Search Firm Guidelines

The goal of a successful search is to recruit the most qualified and diverse applicant pool available in order to select the best candidate to become a member of the UAB community. This guide has been created as a resource to assist departments when it is determined that the services of a search firm will be needed.

How does a department determine if a search firm is required?
Hiring a search firm may be beneficial when:
  • The search for qualified candidates is going to be difficult due to the unique job requirements, experience or credentials
  • The level of seniority or uniqueness of the position requires a nation-wide search
  1. I am ready to service retire with Teacher's Retirement (TRS). What should I do?
  2. I am terminating (other than retiring) from the University. What must I do in regards to my benefits?
  3. I am retiring with Teacher's Retirement (TRS) and may be interested in returning to work at UAB post-retirement. What do I need to know?

I am ready to service retire with Teacher's Retirement (TRS). What should I do?

Making the decision to service retire with Teacher's Retirement (TRS) is a big decision in a person's life. The first step is to speak with TRS to confirm your eligibility date. Eligibility criteria is different for Tier 1 and Tier 2 employees (see Retirement section).

For Tier 1, you must have at least 10 years of creditable service with TRS and be 60 years of age, or have 25 years of creditable service with TRS at any age. For Tier 2, you must have at least 10 years of creditable service with TRS and be 62 years of age. The Benefits Office can assist you with determining the earliest date you are eligible to retire.

You must retire on the first of a month (Ex. August 1). Application must be made in the Benefits office no earlier than 90 days prior to and no later than 30 days from your retirement date. Appointments may be made at any time with a member of the Benefits staff by calling (205) 934-3458.

Once you confirm with Benefits you are ready to retire, our office will help you complete an application for retirement. This application must be received at TRS no later than 30 days prior to your retirement date. It is your responsibility to ensure timely completion of your application to retire. You will be required to list a beneficiary for your retirement monies; therefore it is important to bring the beneficiary's name, address, and social security number. The Benefits staff member will also review all of your current benefits and any plans you are eligible to convert or keep upon retirement.

Once TRS receives your retirement application, they will mail your retirement options and a PEEHIP medical insurance application to your home address. PEEHIP is medical insurance that is available to employees who service retire with TRS. When you receive these forms from TRS, you will need to schedule a second appointment with Benefits. We will explain your income options, notarize which retirement option you choose, certify your PEEHIP medical insurance application (if applicable), and keep a copy for our files.

That's basically it! We pride ourselves on making this a seamless transition; because we know the decision itself to retire is hard enough.

I am terminating (other than retiring) from the University. What must I do in regards to my benefits?

Employees who are terminating from the University (other than retiring) must complete an Employee Exit Survey. Once your Exit Survey is complete, please contact the Benefits Office to discuss your benefits. You will be given the opportunity to complete forms related to the Teacher’s Retirement System and various other benefit conversion options, if you are eligible, at the time of termination.

I am retiring with Teacher's Retirement (TRS) and may be interested in returning to work at UAB post-retirement. What do I need to know?

TRS Retirees Working for UAB
Alabama law provides that TRS retirees employed with a TRS employer may continue to receive full retirement benefits provided the retired member meets both of the following conditions:

  1. The retiree must not be employed or under contract for permanent, full-time employment
  2. The retiree’s salary cannot exceed the limitation on earnings. The limits are subject to change each year based upon the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The limit for the 2014 calendar year is $23,000
If a retiree’s earnings or remunerations exceed the annual limitation on earnings, the retirement benefits will be suspended for the remainder of the calendar year.
Recently, in response to an Attorney General advisory opinion, TRS is requesting all TRS employers to report to TRS the names of all retirees who perform services for the TRS entity even if that retiree has been hired through a personal services contract, a contract with a third party, or as an independent contractor.

Revolving Door Provision of Alabama Ethics Law
Individuals who retire from positions which may be subject to the revolving door provision as defined by the Alabama Ethics Commission should discuss their retirement/re-employment plans with the Benefits area of Human Resources. In general, the revolving door provision applies to individuals who retire from positions of authority. These are positions in which the incumbents have authority to hire, fire, make purchases, approve or grant contracts, etc. Ultimately, the individual employee will need to consult the Alabama Ethics Commission for a final decision on whether or not their position is/was a position of authority. If the individual is/was in a position of authority, that individual cannot be re-employed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham for a period of two (2) years unless they choose to suspend retirement benefits from the Retirement Systems of Alabama.

Tuition Assistance

Annual Open Enrollment

Annual Open Enrollment for medical, dental, vision, voluntary AD&D insurance coverage and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) for all UAB benefit-eligible employees will begin at 7 a.m. CT Monday, October 1, 2012, and end at 5 p.m. CT Monday, October 15, 2012.

UAB’s open enrollment administrator will continue to be BenefitFocus. They are an inventive, interactive company that will help you through the open enrollment experience. All plan documentation and rates, including the full Open Enrollment Newsletter, can be found within the enrollment site.

In order to comply with federal laws regulating benefit plan participation and to retain those pre-tax features which are desired by our employees, changes cannot be accepted after the close of Open Enrollment at 5 p.m. CT Monday, October 15, 2012.

All new elections will be effective Tuesday, January 1, 2013. Premiums for 2013 medical, dental, vision, and voluntary AD&D coverage and new FSA deductions will be reflected in your January 2013 pay check.

UAB has chosen PayFlex as the new FSA administrator for 2013. PayFlex offers cutting edge mobile app technology that allows a participant to view account balances and claims history, submit claims, view eligible expense listings, and more. Your 2012 FSA election will not automatically carry over into 2013. You must re-enroll in the FSA program each year. Otherwise, if you do not want to make any changes to your current benefit elections – and you do not want to participate in a flexible spending account – no action is necessary.

Click here to learn about UAB Employee Benefits.


The Role of a Search Firm
The wide range of recruiting activities and functions of a search firm.

Responsibilities, interview example questions and UAB hiring resources you may find helpful.


How to Choose a Search Firm
Building the short-list of potential search firms and next steps once one is chosen.

View & Print
Download the full Search Firm Guidelines and/or one page summary.

This guide is meant as a resource for those hiring a senior staff member and considering the assistance of a search firm. For information on using a search firm to hire a faculty member, please contact the Provost’s office.