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    Add as FriendConducting Effective Searches: Orientation for Search Committees

    by: Rogers

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    1 : Conducting Effective Searches: Orientation for Search Committees
    2 : What Are The University's Recruiting Goals? To establish diverse pools of quality candidates, using proactive efforts to include members of underrepresented groups throughout the search process. To fairly screen, evaluate, and select the best candidates for positions. To fully document the search process. To provide new employees with the tools to succeed.
    3 : Selecting Diversity-Sensitive Search CommitteesSelect individuals -- especially as chairpersons -- who: Are highly regarded in department/university/community. Have respect of diverse constituencies. Have experience in searches that have been successful in recruiting minorities and women. Are skilled at conducting respectful, effective meetings. Are knowledgeable about equal opportunity/affirmative action. Include women and minorities if possible.
    4 : Increasing the Odds: General Recruiting Strategies Begin searches early before the busiest competitive period. Review position description to ensure that it addresses genuinely needed qualifications without including factors that might unnecessarily limit the applicant pool. If there is a choice of specialty areas, consider searching for either, rather than selecting one. Use an open-ended application deadline -- e.g., “review of applicants will begin ____ and continue until the position is filled.” Use a personal approach in recruiting applicants -- Get on the phone! Re-advertise or undertake additional recruiting efforts during the search, if necessary. Consult your Unit Affirmative Action Coordinator for assistance in formulating and executing the search plan.
    5 : Unit Affirmative Action Coordinator Consultant Resource Advisor Participant (optional)
    6 : Examples of Recruiting Resources Available from AA Coordinator Calendar of women and minority-focused professional conferences Mailing lists Women’s Colleges Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Other minority institutions Women and minority-focused professional organizations Women and minority-focused electronic listservs UA Black Faculty and Staff Association members Practical aids and technical advice (model letters and forms, checklists, guidelines)
    7 : Required EO Statement After the EO statement is a good place to add a statement about reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities. For example: “Reasonable accommodation in the application and interview process may be requested by contacting the search chair” or [name and phone # of appropriate department contact]. All advertisements and announcements minimally must include the phrase “An Equal Opportunity Employer” or “An EO/AA Employer.” Additional positive language inviting applications from women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and Vietnam-era and special disabled veterans can be added.
    8 : Key Objectives Building A Diverse Applicant Pool Publicize the position in a manner that specifically targets women and minorities. Seek actively to identify qualified applicants from these groups.
    9 : Outreach SourcesFor Expanding Recruitment Efforts for Minorities, Women, and Other Underrepresented Groups Minority and women scholar organizations Women and minority program offices Professional caucuses or organizations that are organized around women or minority concerns Internet discussion groups Minority and women scholars/ professionals on- and off-campus Community agencies related to underrepresented groups Meetings of professional organizations Journals targeted at women and minority readerships Ethnic Studies departments (for relevant disciplines) Minority and women doctoral directories Departments in HBCUs and other predominantly minority institutions
    10 : Priority Areas for Active Outreach Recruiting The above-quoted language is from the Title VI state desegregation remedial decree, which imposes a legal obligation on the University to demonstrate “material improvement” in the employment of African-Americans in positions of important administrative responsibilities. The Court is closely monitoring the University’s compliance with the decree. Thus, it is critical that hiring officials and search committees for faculty and administrative positions, particularly positions with important policy making responsibilities, exert extra efforts to recruit and hire African-Americans and thoroughly document all such efforts, whether successful or not. Efforts to build a diverse applicant pool should be particularly vigorous: if the unit has a goal under the University’s Affirmative Action Plan and for higher-level administrative positions -- “particularly positions with important policy making responsibilities.” Attention
    11 : Active Recruiting Continuum
    12 : Evaluating Applicant Pools with Diversity in Mind Remember to keep an open mind about: Interruptions in degree programs or work careers (e.g, to care for a parent or children or because of a disability) Reputation of degree or employing-institution (Stars have come out of lesser known institutions. Institutional reputation alone, however well deserved, should not preclude consideration of applicants from other solid schools.) Careers begun in or including government, business, voluntary service, or other non-academic settings (frequently sources of 1st-time employment for women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities as well as necessary employment options for ‘trailing spouses’ in dual career couple relocations) The value and transferability of skills and experience acquired in those settings. Actively work to minimize the effects of stereotypes in screening candidates. For example, do not assume that young and energetic are synonymous, or that stability and good judgment are functions of age.
    13 : Consistent treatment of applicants at each stage of the selection process. Consistent evaluation of all applicants. Stated qualifications provide the basis for the selection criteria used in the final decision. Fair Screening and Selection Key Objectives
    14 : Methods To Assure Objective Applicant Screening and Evaluation: Applicant Screening Checklist Candidate Rating Form Predetermined Set of Core Interview Questions Panel Interviews Advantage: Tend to be more focused and job-related because panel members are accountable to each other. They are aware that they are being observed; therefore, questions tend to be more to the point and personal biases are reduced. Also, by participating simultaneously, all interviewers are able to base their evaluations on the same sample of behavior.
    15 : Avoid Statements Which COULD be Construed as Discriminatory Candidates should not be questioned about child care arrangements, plans for family, etc. Marital status should not be discussed unless the candidate indicates that employment options for his/her spouse is a factor to be considered. Comments about a candidate’s physical appearance are inappropriate, even when intended as compliments. Avoid introducing race, religion, national origin, sex, and other such factors as subjects of discussion. For example, do not say, “You would be the only African-American in the department. Would that make you uncomfortable?” Avoid expressing value judgments about University social life which could be expected to discourage women, unmarried, or minority candidates. Provide factual information, if asked, but leave the appraisal to the candidate.
    16 : Job Interview GuidelinesRelating to Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits inquiries that elicit information about an applicant’s disability or history of disability during the pre-offer stage of the hiring process. If an applicant has a known disability or has volunteered information about a disability, the interviewer may not ask questions about: -the nature or severity of the disability -the condition causing the disability -any prognosis or expectation regarding the condition or disability -whether the disability will require treatment or special leave. May provide information about functions of the job, work hours, leave policies, and any special attendance needs of the job and ask if the applicant can meet these requirements. If an applicant has a known disability that might interfere with or prevent performance of job functions, s/he may be asked to describe or demonstrate how these functions will be performed.
    17 : Documenting the Search Support the hiring decision should a department be called upon to document its choice or the fairness of the search. Comply with federal requirements to retain a complete record of the recruitment and selection process. Key Objectives
    18 : Record Keeping During a Search All “good faith efforts” of the search should be documented in detail (dates, names, locations, and results of personal contacts). At minimum, the search files should contain: copies of announcements, advertising and other solicitations for applications and nominations applications and supporting materials reference checks record of communications with applicants, including all applicant and nominee correspondence record of screening and selection criteria candidate assessments Search file should be transferred to Human Resources at the conclusion of searches.
    19 : Notifying Unsuccessful Applicants Bring closure to the process with a letter to unsuccessful applicants. Use “best” or “best-suited” language if pressed about a reason for non-selection. (For example: "Another individual was determined to be the candidate best-suited for the position." ) Never say the word “overqualified” - or otherwise indicate that an applicant did not receive full consideration. Be courteous but brief. You are under no obligation to discuss the search.
    20 : New Employee Orientation and Support Help new employee to be successful and to feel comfortable in his/her new environment Key Objectives
    21 : Being Proactive in the NewEmployee’s Success Provide a thorough new employee orientation. Provide assistance with college and campus resources, housing, shopping, and community services. Promote collegiality, take steps to promote interaction with other faculty and/or staff members. Supervisory training is available through Human Resources for new supervisors. Identify or facilitate mentoring opportunities for informal guidance and advice. After an offer of employment has been extended and accepted provide the new employee with the necessary tools to succeed.
    22 : Thank You Prepared by Office of Equal Opportunity Programs Unit Affirmative Action Coordinators Graphics: Debbie Kornegay, C&BA student

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