Extraordinary Qualifications/Credentials Policy

Authority: Business Affairs
Date Enacted or Revised: November 2008; Revised March 2016; May 2017; July 2018; December 13, 2021

Policy Statement

In accordance with State Civil Service Rule 6.5(g), Extraordinary Qualifications/Credentials, McNeese State University reserves the right to offer salaries, above the minimum, to applicants who possess extraordinary qualifications/credentials only when such action is necessary to recruit those persons to work for McNeese State University


This policy shall apply to McNeese State University classified employees and prospective employees.


This policy becomes effective upon the signature of the appointing authority (president) or delegated appointed authority (director of human resources and student employment) and approval of State Civil Service. Subsequent revisions shall become effective on the date revisions are approved and signed by the appointing authority or delegate and approval of State Civil Service.


Civil Service Rule 6.5(g) provides the opportunity for agencies to hire above the normal minimum of the pay range when filling classified positions with applicants who possess extraordinary qualifications/credentials beyond the minimum qualifications. This rule may be helpful to attract qualified applicants who can effectively perform the duties.

Factors for Consideration/Approval of 6.5(g) Rates

  1. Market relativity: a comparison of the new hire’s pay relative to the midpoint or market rate for his/her position;
  2. Internal equity: a criterion that takes into consideration the relationship of one employee’s salary to the salaries of other employees who have comparable levels of education and experience and perform similar duties and responsibilities, within a work unit, division, or agency;
  3. Work experience/education: a new hire’s relevant work history and academic qualifications as related to the job;
  4. Knowledge, skills, and abilities: special qualifications, competencies, and/or prerequisites needed to successfully perform the tasks required of a job;
  5. Recruitment/retention issues: issues related to jobs that may warrant higher salaries because of difficulty in recruiting or retaining employees with qualifications or credentials that are highly sought after.

Pay ranges are divided into quartiles in order to aid in determining employee hiring rate placement within the prescribed salary range. There are four points in the range to consider:

  • Minimum: the entry point for a grade and is appropriate for someone who is new to the position, when there is an abundant supply of talent and low turnover;
  • First quartile: the progress point within the pay range and is usually appropriate for someone who is experienced and performing all the duties of the position, or when there are challenges in the supply of talent and some turnover;
  • Midpoint: the advanced point (the midpoint or market) and is usually appropriate for a seasoned employee who is performing competently in their job over many years, or when there is a limited supply of talent, and significant turnover;
  • Third quartile to maximum: the point above the midpoint up to the maximum of the pay range for a grade that is usually appropriate for an employee with a level of experience and expected performance that will significantly exceed both the requirements of the job and the performance of most other employees. Hiring at this rate should be rare and factors such as a scarce supply of talent and critical turnover should be present.
Minimum1st QuartileMidpoint3rd Quartile to Maximum
Meets minimum qualifications; no prior experience; requires additional training to build knowledge and skills.Previous related experience; demonstrated ability to perform duties; may require additional training to perform duties independently.Subject matter expert; exhibits broad and deep knowledge of job and related areas; senior level job expertise with no training required.Hiring above the midpoint/market should be rare, but may be justified for the following reasons: difficult to recruit applicants to the position; highly qualified with industry leading expertise; sought-after educational background or certifications.

Employees hired at the first level of a career progression group should not typically be hired on 6.5(g) since the minimum qualifications for the majority of first level jobs require no experience. In order to justify a 6.5(g) payment, an applicant must have extraordinary job-related qualifications, which would likely qualify the applicant for the cap of the career progression group.


  1. Rule 6.5(g) can be used for a candidate only upon probation or job appointment.
  2. Pay can be set under Rule 6.5(g) above the minimum but not to exceed the midpoint of the pay range for the job.
    1. The employee may be paid upon hiring at any time within one year of the hire date.
    2. If paid after the hiring date, the pay change must be prospective.
  3. Extraordinary qualifications/credentials must be verified and documented, in writing, as job-related. The delegated appointing authority shall verify any extraordinary qualifications/credentials which the request for a higher minimum salary upon appointment of a candidate will be based.
    1. Any request for pay set above the minimum under Rule 6.5(g) must be submitted on the Personnel Action Notice by the delegated appointing authority with verified credentials attached and with written justification for the requested pay. The delegated appointing authority must approve the requested salary before it is officially offered or paid.
  4. In requesting similar pay adjustments for current employees occupying affected job titles and who possess the same or similar qualifications/credentials, the delegated appointing authority will verify those superior credentials in the same manner as for a candidate.
    1. Upon approval by the appointing authority, salaries of current employees who occupy positions in the affected jobs and possess the same or substantially similar qualifications may be adjusted up to but not to exceed the amount of the percent difference between the special hiring rate and the minimum of the pay grade. The same verification process used for the applicant is required, and formal documentation must be created and available for audit.
    2. Such adjustments shall only be made on the same effective date that the higher rate is given to the newly hired employee.
  5. If an employee with permanent status resigns and is then rehired into either the same position or into the same job title or job with a lower maximum at the same agency, the employee shall not be eligible for an increase under this rule unless there has been a break in service of at least 30 days.
  6. If an employee with permanent status resigns and is then rehired into a job with a lower maximum at any other agency, the employee shall not be eligible for an increase under this rule unless there has been a break in service of at least 30 days.
  7. Requests for exceptions to this rule must be approved by the State Civil Service Commission.


This policy is distributed via the University Policies webpage.