitment sources.

2.1.1 Definition of Payroll Categories

The payrolls for which the Human Resources Department has primary responsibility with regard to employment, recruitment, and salary administration are the following non-academic Institute payroll categories:

Administrative Staff: individuals with professional or administrative responsibilities appointed within the departments and offices of the central Institute administration.

Sponsored Research Staff: individuals with professional research or administrative responsibilities appointed on research projects or programs within research centers, laboratories, or academic departments.

Support Staff: These appointments encompass positions involving duties of a primarily clerical/secretarial and administrative support nature, as well as some which support the Institute's data processing operations, the library and accounting functions, and some specialized research positions.

Terms, conditions and benefits may differ in some respects from those provided to other staff groups. Support staff positions are covered by the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act and are subject to the Act's overtime provisions.

Service Staff: These classifications represent research support, maintenance support, the trades, and other services such as housing, security, and laboratory protection. The Service Staff are union hourly-paid classifications. Terms, conditions and benefits may differ in some respects from those provided to other staff groups. Service staff positions are covered by the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act and are subject to the Act's overtime provisions. For more information, see Section 8, Labor Relations.

Appointments in the payroll categories described above may or may not have a defined term limit and end date. Appointments in these categories may be terminated as described in Section 6.0, Termination of Employment; note that special rules may apply for Service Staff, and administrators or managers should consult with the Labor Relations group.

For more detailed discussions of academic and research staff categories, see Policies & Procedures.

2.1.2 Types of Non-Academic Appointments

Non-academic appointments fall into the following categories:

"Regular" MIT Employees: Employees have "regular" status when their appointments have no set end date and are expected to exceed one year. Employees can be employed on a full- or part-time basis.

MIT Term Employees: Term employees appointments have specific end dates; typically, the end date is due to funding limitations, specific project expectations and deadlines, or anticipated business needs. Appointments are generally for less than two years though they may be extended. Term employees may be employed on a full- or part-time basis.

Regular MIT employees and MIT term employees are generally eligible for benefits if they work 50% or more of the normal full-time work schedule for an appointment of at least three months, and have an eligible appointment. The MIT Benefits website has more information on eligibility. If an employee's initial appointment is less than three months but is later extended to three months or longer (and at 50% or more of the normal full-time work week and in an eligible job category), benefits eligibility begins as of the date the term is extended and is not retroactive. 

Active MIT Retirees: Active MIT Retirees are employees who:

  1. previously terminated from MIT after attaining age 55 with 10 years of service and subsequently return to work as MIT employees, regardless of whether they started receiving MIT retirement benefits; or
  2. continue working at MIT after age 65, are working 50% or less of a normal work schedule, and are receiving MIT retirement benefits.

Departments should contact their Human Resources Officer prior to making any arrangements to rehire an MIT employee receiving MIT retirement benefits, since there are rules and guidelines for paying retirees who are retirement plan participants. Retirees who are eligible for paid work from MIT can be paid as either regular or term employees. Questions regarding benefits and benefit eligibility should be referred to MIT Benefits.

The Human Resources website provides more information on temporary workers, and on job codes for students (including MIT students and students of other institutions).

2.1.3 Request for Personnel

As soon as it is known that a job will be available, a Request for Personnel Form is sent to Talent Acquisition and to the Human Resources Officer assigned to the department, with all necessary approvals and payroll accounting information. This form authorizes that a person may be hired, as well as provides information about the job, enabling Human Resources to recruit and refer qualified applicants. Special emphasis should be given to the position description. Some points that should be covered are the following:

  1. the specific as well as general responsibilities involved in the job;
  2. the particular field of research or administration;
  3. the people with whom the employee can expect to interact (students, visitors, faculty, etc.);
  4. the number and types of positions occupied by persons with whom the employee will work (six faculty, a research team of physicists, one-person office, etc.).

The "Special Qualifications" section of the Request for Personnel Form should include the applicable experience and/or educational requirements of the position, and any particular skills needed to perform the duties required.

2.1.4 Posting of Available Positions

Brief job descriptions of most non-academic positions on campus are posted online; jobs at Lincoln are posted on its website and may also be posted on the campus website. These postings inform members of the MIT community of the availability of specific positions and facilitate the identification of lateral and promotional transfer opportunities by current employees. Additionally, the postings initiate the external recruitment of qualified individuals with special emphasis on the identification of protected veterans, candidates with disabilities, and underrepresented minority and women candidates.

Departments may request the advertisement of positions in professional journals or websites and should consult with Talent Acquisition regarding the most effective advertising sources. The charges incurred are in most cases the responsibility of the department.

2.1.5 Posting Requirements under Union Contracts

Positions covered under collective bargaining agreements are generally subject to posting and bidding requirements as outlined within each union contract. These procedures are followed routinely for each vacancy.

Where specified in the union agreements, union members have the right to apply for vacancies within their own bargaining unit before applicants from outside the bargaining unit may be considered.

A vacancy filled through the union posting procedure is considered to have fulfilled the Institute's general posting requirements.

2.1.6 Waiver of Posting Requirement

Under unusual circumstances, a supervisor may request a waiver of the Institute posting requirement for a particular position. The policy for requesting waivers for salaried jobs is found at Policies & Procedures . The posting requirement for positions covered by a union contractual agreement may not be waived.

2.1.7 Employment of Members of the Administrative or Sponsored Research Staffs by Two Departments

A staff member should not perform services for another department (other than those that are a normal part of the employee's duties at the Institute) without permission from the Department Head of the home department. Non-faculty staff members employed on a full-time basis may not receive additional compensation from the Institute for extra work commitments.

Limited exceptions may be considered, on a case-by-case basis, with the approval of the area Dean or Vice President provided that:

  1. an individual possesses special skills not related to their primary work and duties;
  2. it is in MIT's interest to use these skills;
  3. prior permission is obtained; and
  4. a supplement to the individual's salary is agreed upon to cover the special activity, and is added to the individual's annual pay (e.g. $500 per year to work as an assistant coach).

Such cases should be presented via the Director in the Human Resources Office responsible for employee relations or employment policy.

Supervisors should determine whether an individual is already employed by MIT on any payroll or in consulting status before making an employment agreement, regardless of the duration of the appointment.

Supervisors who wish to employ a part-time staff member outside the employee's home department should discuss the particular situation with their Human Resources Officer. (See Policies & Procedures for details regarding joint appointments for academic staff.)

2.1.8 Employment of Members of the Support or Service Staffs by Two Departments

Support or Service Staff members may not normally be employed by two departments on a permanent basis. Arrangements may be made on a case-by-case basis for a part-time employee to do work comparable to the employee's permanent position at MIT. Additional appointments must be at the same grade level and salary rate as the employee's primary appointment. This work should have the approval of supervisors and Directors of Administration and Finance in both departments as well as the appropriate Human Resources Officers. Such arrangements will be made only when the operational needs of the Institute require it and only when the arrangements can be made without undue administrative and payroll costs.

Supervisors should consider issues such as the accrual of additional sick leave and vacation hours by the home department and the incurring of premium pay liability in the evaluation of such a proposal. These situations are effected by a personnel action changing the individual's base work week and may involve an account charge transfer. (See Section 5.2, Implementing Changes in Employment Status).

Part-time hourly employees who wish to work more hours at MIT on a regular schedule should discuss their interest with their Human Resources Officer. If work demands in their department do not permit such a change, a transfer to another position requiring more hours may be necessary.