Resource Guide for Recruiting Excellent and Diverse Faculty

3. Roles in the Search Process

To ensure that academic searches are conducted in a professional manner, those who are responsible for hiring on campus must understand their roles in the process. Since Deans, chairs, search committee members, and department members (i.e., administrative staff, students, and faculty) play an integral role in the recruitment and retention efforts of new faculty, it is imperative that they are aware of specific assignments that need to be completed. In the following tables, the search process is explained in three primary categories: before the search, during the search, and after the search. By following these recommendations, departments should achieve the goal of recruiting and retaining excellent new faculty.

Role of the Dean

During the year: Before the search: During the search: After the search:
Provide resources (e.g. workshops, seminars, videos) to give advice on how to conduct effective searches. Promote the use of networking recruitment strategies (e.g. personal calls, directories). Meet with each finalist to share with them the history, mission, future challenges/direction of the department and college. Conduct annual assessments of the search process with department chairs to ensure that the proper steps were followed in the hiring process.
Play a visible role in campus initiatives that address recruitment and retention issues (e.g. taskforces, committees). Meet with the department chair to answer questions about the direction and vision of the college and to address any questions and concerns. Assess the status of on-going searches by contacting the department chair and chair of the search committee. In conjunction with the department chair, develop retention strategies for new hires.
Continue to stay abreast of trends, issues, policies that deal with recruitment and retention issues. Provide monetary resources for the search process. Respond promptly to departmental requests during negotiations with the selected finalists. Evaluate the success of searches in meeting diversity goals and hold department chairs accountable for their successes/failures.
Use formal and informal opportunities to address the importance of recruitment and retention issues.      

Role of the Department Chair

During the year: Before the search: During the search: After the search:
Continue to work on initiatives that deal with partner accommodations, salary packages, research money, etc. with central administrators. Review ISU procedures for searches and hiring.
 
Participate in the on-campus interview of all finalists. In conjunction with the chair of the search committee, conduct an assessment of each faculty hire to ensure that the proper steps were followed in the process.
Have a visible role in campus initiatives that address recruitment and retention issues (e.g. taskforces, committees). Construct a search committee that has representatives from the campus community (i.e. students, staff, internal and external faculty members). Meet with the chair of the search committee (and with the committee, if necessary) to monitor the search process.. Summarize the reasons why the job offer was accepted (or not accepted) by the selected candidate(s); share this information with the Dean.
Continue to stay current on trends, issues, policies that deal with recruitment and retention issues. Provide an overview of the mission and vision of the department to the search committee. Share department and university policies with each candidate (e.g., P&T document, mentoring program, work/life issues). Create a welcoming environment for the new faculty member.
Use formal and informal opportunities to address the importance of recruitment and retention issues. Develop the Position Responsibility Statement (PRS). Construct a job description that specifically aids in recruiting under-represented faculty. Keep the Dean of the college abreast of the current status and final selection for searches. Develop the final Position Responsibility Statement in conjunction with the selected candidate.
Schedule a staff meeting where faculty members can share thoughts and concerns regarding upcoming hires in the department. Meet with the search committee to discuss the goals, objectives, timeline, budget, expectations, and proper procedures of the search and hiring process. Ask the candidates if they would like community and ISU environment information and provide the requested information to them. Periodically meet with the new faculty member to assess the adjustment process.
Promote the use of networking recruitment strategies (e.g., personal calls, directories). Provide additional resources to search committee members to familiarize them with best practices for the search process.   Assist the new faculty member in selecting a mentor(s) within the first two months of employment.

Role of the Search Committee Chair

Before the search: During the search: After the search:
Review ISU procedures for searches and hiring.

Complete required paperwork and submit to the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost.
Adhere to the guidelines provided by the Dean of the college and chair of the department. Call search committee meeting after all interviews are complete to gather all data and make recommendation to department chair.
Promote the use of networking recruitment strategies (e.g. personal calls, contacts at meetings, posting to directories and newsletters) to encourage applications from women, under-represented groups, and faculty of color. Encourage all faculty members to participate in these efforts. Be a point of contact for inquiries from prospective candidates or interested parties and respond in a timely manner. Agree with department chair on how candidates not selected will be informed, and make that contact if necessary.
Learn/review more about conducting effective search processes by attending workshops, engaging in on-line tutorials, reading manuals, making use of resources available on campus. Coordinate and preside at all meetings with the search committee. Ensure that proper procedures are followed and all candidates receive a fair review. Hold an assessment meeting with search committee members to evaluate the search process (Appendix 6).
Learn to recognize cognitive errors and unconscious biases that can affect the search process, and be prepared to mitigate their effects. Communicate with candidates to be interviewed to provide the interview itinerary, expectations for the visit, overview of whom they will meet. Ask for any specific requests from the candidates. Share findings of the assessment of the search with department chair and Dean of the college.
  Confirm arrangements for candidate visits, including identities and responsibilities of hosts.  

Role of the Search Committee

Before the search: During the search: After the search:
Learn/review more about conducting effective search processes by attending workshops, engaging in on-line tutorials, reading manuals, making use of resources available on campus. Agree to adhere to the instructions and guidelines set forth by the department chair and the chair of the search committee. Meet as a committee to evaluate the search process and provide written feedback regarding aspects of the search that were effective or ineffective.
Agree to play an active role (e.g. attending meetings, hosting candidates, completing evaluations) in the search process. Maintain confidentiality throughout the process and refer all inquiries to the chair of the committee or department chair. Suggest possible mentors to forward to the department chair.
Establish a search agenda (e.g. time line for the search, a list of interview questions, how to contact references) that demonstrates a commitment to ensuring that all candidates are treated fairly throughout the process. Give all candidates a full and fair review, keeping in mind cognitive errors and unconscious biases that can affect the review process.  
Plan advertising strategies to ensure a diverse pool of applicants. Serve as hosts for candidate visits, making the candidates feel welcome, making special arrangements and sharing information that they request.  

Role of the Department

Before the search: During the search: After the search:
Provide feedback to the department chair on the needs and concerns of the department and the related academic qualifications of the prospective hire. Meet with each of the finalists, keeping in mind that this is an opportunity to sell the department and the community as well as evaluate the candidates. Assist the department chair in creating a welcoming environment for the new hire. Make a personal effort to make the new hire feel a part of the department.
Assist the search committee in networking to identify a diverse pool of candidates. Review all written documentation on each finalist and be prepared to make an informed decision on them. Volunteer or suggest possible mentors to the department chair.
Learn about best practices in conducting a search, questions that should not be asked of candidates, cognitive errors and unconscious biases that can affect the search process. Provide written feedback with relevant comments to the search committee.