The creation and use of a search committee is required when filling executive and senior administrator positions and is optional when filling all other university and academic professional positions. When a search committee is used, it must conform to the University and Academic Professional search guidelines. When a search committee is not used, the use of a representative interview panel, described below, is required.
A collaborative approach to hiring has many benefits. It allows for a thorough evaluation and diverse assessment of candidates based on a number of different perspectives. In addition, potential biases that may exist in the hiring process are reduced.
Search committees are typically involved in more steps of the recruitment process than interview panels. Search committees often provide input on the position announcement, are more actively engaged in recruiting candidates, may conduct reference checks, plan on campus visits, etc. Interview panels are only typically involved in the interview process. It may be helpful to consult with HR to determine the most effective recruitment approach based on the position and department’s needs. Below is information about search committees and representative interview panels.
A 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 search committees consist of at least three (3) members. For senior-level 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. As such, the committee should:
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.
Hiring managers should involve the search committee as early in the process as possible, so that they may help develop position descriptions, advertisements, and ranking criteria. For more information about the duties and responsibilities of a search committee in the recruitment process, please see the Search Committee Resource Guide. For assistance with search committee member selection, please contact Human Resources.