Roles and responsibilities

Role of hiring manager

The hiring manager has a critical role in recruiting for the position and selecting the candidate that will shape the future of their department, school, and university, at large. They are responsible for several aspects of the process including ensuring compliance with the prescribed search procedures as provided in these guidelines. The University and Academic Professional Search Process Checklist (search under formsoutlines the specific responsibilities of the Hiring Manager. It is strongly recommended this checklist be followed for a consistent and efficient search.

  • Establish a detailed position description that describes the goals of the school or business unit, highlights the primary purpose of the position, and outlines the position’s core responsibilities and qualifications.

  • Carefully and deliberately select a search committee chair and search committee members

  • Charge members of the search committee at the initial meeting. A search charge informs committees of their task to recruit, identify a diverse pool of applicants and make a recommendation for finalists. In addition, the charge should provide a detailed description of the position and its goals and challenges; the search timeline; and the desired skills, knowledge and abilities of successful candidates.

  • Actively seek out qualified candidates (including qualified women, underrepresented minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities)

  • Ensure candidate pools are diverse and that search procedures have been followed prior to on-campus interviews beginning (please consult your HR Professional for any questions or concerns)

  • Oversee logistics and itineraries for on campus interviews and leverage the assistance of an administrative assistant as needed

  • Interview top candidate(s)

  • Recommend the hiring of the selected candidate to the next level of authority by completion of the Hiring Proposal, which includes providing a justification for the selected candidate

  • Ensure all candidates not selected for the position have been notified accordingly

  • Thank search committee members for their service and inform them of results of search (who was hired or not)

  • Inform school/division of new hire and ensure smooth “onboarding” process for new employee

  • Ensure all search documentation (i.e., application materials, screening matrices, search committee notes, summaries of telephone interviews, interview questions and responses, candidate itineraries, evaluation forms, reference checks, search committee chair checklist, etc.) are compiled (electronically in the online recruitment system) and retained in accordance with retention of records requirements

Role of search committee chair

The search committee chair has a significant role in the University and Academic Professional search process to include providing leadership to ensure an organized, timely, effective, legal, proactive, and an accountable search. In addition, they serve as the official spokesperson for the committee; ensures the search complies with the institutional policies and applicable laws, and coordinates the administrative tasks associated with the search process.

  • Serve as the official spokesperson for the committee

  • Ensure search complies with institutional policies and applicable laws

  • Coordinate the administrative tasks associated with the search process including using online recruitment system to move applicants/candidates through the workflow (see Talent@VCU Recruitment Guide)

  • Maintain confidentiality of all records associated with the search

  • Disclose to hiring manager any breach of confidentiality or any conflict of interest influencing search

  • Ensure the hiring manager is invited to the initial meeting of the search committee to charge the committee; ask the hiring manager to provide the details of the position including recruitment strategies; expectations of the position; required and preferred knowledge, skills, and abilities; their role in the search process; and timeline for hire 

  • Keep hiring manager informed of progress of search

  • Convene the search committee to review the position description, advertisement, and the committee member’s role in the University and Academic Professional search process

  • Distribute the University and Academic Professional Search Process Guidelines to all search committee members and requests they review these documents to ensure that all search committee members are thoroughly familiar with the details of the university and academic professional search process

  • Inform members of the committee to keep the activities and discussions of the search confidential and to not discuss candidates of the position or the committee proceedings with anyone outside of the committee

  • Conduct a “Call for Conflicts of Interest” with the members of the committee by asking each committee member if they believe a conflict of interest is present for any reason and at any time in the search process in evaluating any and all candidates for the position

      • A conflict might be if a committee member is related to a candidate for the position, serves as a reference for a candidate, or has a bias that would unfairly influence their decision making in evaluating candidates for the position

      • Should a conflict of interest be revealed/identified, the committee member(s) would need to be recused from the committee or from reviewing the applicant/candidate(s) who presents the conflict, as applicable to the conflict

      • Document any identified conflict and notes the action(s) taken to resolve/avoid the conflict (e.g. committee member recused from deliberations on candidate, referred perceived conflict to hiring manager, etc.) and makes the documentation part of the search file

  • Discuss with the search committee the process to be used for a confidential review of applications and how applications will be screened to determine which candidates should be interviewed

  • Consistency in the utilization of an objective evaluative process in the review of all candidates for the position should be emphasized

  • A best practice method would be to utilize an evaluation tool which is based on the key knowledge, skills, and abilities as outlined in the position description. Ensure that if the tool is shared (e.g. using Blackboard, Google Docs) it is done so in a confidential manner.

  • Discuss with the search committee the process to be used for conducting interviews including any screening interviews (e.g. telephone, video, Skype, etc.) in order to narrow down the pool and further assess those candidates for an on-campus interview(this may also include developing screening interview questions)

  • Ensure all applicants are asked the same questions. Follow up questions may vary

  • Finalize (or delegate) development of candidate evaluation tool with agreed upon criteria

  • Monitor the applicants in online recruitment system and ensure all qualified candidates receive committee consideration

  • Work with search committee in development of on-campus interview questions and facilitate finalizing of questions

  • Coordinate with hiring authority in obtaining references on candidates and verify credentials.

  • Coordinate the campus visit itineraries with hiring authority and leverage the help of an administrative assistant as needed

  • Attempt to ensure all search committee members are available to participate in campus interviews. While not optimal, campus interviews may still be conducted if entire search committee is unable to participate

  • Ensure campus interviews include, at a minimum, one meeting with the search committee and one meeting with the hiring manger. Additional interview forums (presentations, colloquiums, etc.), may be requested as applicable to the position

  • After campus interview(s) have been completed, convene search committee and facilitate discussion of candidates to be recommended to hiring authority

  • Inform hiring authority of committee’s recommendation(s) of top candidate(s) (unranked), which, should include a discussion of the candidate's strengths and weaknesses

  • Finalize search process including assigning appropriate non-selection codes for applicants

  • Ensure applicants who do not meet minimum qualifications for the position are notified of non-selection for the position and in a timely manner

  • Ensure candidates interviewed but not hired for the position are provided with a personalized notification of non-selection.

  • Ensure search committee chair checklist and any other relevant search documentation is returned to the hiring department to be filed

  • Convene the search committee at conclusion of search to provide an opportunity to debrief on the process as a best practice

Role of search committee

All members on the search committee play a critical role in the search process. They help to shape the future of VCU. They must make the time to commit to the search process and understand the expectations of this role.

Search committee members must:

  • Understand and respect the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action

  • Actively seek potential candidates (including women, underrepresented minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities) via email, contacting peer colleagues, letter, telephone, associations, member listings, etc.

  • Provide input on recruitment strategies

  • Attend meetings of the committee and participate in interviews of candidates

  • Ensure the activities and discussions of the search are kept confidential during and after the search, which includes not discussing candidates for the position or the committee proceedings with anyone outside of the committee

  • Disclose any conflict of interest or bias to the committee and taking appropriate action to avoid any potential conflict/bias as appropriate to the situation.

    • A conflict might arise if a committee member is related to a candidate for the position, serves as a reference for a candidate, or has a bias that would unfairly influence the decision making required to fairly evaluate candidates for the position.

  • Develop fair and consistent criteria for screening applications.

  • Develop interview questions, including screening questions (as applicable) and on-campus interview questions.

  • Review each application and be consistent, fair, and impartial in assessing applicants.

  • Determine which applicant(s) warrant an interview.

  • Interview candidates and demonstrate consistency, fairness, and impartiality in assessment of candidates (applicants selected for an interview).

  • Be mindful of biases in the applicant screening and interviewing process such as:

    • Stereotyping (myths and first impressions)

    • Desiring to clone ideal faculty

    • Disqualifying candidates who did not receive their degrees from elite institutions

    • Using “fit” criteria to exclude diverse candidates

    • Ranking candidates prematurely

    • Making judgments on applicants with careers in non-academic settings, the reputation of institutions, interruptions in work careers, or applicants from minority serving institutions

  • Make a recommendation of top candidate(s) to the hiring manager. Transfer all search documents to the search committee chair at the conclusion of the search process.