Toolkit for executive and leadership searches

Guiding or participating in an executive or leadership search is an important service to Virginia Commonwealth University. By providing a high touch, engaging, organized and inclusive search process, you play a part in recruiting and hiring talented, exceptional, diverse leaders who embody VCU’s mission and values. 

If you are leading or participating* in a staff search** that utilizes a search committee at VCU, your first step should be to take the online search committee training. This will teach you about roles and responsibilities throughout the search, detail the search process from start to finish, explore  unconscious bias and more. After completing the training, the module remains available as a resource to you throughout the search process.

These guides and toolkits are intended to expand your learning from the search committee training to the next level. They will help you further explore certain parts of the search (launching the search, advertising and recruiting, preparing an itinerary, etc.). They also provide sample agendas, itineraries, and quick tools to simplify your involvement in a search. The guides have been provided in order of the search process. Please note that the content in the leadership search toolkits and resources is intended for use by HR Professionals, HR Associates, search chairs, search committee members and hiring managers using a search committee for staff searches.

DEI sourcing resource guide
Curious about how DEI fits into this process? Review the DEI sourcing resources guide. This guide serves as a practical tool, offering a variety of DEI and culturally specific resources for finding skilled diverse candidates with a focus on higher education.

Steps and resources to complete a leadership search

Find detailed information about toolkits and resources under each step below.

  1. Launch the search
    • Sample proposed search timeline
    • Initial search committee meeting sample agenda
    • Sample search committee charge
    • Search committee process overview 
    • Confidientiality and conflict of interest
    • Working with a search firm
    • VCU-vetted search firm list
    • Working with VCU's Talent Acquisition Team
  2. Develop the posting
    • Writing the posting
    • Writing an inclusive advertisement
    • Descriptive language about VCU and Richmond
  3. Advertise and recruit
    • Attracting top talent
  4. Identify critera for consistent evaluation
    • Criteria chart toolkit
    • Sample screening matrices
    • Evaluating the applicant with diversity in mind
  5. Prepare for interview
    • Developing consistent interviews
    • Diverse and inclusive interview questions
    • Tips for interviewing for cultural fit
    • Organizing an interview
  6. Provide positive candidate experience
    • Creating an itinerary and planning on-site visits
    • Sample itineraries
    • Information about Richmond
    • Candidate welcome and information folder
    • Moving and relocation
  7. Evaluate finalists and conclude the search
    • Evaluation and wrap-up

*Leading or participating in a search could include the following roles: hiring authority, search chair, search committee member, HR Professional or Associate; and administrative support for hiring authority or search chair.

**These guides and toolkits are intended for those involved in senior and executive staff searches, or other leadership staff searches that utilize a search committee. However, certain guides (ie “Writing an inclusive advertisement”, “Diversity interview questions”, etc.) can be utilized for many types of searches and positions.