Personnel Management

The Virginia Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts working with a committed group of SWCD staff and stakeholders has created the Personnel Management Resource Guide to serve as a resource to  local Soil & Water Conservation District.cover2a

While this resource guide is by no means intended to serve as legal counsel it does provide critical personnel management materials including recruitment and hiring information, new employee on-boarding, performance management forms, separation/termination details, as well as sample policies shared by soil and water conservation districts across the Commonwealth. This resource can also help ensure that districts have what they need, and that they are effectively matching skills and competencies to specific tasks, requirements, and outcomes.

In addition to the resources available within this guide, the VASWCD website serves as a repository of information on both personnel and human resource topics as well as all items vital for district official training. Visit the Leadership Course page to review these materials.

As you review the reference materials and recognize a need for further training on a topic don’t hesitate to reach out to your Association leadership and staff. Annual trainings sponsored/hosted by the Association are tailored based on district need. Your Association can better serve you through trainings and staff support if made aware of the areas of growth needed at your district level.

We believe this resource is a strong starting point to strong personnel management practices within your local soil and water conservation district.


This portion reinforces the importance of recruiting and provides practical tips to help you organize and begin the recruiting process.

The following are covered in this section:

  • Job Posting/ Advertising
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Equal Employment Opportunity
  • Recruitment
  • Tips for writing a job description
  • FLSA Checklist: Exempt vs nonexempt status
  • Job Description Samples
  • Full Hiring Packet/Position Announcement Sample


This portion reinforces the importance of interviewing and provides practical tips to help you organize and begin the hiring process.

The following are covered in this section:

  • Pre-Interview
  • Interview Process
  • Application sample
  • Conducting an interview
  • Protection against discrimination in employment practices
  • Interview worksheet samples
  • Offer/No Offer letter samples

New Employee

This portion is to explain the hiring process and to provide a proactive approach to hiring new employees so they have as much as possible setup prior to their work assignment.

The following is covered in this section:

  • Onboarding
  • Assimilation Process
  • Successful Employee Orientation, checklists, and forms

Performance Evaluations

With the rise in the number of lawsuits brought on by former employees, evaluations must be handled carefully to ensure that the organization is not opening itself to legal complications.

The following is covered in this section:

  • Practical and legal criteria
  • Steps in the formal evaluation
  • Performance evaluation definitions
  • Common rater errors
  • Probationary Progress Review
  • Performance evaluation samples based on job title
  • Notice of improvement needed


In order to ensure uniform and consistent procedures for employee termination, it is important to have established rules applicable to each termination.

The following is covered in this section:

  • 5 steps to help prevent lawsuits
  • Incident & Action Report sample
  • Written Notice sample
  • Employee Termination Checklist sample

Supporting Documents/Miscellaneous

The following is covered in this section:

  • Personnel Policy Review by the VASWCD
  • Sample SWCD Personnel Policy
  • Grievance Resolution
  • Grievance Form
  • Drug-Free Workplace
  • Biosecurity Policy
  • Job Descriptions for Director and Associate Director
  • Internships
  • Volunteers
  • Earth Team
  • Potential SWCD Resources for HR