2.01a Hiring Process - Regulation

Document Type: Regulation
Number: 2.01a
Effective: 01-22-10
Revised: 01-03-22
Legal References:



The city of Boise makes every effort to ensure equal employment opportunity (EEO) for all individuals and abides by nondiscrimination provisions of applicable laws.

This regulation outlines the hiring process for regular city employment, and it applies to all city departments.


The city’s competitive hiring process is used to fill regular full and part-time positions, and long-term temporary positions estimated to last more than 90 days. Please refer to the following regulations if filling a position meeting the regulation description:

A. Promotions, Transfers, Temporary Reassignments, & Demotions
B. Temporary Employment
C. Rehiring a Former Employee

At the department’s discretion, the competitive hiring process may be used to fill a short-term temporary position estimated to last 90 days or less.

The Mayor and City Council may select staff to serve in their respective offices by whatever employment process deemed reasonable providing it is consistent with Boise City Code and all applicable laws.


Prior to filling a vacancy, the hiring supervisor shall:

A. Confirm budget, PCN, and FTE availability
B. Review job description for accuracy or if the position is new, begin process for creating a job description
C. Submit an online new hire requisition


Vacancies, except when otherwise noted in the city of Boise’s regulations, shall, at the department’s discretion, be open for internal applicants only or for internal and external applicants. Vacancies are posted electronically on the internal website, or on the internal and external website, whichever applies. All vacancies, whether posted internally or internally and externally, are posted a minimum of five (5) consecutive
and complete workdays. ‘Workdays’ is defined as days that the City Hall offices are open to the public. Departments may choose to post a position for a longer period; however, all vacancies shall have a closing date not to exceed 30 calendar days from opening. If the department is unable to fill the position within the maximum 30-day timeframe, the opening may be extended in increments up to 30 days.

At a department’s discretion, a vacancy in the same position in the same department occurring within 180 calendar days of the last day of the most recent posting is not required to be reposted providing there are sufficient qualified applications on file from the recent posting. To fill the position using applicants from a recent posting, the supervisor must review the applications on file and proceed through the remaining steps of the hiring process.


Absent approval from the Employee Services Manager or designee, the city only accepts electronic applications submitted through its automated recruitment system. Supervisors can review applications as they are received during the posted recruiting period and begin arranging and conducting interviews. While reviewing applications supervisors shall consider all applications objectively and identify candidates with
Veteran’s Preference. Incomplete applications may be rejected, or the supervisor may notify the applicant to complete all pertinent information.

Supervisors shall not proceed to the next step in the hiring process or recommend an applicant for hire before the posting closes and the review process is complete.


The interview process involves three steps: selecting applicants to interview; selecting a panel to conduct the interviews; and preparing interview questions.

A. Applicant Selection

After reviewing eligible applications, the supervisor decides which applicants to interview. The supervisor should select applicants who appear on their application to be the best qualified based on job knowledge, job skills, and experience as related to the vacancy.

B. Panel

It is recommended, but not required, that a panel of two or more persons be used for the interview process and that the same panel be used for all interviews for the vacancy.

C. Interview Questions

The supervisor shall prepare interview questions for the interview. Questions not previously reviewed by Human Resources shall be submitted in advance for approval. Questions relevant to the position should be asked and the same questions used for each applicant. Follow-up questions may be necessary as the interview progresses.

Interviewers should write down specific facts learned about each applicants’ qualifications during the interview and may document this information on either an Applicant Evaluation Form (see Exhibit) or on the actual interview question sheet. If supervisors choose to conduct follow up interview(s), the same process shall be used.


Special considerations may arise before or during the interview process. Some of those considerations include:

A. Applicants with Disabilities

The city provides reasonable accommodations for applicants with disabilities. Accommodations might include a sign language interpreter, written rather than oral responses, large print or Braille material, or an accessible interview location. Interviews should be held in an office or conference room that is private and easily accessible to applicants with disabilities.

B. Prohibited Questions

Human Resources pre-approves questions to be asked during interview sessions. Interviewers shall not ask questions about an applicant’s age, birthplace, height, weight, marital status, child care arrangements, religion, sexual orientation, or financial status. Interviewers shall not ask questions about an applicant’s health,
medical conditions, job injuries, or workers’ compensation claims.

C. Pre-Interview Tests

A department may choose to administer a job-related test prior to the interview process to assist in screening applicants. The same test must be administered to all applicants who continue in the selection process. The test must be relevant to the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the position. Tests must be reviewed and approved in advance by Human Resources.

D. Post-Interview Tests

A department may choose to administer a job-related test to each applicant after the interview process. The same test must be given to all applicants who continue in the selection process. The test must be relevant to the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the position. Tests must be reviewed and approved in advance by Human Resources.

E. Veteran’s Preference

Idaho law requires that qualified applicants who are war and disabled veterans be given preferential treatment when being considered for initial employment. For more information, please refer to the city’s Veteran’s Preference Regulation.


After interviewing the selected applicants, the interviewer or interview panel will decide which applicant is best qualified for the position. The selection shall be based on the applicant’s job knowledge, job skills, experience, communication and interpersonal skills, accomplishments and achievements, pre- and post-interview test results, and assessment of other objective, non-discriminatory job-related factors.

If no interviewed applicant is satisfactory, the supervisor can go back to the applicant pool or re-post the vacancy.


The supervisor or designee is required to complete reference checks on a selected applicant before making a conditional offer of employment. Reference checks shall be conducted on:

A. All regular full or part-time positions; and
B. Any temporary position where the responsibilities of the position require working with minors or individuals with disabilities; and
C. An individual hired in accordance with the Rehiring Former Employees Regulation if the responsibilities of the position require working with minors or individuals with disabilities and references were not conducted when the individual was previously employed by the city.

If the reference checks on the selected applicant prove to be unsatisfactory, the  supervisor can check references on an alternate candidate, go back to the applicant pool, or re-post the position. Human Resources will assist in this situation.

The following is a description of reference check requirements for different types of applicants:

A. External Applicant

An external applicant is an individual who is not currently employed by the city. For an external applicant, the supervisor or designee shall contact the applicant’s current employer and all previous employers over the last five years and check references using the city’s Reference Check Form (see Exhibit). The applicant’s supervisor, rather than co-workers or the personnel department, should be contacted when possible.

If the applicant was previously employed at the city, the supervisor shall review the applicant’s previous personnel file and contact the applicant’s former city supervisor as well as Human Resources to gain information regarding the former employee’s performance and conduct. Supervisors do not need to recheck references from employers whose reference information already exists in the former employee’s personnel file.

If the applicant has several prior jobs or has switched jobs on a frequent basis, the supervisor may consider checking references beyond the five-year period. If the applicant has never been employed, the supervisor shall contact two personal references as described later in this regulation.

Some employers will not provide a reference without first receiving a written release from the applicant. Please contact Human Resources to obtain a copy of the applicant’s authorization for release of this information.

B. Internal Applicant

An internal applicant is an employee currently working for the city. When the internal applicant currently works in a different department, the supervisor shall conduct a reference check by contacting the internal applicant’s current supervisor and complete the city’s Reference Check Form (see Exhibit). Supervisors are also encouraged to review the applicant’s personnel file in Human Resources.


When a supervisor is unable to obtain references from an applicant’s current or former employer(s), the supervisor must document on the reference check form the dates the contact attempts were made and the reason the attempts were not successful, such as the previous employer is no longer in business or would not respond to the request.

If professional references cannot be contacted or the applicant has never been employed, the supervisor shall contact two personal references and document the results on the Reference Check Form (see Exhibit). A personal reference can be a friend, co-worker, professor or teacher, or similar person acquainted with the applicant. A reference from an applicant’s relative is typically not an acceptable reference.


If the reference check results are satisfactory, the supervisor may make an applicant a conditional offer of employment. The salary and benefit package offered must be in accordance with the city’s policies and regulations. The supervisor shall inform the applicant that the offer is conditioned on the applicant passing the city’s background investigations and other hiring requirements. The conditional offer of employment may be verbal, but a written offer letter shall be given to the applicant and a copy sent to Human Resources prior to the applicant’s start date. Offer letter templates are available in the Supervisor Toolbox located on Human Resources web page. Supervisors shall send draft offer letters to Human Resources for review prior to sending to the applicant.


When an applicant accepts a conditional employment offer, the supervisor shall immediately send Human Resources the following:

A. Completed Status Form with the “start date” field left blank.
B. Completed Reference Check Form(s) on the applicant.
C. Applicant Evaluation Form(s) or completed interview question sheet for each interviewed applicant.
D. Testing materials, if any.

Human Resources must have the above information before new hire processing can begin. If the paperwork is incomplete, the supervisor will be notified to resolve the issues. If complete, Human Resources will notify the supervisor and will invite the applicant to come to Human Resources to complete new hire processing. At new hire processing, applicants will be subject to a background investigation, drug testing if applicable, and will complete new hire paperwork. Applicants receiving a conditional offer of employment may begin new hire processing up to 90 calendar days prior to their expected start date.

If the applicant fails the background investigation, the supervisor will be notified and may restart the selection process or continue with other qualified candidates. Human Resources will notify any applicant who fails the background investigation.

Human Resources will notify the supervisor when the applicant is eligible to begin work. The supervisor will notify Human Resources of the applicant’s start date and schedule a time for the new employee to attend orientation.

The supervisor shall not permit the employee to begin work until the supervisor has received clearance from Human Resources for the applicant to begin working.

As a professional courtesy, departments are encouraged to send rejection letters to unsuccessful applicants, especially all internal applicants, and external applicants who were interviewed but not selected. Sample rejection letters can be found in the Supervisor Toolbox.

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