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Search committee composition

The hiring manager is responsible for appointing a search committee prior to the start of the recruitment process. The search committee should comprise a representative cross-section of individuals to bring diverse perspectives to the team. The size, composition and scope of the committee will vary based on the specific position under recruitment. However, it is required that the search committee consist of at least three (3) members. For executive and senior administrator searches, the committee size may be larger, reflecting the number and diversity of stakeholders affected by the hire. The composition of a search committee is key to a broad and inclusive search and should:

  • Include individuals with different backgrounds, perspectives, and expertise.

  • Include individuals with knowledge of the substantive area and the technical expertise to effectively evaluate candidates’ qualifications.

  • Represent a diverse cross section of the University population, including members with a demonstrated commitment to diversity.

  • Include appropriate stakeholders such as peers of the new hire, supervisors, and those in similar positions. Search committee members can be comprised of VCU faculty, staff, alumni, students, and community partners, as appropriate for the position.

Typically, direct reports are not included as members of a search committee.  However, there may be instances when participation from a direct report on a committee adds value and insight about the position, which may not be represented from other committee members.

Search Committees should seek to be diverse and inclusive. However, each committee member must have experience that aligns to the purpose and/or qualifications of the advertised position. Each member must understand the nature and level of work required of the position and how the position will contribute to the department or unit. Additionally, all search committee members must possess the skills necessary for planning committee meetings, evaluating prospective candidates, and engaging in professional and civil discourse:

  • The ability to be creative, multitask and negotiate

  • The Ability to use Google Calendar or Outlook to schedule meeting and due dates for feedback and evaluation of candidates

  • The ability to conduct professional interviews and recognize skills required of the position

  • The ability to maintain confidentiality when discussing candidates

  • The ability to value and respect contributions of all members of the committee and commit to being in solidarity with other members while achieving consensus in the decision making process.

Once the search committee members agree to serve, and have successfully completed a VCU search committee training, the hiring manager must include a list of committee members during the request to post process. This list should identify the following information of the chair (or co-chairs) and committee members:

  • First Name, Last Name, Degree

  • Working Title (Rank, if applicable)

  • Email Address (

  • Date of completion of VCU Search Committee Training

Any changes to the search committee members during the lifecycle of the search must be shared and approved by Human Resources, as applicable. For assistance with search committee member selection, please contact Human Resources.


Virginia Commonwealth University
VCU Human Resources
Lindsey House | 600 West Franklin Street | Box 842511
Richmond, VA 23284-2511
Phone: (804) 828-0177

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