Role of the Search Committee
Search committee members are involved in the entire recruitment and selection process. They work hand in hand with their appointing authority and/or hiring department, as requested, on the following:
The search committee chair should be experienced in the university's recruitment and hiring process since he or she will serve as liaison with the department head/chair, appointing authority, HR and OEO.
The search committee routinely handles sensitive information. Members of the search committee should carefully guard the privacy of candidates and the information which the committee gathers about them during the search process. To protect confidentiality, committees should:
All documents relating to the search effort must be retained by the Human Resources Department for a minimum of three years from the date the successful candidate is hired or the search is discontinued. (State laws require that original correspondence be retained for a minimum of six years.) No recruitment documentation should be maintained in individual departments. Examples of such documents include, but are not limited to:
Advice to Appointing Authorities
Appointing authorities must be sensitive to the constituencies that surround each position and may want to assure their representation on the search committee. Committees should be appointed according to the guidelines outlined below.
Search committees will be composed of a diverse cross section of male and female representatives of the constituents working with the position. (Departments lacking a diverse representation may refer to a list available from HR of minority male or female employees willing to serve on committees outside their departments). It is strongly suggested that search committees also include minority representation. For a list of minority employees willing to serve on search committees, please contact Human Resources.
Appointing authorities should not serve as members of search committees within their area. Appointing authorities have discretion in determining the total number of individuals who will serve on search committees. Appointing an odd number of committee members, including the chair, often makes committees function more smoothly. Extremely large committees can create scheduling conflicts and impede the process.
The appointing authority should check with the supervisor of the search committee member (particularly classified employees) and the employee to assure they understand search time commitments so that time spent as a member of the search committee can be accommodated within the employee's regular work assignment. An employee's work schedule may be adjusted to meet search commitments.
If a vacancy occurs on a search committee after it has been appointed, the appointing authority may choose to appoint a replacement. Appointing authorities should notify Human Resources when a substitution has been made.
The appointing authority selects one committee member to serve as chair. Committees function best when the chair has had some experience on other CWU search committees. The chair should be appointed prior to the first meeting of the committee.
The appointing authority should develop a written charge (see below) to the committee and make it available to each member before or at the committee's first meeting. The charge should outline the duties and responsibilities of the committee and specifically address the following:
The appointing authority should schedule the first meeting of the committee, taking into consideration not only the schedules of the committee members but the schedule of the Recruitment Specialist as well. It is recommended that the secretary to the committee also attend this meeting. The appointing authority should plan to attend this meeting so that he/she can stress the most important aspects of the position, review the charge, and answer any questions which committee members might have.
M E M O R A N D U M
TO: Search Committee Members
FROM: Appointing Authority or Director
RE: Search Committee Charge
Thank you for agreeing to serve on the search committee for this very important position. Each of you has expertise which will help the committee in its recruitment and evaluation of candidates.
Our first meeting will be <Date> in <Location>. During this meeting I will review my expectations for this search as set forth in the "Search Committee charge," share my expectations for the position, and discuss the recruitment plan. Please come with a list of places you think we should advertise for this position (newspapers, websites, publications, etc.), as well as other ways we can publicize this opening. I have enclosed a copy of the position description for your information.
Search Committee charge:
Tentative Recruitment Plan
There will be a national search to fill this vacancy. Your suggestions are welcome. So far, the following recruitment sources have been identified:
Mailing Lists: Office for Equal Opportunity's Mailing List
Personal contacts in state government:
Search Committee Debriefing
It is beneficial for the appointing authority to meet with the search committee following candidate selection to debrief on the process and to share, as appropriate, the steps leading to the final selection. Some aspects of the appointing authority's process may be necessarily confidential to protect candidates' privacy, but an understanding of the effects of their work assists in encouraging employees to participate in future search committees and strengthens their understanding of their role.