Recruitment and Selection of Faculty and Academic Professional and Administrative Employees
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who can look at search committee files and when?
The search committee, responsible administrator, department head/chair or director, academic dean, vice president, unit EOAA liaison, unit HR staff, and staff support for the search can look at search files at any point. Faculty or staff who are not on the search committee can look at candidate files of finalists after that group is selected. A college or administrative unit may expand access to candidate files to faculty or staff not involved in the search process as long as the purpose is to obtain substantive review from those faculty or staff members and as long as they are informed of the privacy and equal opportunity obligations that apply to searches. Refer to Appendix D -Getting the Most from the Search Committee Process for additional people who may be granted permission to review candidate files and for privacy and equal opportunity obligation information.
- Why do we not allow the responsible administrator to serve on the search committee?
Responsible administrators do not participate in the activities and deliberations of the committee in order to allow the committee to provide its advice on candidates independent of influence or control.
- We're doing an internal-to-the-University search and someone from outside the University applies. What do we do?
The person cannot be an applicant and should be contacted with an appropriate explanation. This is true unless they fall under the special accommodation provided to spouses/partners of newly hired faculty and P&A staff who have moved to Minnesota to accept a position at the University of Minnesota. Refer to the procedure: Conducting a National or Limited Search. We're doing a local/regional search and someone from New York applies. What do we do? Their application can go through the process the same as any other candidate. However, the department is not obligated to pay for travel expenses if the New York candidate is selected for interview.
- When may the identity of applicants be revealed?
Under state law, the identity of an applicant cannot be publicly revealed until the applicant becomes a finalist, which means the applicant has been selected by the responsible administrator to be interviewed. The responsible administrator should have the permission of the applicant to be interviewed before considering the candidate to be a finalist. The names of any non-finalist applicants may not be divulged inside the University except on a "need to know" basis. (Refer to Appendix D - Getting the Most from the Search Committee Process for more information.)
- What should be part of the written record?
A copy of the requisition summary to include the position description, charge to the committee, selection criteria, recruitment strategies and selection information, all committee minutes that deal with decision making, evaluations of candidates, the Faculty/Academic Pool Summary which indicates not hired reasons for dropping a candidate out of the search process based on final candidacy status decisions, communications with candidates, written record of verbal contacts and/or references, actual ads and announcements, recruitment efforts, recommendations to appointing authority and faculty vote on tenure, if applicable. (Refer to Appendix D - Getting the Most From the Search Committee Process for more information and Appendix G - Documentation for Recruiting and Appointing Academic Personnel.
- Who should maintain official search and hiring files and for how long?
The hiring unit is to retain the official search and hiring files for a period of 7 years following the completion of the search.
- Should search committees rank their list of recommended candidates?
No. The role of the search committee is to provide the responsible administrator with a number of qualified individuals who could do the job desired. The responsible administrator has the task of selecting one individual.
- May we use "until position is filled" language on the posting instead of a deadline for receipt of applications?
Yes, but understand that when doing so, communications with applicants must clearly state the open ended nature of applicant activity and a hiring decision must be made only after a reasonable period of time for receipt of applications has passed. A preferred option is to state, "Applications will be considered beginning [date]." This informs the candidates of the date by which they should apply for full consideration, but allows you to consider later applications.
- My department has selected the person leaving the position as chair of the search committee. Is this proper?
Not as chair, but possibly as a member of the search committee.
- What if our first offer is declined?
Appropriate applicant statuses need to be tracked during the search process in order to generate an accurate Faculty/Academic Pool Summary. After an offer is declined, additional offers to be extended and cumulative offers are recorded on the Faculty/Academic Pool Summary report once applicant statuses have been appropriately updated. (Refer to Appendix E - Applicant Status Requirements in the Employment System User Guide for Hiring Authorities/HR Pros.)
- What if our search is unsuccessful?
If the search fails to identify a qualified candidate, or when those offered the position decline, contact your unit EOAA liaison and HR staff to discuss possible alternatives in filling your position.
- What if we want to do multiple hires?
For 'multiple hire' appointments, one or more individuals may be hired throughout the academic year, fiscal year or other time frame. All final hires should reflect an applicant status of "Offer Accepted/Hired" for this type of position. By updating applicant statuses appropriately, pool numbers provided on the Faculty/Academic Pool Summary report will be cumulative from the date the vacancy was first posted until the final hire is made.
- What if we want to use a search firm?
Because of the expense involved, the use of search firms for appointments other than senior administrators is strongly discouraged. Consultation with the Director of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action and the Vice President of Human Resources is required before any decision is made to use a search firm.
- What if one or more members of the search committee know a candidate?
Discussion of a candidate known to one or more members of the search committee tends to influence the evaluation of the candidate. The search chair should control such discussion by keeping it within the context of the selection criteria, and assuring that comparable information is obtained and used for all candidates.
- What if we want to begin interviews before the deadline date for receipt of applications?
Before proceeding with this approach, discuss pros and cons with your unit HR staff. This approach should not be considered unless selection criteria are in writing and on file. In no case may hiring be done until after the deadline date.
- What if our position is for less than 75 percent time?
The percent time of the position, as long as it falls between 50 to 100 percent, does not affect the choice of recruiting and appointing strategy used.
- What if we have a class we offer every other year, taught at night only. A search is done to fill this part time teaching position. We do a search to find someone to teach it. Once found, can we reappoint this person every other year?
Yes, but it might be advisable to do a search every few years to see if the pool of applicants has changed.