University of Minnesota  Procedure

Conducting a Search


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Governing Policy


Please use the contact section in the governing policy.

Post and Recruit

  1. Determine hiring need and gain approval. Each college or administrative unit determines its own approval process for filling a vacancy or creating a new position. The hiring unit writes or updates the position description containing the major functions, responsibilities, and qualifications. The hiring unit consults with their local Human Resources (HR) representative on the drafting, approval, and search process. Refer to Appendix: Consultation, Approval and other Requirements for Recruitment and Selection for specific required approvals related to the position’s employee group.
  2. Identify and engage others. With consultation from the unit’s EOAA Liaison and local Human Resources staff, the hiring unit should determine the necessity of a search committee. If one is needed, the hiring unit should determine the size, identify the chair, and consider any necessary advisory group and/or senate committee participation. Local HR representatives are responsible for ensuring the diversity of the search committee and that hiring managers and search committee members review resources and training materials before participating. Training materials should address the hiring process and awareness around equity and diversity, e.g., Implicit Bias in the Search and Selection Process training. Hiring units may have additional training resources.
  3. Job opening and confirmation. The hiring unit follows unit procedure for the creation and posting of the job opening. The Office of Human Resources (OHR) evaluates the position description to ensure alignment with job classification and to determine if there is a priority hire.
  4. Prepare and execute recruitment plan. The hiring unit and the search committee (when applicable) should develop a formal or informal recruitment plan that:
    1. considers the affirmative action goals of the unit;
    2. develops sourcing, advertising, and outreach strategies to attract a diverse pool of candidates;
      1. establishes its own diverse hiring goals;
      2. incorporates equity, diversity, and inclusion at each step of the search process in consultation with EOAA as appropriate;
    3. determines the search scope (national, local/regional, or within the University);
    4. identifies any potential internal and external applicants to invite to apply;
    5. evaluates the likelihood of attracting international applicants, in which case the hiring unit should contact International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) regarding advertising requirements; and
    6. includes an applicant comparison tool to assist with the next phase (recommended).

Screen and Select

  1. Evaluate applicant pool and select applicants for interview. In the event that the position is civil service or labor represented, OHR staff will review and eliminate from consideration applications that do not meet minimum qualifications. For all other positions, this review will be done at the unit level. The hiring unit reviews the qualified applicants to determine if the pool is sufficient, taking into consideration EOAA goals and recruitment efforts. If insufficient, the hiring unit should consider revising the recruitment plan.
  2. Evaluate applications, curriculum vitae, resumes, cover letters, and other relevant materials of qualified applicants. Using an applicant comparison tool or similar evaluation tool, the hiring unit and search committee (if applicable) ranks top applicants for interview.
  3. Conduct interviews. The hiring unit assembles the interview team, including members of the search committee if applicable, and invites the selected applicants to interview. Interviewers should utilize an applicant evaluation form to rate applicants based on objective criteria relevant to the job.
  4. Select finalist(s). Before making an offer, the hiring unit should check references of the selected candidate(s) and gain the necessary unit approvals. See Consultation, Approval and other Requirements for Recruitment and Selection for required approvals. In the case of senior leader positions, offers to include tenure or continuous appointment, and/or no-search direct hires, additional approvals are necessary. When a foreign national is seriously considered for employment, the hiring unit should engage ISSS and the Office of the General Counsel prior to making an offer. See Citizenship, Residency and Visa Requirements.

Offer and Accept

  1. Extend offer. The hiring unit will negotiate the terms of employment within established parameters, set a tentative start date and prepare the offer letter. Offers are contingent upon a successful background check, other verifications, required degree completion (e.g., All But Dissertation candidates), and/or pending required approvals. The hiring unit will send the offer letter, including the terms and conditions of appointment and any contingencies, and background check instructions to the finalist.
  2. Check background and credentials. Once an offer is accepted, the hiring unit must complete a background check and verification on the candidate. Refer to the administrative policy: Background Checks and Verifications for more information.
  3. Finalize hire. The hiring unit captures reasons for non-selection for all candidates besides finalist(s) and updates those applicants’ statuses in the human resources management system to ensure accurate EOAA reporting statistics.
  4. Close the job posting.