Carnegie Mellon University

Staff Hiring Freeze Approval Workflow

Adjusted Approval Guidelines for Staff Hires

Effective March 26, 2020 until further notice


Beginning March 26, 2020, Carnegie Mellon University implemented a hiring freeze which includes an adjusted approval process for all staff hiring. We are asking hiring managers to not submit any new or replacement positions, and to evaluate any current open positions.

Only positions deemed critical to the university’s mission, positions that safeguard the health and well-being of the CMU community and its people, and/or positions related to compliance risks will be considered for approval during this time. Additional approvals are required for these positions along with the standard approval flow, for both hiring requests and fixed-term extensions and offers.

These guidelines establish the scope of the adjusted approval process, as well as temporary hiring rules and procedures.


These guidelines apply to hiring of all new and vacant Carnegie Mellon University staff positions including all part-time, full-time, and fixed-term staff positions. These guidelines do NOT apply to faculty positions or adjunct/instructional staff.

Providing Justification for Staff Positions

The hiring manager must exhaust all other internal employee resources within their department, division and/or university-wide, before completing the justification form and submitting a request to hire. Supervisors/hiring managers should consult their supervisor, division head, dean and/or vice president prior to initiating a hire to receive overall departmental support before the official process is initiated.

All business processes affected by this hiring freeze will require an objective, detailed and concise justification. The justification form is required for all staff hiring requests.

The justification must thoroughly explain the following: 

  1. Funding source and duration of funding source
  2. How will this position support CMU’s safety, compliance, core values or mission?
  3. Why should this position not be postponed?
  4. Provide detailed examples of the inability to secure internal employee resources within the department, division/college or university to assist with work during this time and/or specify why internal employee resources do not have the unique skill set to perform the duties and functions of the position


To ensure that adequate justification exists, the following hiring processes have been adjusted and will entail additional authorization and scrutiny.

New or replacement staff positions (including fixed-term positions):

  1. The supervisor with the vacancy will explore all options to utilize internal employee resources before submitting the justification and request, such as the Alternative Work Marketplace.
  2. If no alternative options are available, the hiring manager completes the staff position hiring justification form and sends the form to the appropriate department initiator (DI) or HR generalist. The DI or HR generalist submits the Position Hiring Request form in Workday and attaches the justification form. Note: if the justification form is not attached to the request, OHR will send the request back to the sender.
  3. OHR will create the position and route for approval. The standard approval path includes the manager, finance approver, manager’s manager plus the additional approvals of the dean and provost or vice president and chief of staff. All approvers will review the request and justification form before making a decision. Each approver in the approval path will be able to approve or deny the hiring request.
  4. If a position is approved, the HR recruiter will reach out to hiring manager to begin the recruitment process.


No offers (verbal or in writing) will be extended until the offer is approved by the provost or chief of staff (president’s designee). 

  1. The HR recruiter will create offer letter.
  2. The HR recruiter will route the offer letter through the standard approval path of manager, finance approver, manager’s manager plus the additional approvals of the dean and provost or vice president and chief of staff. Each approver in the approval path will be able to approve or reject the offer.
  3. If the offer is approved, the HR recruiter will work closely with the hiring manager to extend the offer and finalize next steps.
  4. If the offer is not approved, the HR recruiter will notify the hiring manager.


Please contact your HR recruiter with questions related to the hiring process, offers or the adjusted approval workflow.