IV. THE REVIEW AND SCREENING PROCESS
Although evaluation procedures vary, it is recommended that the search committee develop a rating form based on job-related criteria. The rating form may consist of a series of job-related questions or issues that the committee believes are crucial to the position. While some search committees use a point system for evaluating candidates, written comments reflecting the judgment of each member of the committee should be made for each candidate. Not only will this allow the search committee to determine which candidates are to be interviewed, it will also save time if it becomes necessary to reconsider the applicant pool at a later date.
Most selection processes involve more than one screening. Generally, the first screening is to determine whether candidates meet the minimum criteria for the position. Subsequent screenings become increasingly qualitative and increasingly difficult. Where a large number of applications are received, the search committee may elect to divide into two or more subcommittees to facilitate the initial review of application materials. However, the committee must be in agreement on all screening techniques used to identify suitable candidates. Some possible techniques include:
A ranking of each candidate with a full discussion by committee on only those applicants given a top rank by at least one committee member
A preliminary sorting of applicants into broad categories such as strong, average or weak
A point system wherein a particular score is awarded to an applicant based on the extent to which he/she meets the selection criteria
A majority vote to advance the applicant to the next round of screening
Whatever criteria are used, it is important that the criteria be applied equally to all candidates. It is advisable for the chair of the committee to review all dossiers rejected during the initial screening. Polite letters of rejection should be sent at this point to candidates who do not meet the minimum qualifications for the position.
It should be noted that a nominee for a position is not a candidate for the position until the individual nominated makes direct contact with the search committee by letter, telephone, or submission of documents.
If a specific closing date for the receipt of application materials
has been established, all application materials postmarked or faxed on
the deadline date but received after the application deadline should be
included in the applicant pool.
During the screening process, attempts to clarify and refine the selection criteria should not result in changed or unadvertised criteria. Any refined selection criteria should be job related. Ranking methods should be determined as each round of the search proceeds.
A search committee should evaluate candidates in broad and comprehensive terms, carefully examining all of an individual’s accomplishments, his or her potential for growth, the diversity of perspective that one will bring, and the unique contribution which the candidate will make to the academic unit. While publications may be a significant indicator of future success, they are not the only indicator, nor are they solely indicative of the value of a candidate to a department.
Search committees must also eliminate biases which may subconsciously intrude in their evaluation of a candidate. Degrees, for instance, from women’s colleges or southern universities must not be automatically seen as inadequate; reference letters from individuals not known to search committee members should not be given less credence and importance than letters coming from colleagues; scholarship on feminist or minority issues should not be devalued because some may believe that it is not “in the mainstream.” It is vital to eliminate from the evaluation process any stereotypical ideas based on the candidate’s race, color, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability or gender. Notions, for instance, that women are more transient than men and not interested in long term careers, or that an individual with a disability might require an expensive accommodation should not preclude them from consideration. Applicants with disabilities should be evaluated in terms of the actual job requirements and thought given to reasonable accommodations that can be made to enable them to fill the position.
Final screening decisions should be made by the entire committee, even if subcommittees were formed to make the initial screening decisions. Based on their evaluations, the committee either decides as a whole who will be interviewed or makes that determination in consultation with the individual to whom they report. Documentation of the committee’s deliberations must include the “rationale” for eliminating any candidate from further consideration
A. THE INTERVIEW REQUEST
Prior to scheduling and conducting interviews with candidates, the FAM designee shall add the names and contact information into FAM (Main Menu, Data Entry Menu, “Enter a New Applicant”, Appendices B & C). Individuals are selected for interviews using the Faculty Applicant Monitoring System (Main Menu, “Select Applicants”, Appendix B). After interviewees have been selected, the school dean’s office first approves the request. It is then forwarded to the Office of Equal Opportunity for review and approval. The applicant/interviewee list should not only include the names of all persons who have applied for the position and those checked for interviews, but must reveal specific work-related reasons why applicants were not selected for interviews. For convenience, a drop-down menu of rejection reasons appears in the “Rej Cd” field of FAM’s interviews/offers screen (Appendix F). If cited reasons do not apply, type other rejection reasons in the “Rejection Reasons” field. Once Affirmative Action approval has been given, acknowledgement will appear in the “AAOIntAppDt” and “AAO Staff” fields on a position’s interviews/offers screen (Appendix F). Unless an Affirmative Action exception is granted, a request to interview must result in an interview.
Protected class members are afforded a second review of their credentials as a part of the university’s commitment to affirmative action and its effort to increase the number in academic positions.
Whenever demographic data collected by the Office of Equal Opportunity
reveals underutilized protected class members (women and minorities)
in the applicant pool, the director of OEO will ask the search
committee via memorandum to conduct a second review of the materials of
these candidates (Appendix J).
After the Office of Equal Opportunity has granted approval to commence the interview process, the search committee should plan interview schedules in cooperation with the appropriate university official(s), faculty and the campus community. Similar arrangements for travel, lodging and other necessities should be offered to all interviewees. Lodging one candidate at the home of a committee member and others at a no frills motel may leave the university vulnerable to a complaint of disparate treatment from one or more of the candidates.
Each candidate invited to participate in interviews should be provided with the following information prior to his or her visit to campus:
Information regarding the university’s policy and procedures concerning people with disabilities and the reasonable accommodation process
A packet of information pertaining to the position vacancy
A packet of materials/information describing the university
A clear itinerary for the on-campus visit (who, when, where, etc.)
The interview schedule should afford candidates sufficient time for occasional respites between sessions and the opportunity to review their own requirements concerning the position vacancy with the search committee. The interview schedule should also allot time for an informational tour of pertinent IUPUI facilities and the local community.
In structuring either telephone or face-to-face interviews, it is important to remember that consistency, fairness, and job-relatedness are paramount to ensuring that equal opportunity prevails.
A well-planned interview will be based on the committee’s prior decisions concerning many of the following considerations:
Who will meet with the candidate while he/she is on campus, and in what setting?
As a part of the candidate’s visit to campus, will he/she make a formal presentation to the committee or other members of the campus community?
What general areas will be covered by the interview questions and who will lead the discussion or formulate the questions?
Will the committee discuss the candidate’s performance immediately following the conclusion of each interview or will the committee wait for the last scheduled interview to conclude prior to discussing each candidate’s performance?
Search committees should consider the following strategies in structuring the interview process, whether the session takes place via telephone, in person or video conferencing:
A list of interview questions should be prepared and agreed upon by committee members prior to commencing with telephone and/or face-to-face interviews
The same list of questions should be asked of all candidates, with questions divided among committee members who each ask the same question(s) in each interview
The applicant should be provided with a list of prepared questions prior to the interview in order to facilitate the discussion.
To avoid unlawful
inquiries, everyone participating in the interview
process should be acquainted with the interview
guidelines (Appendix I) provided by the Office of Equal Opportunity concerning pre-employment inquiries.
B. CHECKING REFERENCES
Reference checks are an integral part of the search and screen process. Search committees are encouraged to engage in a documented effort to check the background and references of any candidate recommended for employment. The purpose of reference checking goes beyond just confirming the facts presented during the interview or on a curriculum vitae. Pertinent information from past employers, colleagues and others familiar with the candidate’s experience and background provide the search committee with a more in‑depth profile of the candidate.
People sometimes interview well but have a record of not actually performing as well as they have led you to believe. It is important to check out any areas which pose doubts or uncertainties for the search committee. The hour or two spent to conduct reference checks is far less than the time it would take down the road to deal with performance or behavior problems. The committee should plan what information will be solicited so that the interview will be structured and include sufficient open‑ended questions for good discussion. Answers should be noted and shared with all members of the committee.
Give the referees a brief description of the position for which the candidate is being considered ‑- duties, responsibilities, and special demands of the position, such as teaching effectiveness, self-initiative in developing a research program ‑‑ and then solicit their opinion as to how well they believe the candidate will fit the position.
Do not ask for personal information such as marital status, age, religion, or any other information not related to the applicant’s prior job performance. Ask straightforward questions that are job related.
If references on a candidate are problematic, the search committee should check with other reliable sources to confirm the information in order to ensure that one person is not purposely and perhaps falsely giving a poor reference.
As a condition of employment and under mandate of state law, IUPUI has established a background check process that consists of two parts: the candidate will be required to complete a self-disclosure questionnaire and a consent form at the time the conditional offer of employment is extended; then a formal background check will be conducted by a firm under contract with the IUPUI campus, which will include criminal history, sex and violent offender registries. Only after all relevant forms have been signed and submitted, and the results of the completed background check have been considered at the campus and school level, will an offer be finalized. Details of the IUPUI policy and procedure for conducting background checks for academic candidates, as well as the self-disclosure and consent forms are available from the IUPUI Academic Policies, Procedures, and Documentation website.
The search and screen process for candidates for academic appointments which carry the title of department chair or higher will require an additional credit history check and verification of state tax payment.
No full-time academic appointment will be finally or formally approved until a background check has been completed.
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