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Search Committee Chair Checklist

The committee chair is responsible for the overall conduct of the search. The chair has an important responsibility and must ensure that everything that must happen throughout the search process, does happens, whether he or she actually performs the function. The committee chair can call upon the hiring officer, department contact or OAE to assist him or her in completing the duties of the position. The list below has many of the typical activities that a committee chair may perform, coordinate, or ensure are complete in the search process.

Getting Started

  • Meet with the hiring officer to develop a search plan.
  • Identify and assign the person(s) responsible for the following: completing and processing required search paperwork, meeting/travel arrangements and correspondence with applicants.

Organizing the Committee

  • Develop timelines at the first search committee, including screening dates and interview schedule.
  • Establish search committee meeting schedule.
  • Convene the search committee and ensure that each committee member has reviewed the search process overview.
  • Review charge to the search committee during meetings.
  • Review expectations of confidentiality and attendance at committee meetings.
  • Have the department contact attend all search committee meetings.

Position Announcement

  • Review position announcement with the department/unit head and all members of the search committee, department or other stakeholders as appropriate.

Recruiting, Advertising, & Networking

  • Develop a recruitment strategy to ensure a diverse and talented pool of applicants.
  • Identify appropriate national, regional and local recruiting market for the position.
  • Review advertisement language, sources, and posting duration (in coordination with hiring officer).
  • Determine application materials to be submitted by applicants (in coordination with hiring officer).
  • Identify publications, websites, listserves, institutions, and other sources for the
    advertisement/announcement (in coordination with hiring officer).
  • Identify additional outreach sources to attract underrepresented groups (women, minorities, persons with disabilities, etc.) (in coordination with hiring officer).
  • Search Committee members can make personal contacts to seek highly qualified applicants.
  • Committee Chair informs hiring manager and/or department contact of the characteristics of the pool if it is not sufficient.

Communicating with Applicants

  • Keep applicants informed on the progress of the search.

Selecting Interviewees

  • Establish the procedures the committee will follow, including: how you will vote, how screening decisions will be documented, etc.
  • Develop a standardized mechanism for evaluating written materials (based upon position description, advertisement, and charge).
  • Ensure that all applicants are evaluated on the basis of pre-established criteria related to the position at each stage of the process.
  • Have each committee member use an agreed upon screening device to evaluate candidates
    • Agree upon ground rules for evaluating candidates for the search committee and stick to them.
    • Be aware of the possibility of your own unconscious bias.
    • Agree on evaluation criteria.
    • Agree on rules of discussion and how to handle disagreement.
    • Avoid comments (either orally or in notes) that are not job related.
    • Agree on a method for determining who will be invited to interview.
    • Consider alternatives to rank ordering, such as summaries of each semi-finalist.
  • All applicants need to be assigned an applicant status code in HireTouch when the finalist notification form is submitted.

Prepare for Interviews

  • Develop specific job-related questions to ask each candidate. All candidates should be asked the same questions, allowing for individualized follow-up questions as needed.
  • Develop and design a plan and schedule for the interview process and campus visits.
  • Identify individuals, constituent groups you wish candidates to meet who are not on the search committee.

Conducting Interviews

  • Review guidelines for questions that can and cannot be asked of applicants.
  • Design an interview rating sheet. Provide this to each interviewer before the interview and explain the importance of completing it accurately based on job-related criteria.

Checking References

  • Obtain final candidate’s permission to check their references.
  • Develop a reference checking list of specific job-related questions to ask each reference.

Completing the search

  • Chair or committee meets with hiring manager to give feedback.
  • Complete search paperwork and obtain required College/OAE approval before making the offer.
  • Ensure offer letter is prepared for finalist (in coordination with hiring manager).
  • Prepare letters of non-selection for the other applicants.