Step 1: Position Authorization and Search Committee Approval
Step 2: Writing the Job Description
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.
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
When convening a search committee, diversity is key. In accordance with Federal regulations, a special effort should be made to ensure that minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities have equal opportunity to not only be considered for hire but also to serve on search committees. Having a diverse committee means that various identities are represented by search committee members. As a best practice, the committee should consist of a minimum of three members with at least one member from outside your department in addition to those from within the department. It is strongly suggested that these outside department committee member(s) not be located within the reporting structure of the department that is hiring. If the search plan is to have a larger committee, at least two should be from outside the department. You may also consider adding a student to your search committee. This facilitates a strong non-biased hiring process that aligns with Equal Opportunity Employer requirements.
Once the search committee members have been determined, send names of committee members to firstname.lastname@example.org for review
Human Resources and Equal Opportunity Compliance will confirm that the Staff Hiring Process Training Program and/or the Staff Legal Aspects Refresher Course have been completed by all committee members, and ensure the search committee is diverse.
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 committee chair must mediate any conflict and redirect discussions about applicants that do not focus on the job criteria. This may include such topics as family status, non-job related information, and rumors. All inquiries and requests from candidates must be referred to the chair of the search committee only.
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.
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.
The supervisor 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, as a supervisor, plan to be involved. For example, the supervisor may ask the committee to provide 2-3 applicants that are recommended for hire in a non-ranked format.
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 Staff Legal Aspects Refresher Course is to 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.
Establish Job Requirements
All applicants will be evaluated according to the minimum requirements. Therefore, those requirements must be appropriate, realistic and reasonable. Identify minimum requirements in the areas of degrees, experience, knowledge, skills, and personal traits.
Be aware that setting requirements too high may exclude applicants based on qualifications that are not necessary to perform the job. This may create disparate impact resulting in discrimination against applicants. Setting your requirements too narrow may limit your applicant pool and you may miss out on a well-qualified applicant.
It is important to be clear and concise when adding Essential Duties and Responsibilities to the job description. Applicants should be able to clearly see what the job entails and what will be expected of them in that position.
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.
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.
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.
- University Senate Search Procedures for University Administrators 801.1.1. The search procedure described here is for University administrators who constitute the executive team, excluding the President.
- University Senate Search Procedures for University President 804.1.1.
- New Paradigms for Diversifying Faculty and Staff in Higher Education: Uncovering Cultural Biases in the Search and Hiring Process.
- How To Take Gender Bias Out Of Your Job Ads.