Phase 1: Preparation

Step 1: Position Authorization and Search Committee Approval



Staff Position Authorization Form

Submit search committee member names to Equal Opportunity Compliance for review

Confidentiality Statement


Step 2: Writing the Job Description



Staff Posting Worksheet

Job Description Approval

Step 1: Position Authorization and Search Committee Review

In this step, the department completes the Staff Position Authorization Form. The Staff Position Authorization Form is used to gain approval to post the position and hire the employee. After appropriate signatures are obtained, the department sends the form to Human Resources (HR) for review.

The hiring process for Deans and Department Chairs follows both the University Senate Procedures and the Staff Hiring Phases/Steps. The search committee MUST integrate BOTH procedures in the search. 

For information on hiring Postdoctoral Scholars, please visit the Graduate School Guidelines for Hiring Postdoctoral Scholars.

If a Department is considering use of a third party recruiter or search firm for particularly hard to fill positions, keep in mind that Human Resources:

  • Must be contacted to initiate this process, by calling 906-487-2280
  • Can assist with suggestions of third party recruiter or a search firm
  • Must be a part of the process to complete the required contract

Also third party recruiter or search firms must:

  • Follow Equal Employment Opportunity laws and practices
  • Treat all applicants equally in all steps of the search
  • Confirm this practice in the contract

Form a Diverse Committee

To facilitate a strong hiring process that aligns with institutional goals, an earnest effort should be made to ensure that underrepresented individuals have an equal opportunity to serve on search committees. Having diverse perspectives on a search committee means that various identities and thoughts will be represented. It also enables committees to move away from affinity bias and groupthink.

As a best practice, a search committee should consist of a minimum of three members. It is recommended that at least one member is from outside the reporting structure of the hiring department. If the search plan is to have a larger committee, then additional external department search committee members should be considered. This facilitates a strong non-biased hiring process that aligns with Equal Opportunity Employer requirements.

Once the search committee members have been determined, send the names of the committee members to your Employment Services Representative in Human Resources and Equal Opportunity Compliance ( for review.

Once received, Human Resources and Equal Opportunity Compliance will confirm that the Staff Hiring Process Training Program and/or the Staff Legal Aspects Review Course have been completed by all committee members. Equal Opportunity Compliance will review the search committee diversity balance.

Select a Search Chair and their Role

The Search Committee Chair plays an important role. The chair leads the committee in the recruitment and selection of quality candidates and is also responsible for maintaining a consistent, confidential, and defensively compliant search. This means making sure all committee members follow the Human Resources and Equal Opportunity Compliance procedures, moving all applicants in the employment hiring system (PageUp) system, and submitting paperwork and recordkeeping documents to Human Resources. The Search Chair also plays a large role in creating a meeting environment where all committee members are empowered to participate, as well as acts as a watchdog to ensure elimination of bias in all hiring steps.

All inquiries and requests from candidates must be referred to the chair of the search committee only.

Confidentiality Statement Signed

To protect the privacy of all applicants and the integrity of the search, search committee members, including students, are required to maintain confidentiality during and after the search. When a committee member has participated in a previous search, applicant information cannot be shared between searches. Information learned from the search must not be discussed with anyone outside of the search committee during the search process and after the search process. This includes:

  • Applicant names
  • Information learned about an applicant during the search
  • Discussions among committee members

Any breach in confidentiality must be reported to the search chair or Human Resources.

  • It is the responsibility of the Search Chair to read the Confidentiality Statement to the entire committee at the beginning of the process, before the committee discusses criteria, drafts interview questions, reviews applications and/or resumes, or begins any work.
  • Failure to read this statement may result in cancellation of the search.
  • Search Committee members then must sign the statement and the Search Chair must return it to Human Resources.

Confidentiality Requirements for Dean and Department Chair Searches

All information learned from the search is confidential and must not be discussed outside of the search committee. When a candidate has made it to the short list, information on the candidate will be made available to all department faculty and staff following Senate Search Procedures

Conflict of Interest

Please note that if any search committee member knows an applicant or has any Conflict of Interest, this must be disclosed to the search chair and/or Human Resources for discussion on how to proceed.

Supervisor/Dean/Department Chair Involvement

The supervisor, Dean, or Chair of the department will have administrative oversight for hiring so they will be involved at various points of the search process, for example in writing the job description. They should give guidance on the committee's role in the search and how they plan to be involved. For example, they may ask the committee to provide 2-3 applicants that are recommended for hire in a non-ranked format. The Dean and/or Department Chair should not serve on search committees, nor should they sit in on committee meetings or have access to candidate materials until candidates are invited to campus. 

Equity Advisor for a Dean, Department Chair, or Director Search

Dean, Department Chair, and Director searches will have an Equity Advisor assigned to the search committee. An Equity Advisor is:

  • A faculty or staff member external to the hiring department who will provide helpful advice to the search committee to assist in making sure that diversity and equity remain at the forefront of every step in the search process.
  • Ensures federal/state/university employment laws/policies are followed.


As mentioned in the introduction, Michigan Tech requires that all search committee members complete the Staff Hiring Process Training Program. This training must be completed every four years. It is the department's responsibility to ensure that search committee members have completed this training. To check completion status, please visit the Staff Search Committee Training page

Additionally, the Legal Aspects Review for Search Committees course must be completed each time a staff member serves on a search committee, but not more than annually. It will be assigned automatically upon joining a search committee. 

If you choose to have a student on your search committee, EOC and HR do not require that they complete search committee training. However, the hiring department or search committee can request that they complete the training. At a minimum, student search committee members must review Inappropriate/Appropriate Inquiries

Step 2: Writing the Job Description

The next step is to draft the job description that includes a clear position description and the minimum required Education, Experience, and Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities. Additional desirable Education, Experience, and Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities may also be identified. A well developed position description is vital to successful recruitment and hiring for many reasons. We can't hire the best candidate if they don't apply. This is important to keep in mind while drafting the position description. The job description can easily encourage or discourage candidates from applying. Also, a well written, succinct position description is very important because all applicants must be evaluated equally based on required and desired qualification, as noted in the job description. It is a best practice for the department to develop an initial draft of the job description. This draft is then shared with all search committee members for comments and input. It is also a good idea to develop the evaluation rubrics for applicant screening and interviews using the initial job description. This process is invaluable in evaluating the usability of the job description for evaluation of applicants. See Step 5 for evaluation information.

If you include a statement regarding a full consideration date in your job posting/description, applications submitted after said date will not be released to the committee for review until those submitted on or before that date are fully considered and moved appropriately in the workflow (i.e. Turndown or Withdrawn). As there are varying options to "full consideration" language, please contact your HR employment rep for further clarification and guidance.

Establish Job Requirements

It is important to be clear when adding Essential Duties and Responsibilities, which are listed at the top of the job description. Applicants should be able to understand what the job entails and what will be expected of them in that position. Also keep in mind that you'll get a much better applicant pool if you define the job requirements as broadly as possible. Minimum “required” qualifications and “desirable” qualifications are located below the Essential Duties and Responsibilities.

For example, when establishing the essential duties and responsibilities and the required and desired qualifications, steer clear of focusing on subfields which can easily exclude potential applicants. Setting requirements too high may exclude applicants based on qualifications that are not necessary to perform the job, which may create disparate impact resulting in discrimination against applicants. Setting requirements too narrow may limit your applicant pool and you may miss out on a well-qualified applicant.  It is a great idea to include opportunities for interdisciplinary scholarship and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and a sense of belonging  to attract applicants. 

All applicants will be evaluated according to the minimum requirements established. The requirements must be appropriate, realistic, and reasonable. You will identify minimum requirements in the areas of education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities. You will also identify desirable education, experiences, knowledge, skills, and abilities.  These will assist the secondary evaluation of applicants. A minimum of one requirement, along with four to six desirable qualifications, is expected. It is a best practice to include at least two requirements.

Use the following forms to assist in the development of your job description:

Beware of Gendered Language

When writing your job description, be aware of the use of gendered language. Using language that is inadvertently gendered may drive away candidates who feel excluded by certain words, even though they're highly competitive. We recommend copying your draft texts into a gender decoder to assess bias in position descriptions and ads.

Diversity Statement

We encourage you to consider asking applicants for Director type positions, and others if appropriate, to submit a diversity statement that describes how their past and/or potential actions support a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and sense of belonging, where all members of a campus community can excel. A diversity statement is required for Dean and Department Chair searches.

By providing a diversity statement, the applicant is given an opportunity to discuss their contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion.  As with the other application materials, it is important to determine ahead of time how you will evaluate a diversity statement in order to reduce the influence of unconscious biases. See Step 5 for evaluation information.

In order to recruit applicants who have demonstrated structural DEIS practices and commitment to DEIS in their work, you may also include a requirement in the position description such as "demonstrated experiences that would contribute to a diversity of viewpoints. e.g., workforce sector, social, cultural, and educational backgrounds, and professional affiliations."

Submit the Job Description

Once the position description has been drafted, reviewed by the committee, revised, and finalized, re-read it once more to make sure that the description does not unintentionally exclude certain groups (e.g. women and minorities). Then send it to Human Resources for review.

Please contact your Human Resources Employment Services Representative or Equal Opportunity Compliance,, if you have any questions.