Skip to main content

Appendix B: Hiring

Expand content
Expand content

I. Authorizing the Search

A search must be authorized by the Dean before members of the department initiate any recruitment activities. Searches can be authorized in two ways - by Dean's approval of the Leaves & Replacement spreadsheet, or by Dean's authorization of a new faculty line. Check with the Admin Supervisor to make sure that the appropriate authorization and approval is in place. Without approval, the Human Resources staff cannot go forward on any hiring actions.

Expand content

II. Constituting the Search Committee

Once the Dean has approved a search, the department Chair, in consultation with members of the faculty, selects at least three people to serve on the search committee, appointing one to serve as chair of the committee. The department Chair also serves on the search committee as an ex-officio member. Committees should be as diverse as possible in their membership and may include an “outside” member, selected from among the Arts & Sciences faculty (tenured, tenure-track, or general) who have expertise in the field. Effective in 2013, search committees *must* include a member from outside the department for searches to fill tenured or tenure-track positions.  In addition, search committees *must* include gender diversity, and racial/ethnic diversity.

All members of a search committee must have their Equal Opportunity Programs (EOP) certifications up-to-date before the position can be posted and advertised. Search committee members receive notification to initiate or update EOP certification when search committee names are entered in Jobs@UVa (see below).

Expand content

III. Timeline

In consultation with committee members, the committee chair suggests a timeline for the entire search process, including at least the following dates and deadlines:

  • the date by which the department will compile materials to post the position in Jobs@UVa (see IV below);
  • the date by which applications must be received to be assured full consideration;
  • dates for initial screenings (if any); The Dean’s Office generally provides travel funds to enable a committee member to attend a conference to conduct screening interviews;
  • the dates for on-grounds (or telephone) interviews; The Dean’s office generally provides $3,000 per search for candidates to interview on grounds;
  • the date by which the committee will have made its decision and its recommendation to the department chair.

When the full committee has approved the proposed timeline, the committee chair shares it with the department Chair.

Expand content

IV. Materials Required to Post the Position in Jobs@UVa

A. Determine the list of documents that you will require from applicants.

  • CV/resume, cover letter, contact information for references, statement of teaching philosophy, writing sample, sample syllabi, etc.

B. Determine screening criteria for the search

  • Provide specific information pertaining to the required and preferred qualifications to be listed in the ad text.  Include the terminal degree required for the position.  List all required and preferred qualifications, such as degree, training, licensure, experience.

C. Create your recruiting plan

  • List all planned recruiting efforts, including ads (using journals, publications, newspapers, web sites, listservs, direct mailings, etc.) to generate a diverse pool of qualified applicants.  Please provide a full narrative of your efforts to diversify your applicant pool.  The ad will be placed based on the information you submit.  If plans or text change, you must notify the Admin Supervisor in order to obtain approval for the change through HR and EOP.
  • Determine your plan for screening candidates. (Example: Committee will read through the application materials submitted by each applicant and rank them with explanatory remarks. Will rate the remaining applicants on a scale of 1-5 based on the required/preferred qualifications. Will conduct phone interviews. Will require letters of reference, teaching portfolios, and full publication files from the short list of candidates. Conduct conference interviews.)

D. Search Committee Information

  1. The search must have at least three committee members, including the chair, and the committee must be diverse in race/ethnicity and gender.
  2. For tenure-track and/or tenured positions, one committee member must be from outside of the position’s home department.
  3. All members of the search committee must have taken EOP on-line training before the search can be approved.(
  4. For all tenure track and/or tenured positions, all committee members must also take the Provost’s On-line search committee training prior to approval.(
  5. Both EOP and Provost training tutorials must be re-taken every two years.

E. Advertisement

  1. This is the exact text that you will place as an advertisement. It must be specific and concrete, and focus on exactly what the organization desires in a candidate, articulating exact expectations. It provides guidelines by which candidates will be evaluated, and it encourages self-selection among potential candidates by permitting them to screen themselves from consideration.
  2. The advertisement should be carefully reviewed to ensure it is not so specific as to eliminate otherwise qualified persons from consideration and that every criterion is related to the actual needs of the position.
  3. Any advertisement that is placed (both free and paid – initiated by the University or the department) must be printed and filed with the search records for audit verification.
  4. Although advertisements vary widely, those for faculty positions include the following:
  • Title/Rank of the position
  • Tenure status (or length of appointment)
  • Start date
  • Specific duties for which the person will be responsible
  • Area of specialization
  • Deadline for receipt of application if the search committee has an end date OR deadline for immediate consideration if the position will be open until filled.
  • Application process and documents required
  • Contact information for the search committee member or faculty member that can answer questions about the position.
  • EO/AA Statement

F. EO/AA Statement – Provide the EO/AA statement you will use in your ad.

The College of A&S and the University of Virginia welcome applications from women, minorities, veterans and persons with disabilities; we seek to build a culturally diverse, intellectual environment and are committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity and to the principles of affirmative action in accordance with state and federal laws.

Once the search committee has compiled ALL the information listed above, the Admin Supervisor will enter it in Jobs@UVa.  It will be reviewed for completeness by the Dean’s Office and Human Resources.  Please allow at least 10 days for this process.  The Admin Supervisor will notify the search committee if additional information is requested, and will notify the search committee when the position is approved and posted.

Most permanent faculty positions are required to post for 21 to 30 days before consideration of applications can begin.  This is in order to allow time to attract a large and diversified pool of qualified applicants. Applications may not be viewed before the required time has passed.

G. Guest User Access

Search committee members will be given a Guest User ID and Password for access to Jobs@UVa to review all applications. Guest User ID and Password will not be available until the required posting time, usually 21 to 30 days, has passed.  Only at that time may the search committee begin to review applications.

Expand content

V. Review of Applications

Initial Screening. The initial screening of applications must be based on the advertised qualifications. In order to evaluate candidates consistently, the search committee should rate the applications based on previously outlined selection criteria and screening procedures. Members of the search committee are responsible for carefully reviewing all submitted materials. Written comments reflecting the judgment of each committee member should be made for every candidate. This will allow the search committee to determine which candidates are to be interviewed and will also save time if it becomes necessary to return to the applicant pool at a later date. All written materials must be kept with the search file. Furthermore, recording the judgments of the committee will facilitate completion of information required to be entered in Jobs@UVa with respect to screening and selection of candidates for interviews.

Preliminary Interviews. Search committees may seek to conduct preliminary interviews with a larger sample of applicants by sending a delegation to a professional conference to conduct preliminary interviews. The search committee should announce this interview process to the department as a whole and invite participation in the preliminary interviews by interested faculty. The College will usually pay for committee members to attend the conference for the purpose of such preliminary interviews, but it is not necessary for all committee members to attend (nor for all faculty involved in the preliminary interviews to be members of the search committee).

The search committee should devise a group of core interview questions based solely on job-related criteria. The same questions should be asked of all candidates, which will allow comparative judgments while ensuring that crucial job-related information is obtained. Written comments reflecting the judgment of each committee member should be made for every candidate. Recording the judgments of the committee will facilitate subsequent completion of Appendix C.

Conference interviews cannot be mandatory; full consideration must be possible for people not interviewed at a conference.

Expand content

VI. Documentation for On-Grounds Interviews

When the search committee selects candidates to interview, the search committee chair provides the department Chair a few sentences or a brief paragraph answering the following, prior to scheduling interviews:

  1. Screening method - how were the candidates screened and chosen?
  2. For each candidate, how does he or she meet the required qualifications, and the preferred qualifications? (Don't compare them to each other, just answer for each).

Explanations about selections must be detailed with respect to qualifications. It is unacceptable to say “met screening criteria” or “best candidate.” The department Chair or the search committee chair provides the pre-interview information to the Admin Supervisor for entry into Jobs@UVa. Jobs@ routes the information to HR in the Dean's Office. Approval for interviews is usually received within a few days. The Admin Supervisor will inform the search committee and department chair when approval is received. This step is indispensible. If you talk to a Dean, that is not sufficient approval. The interviews must be approved in Jobs@UVa.

Expand content

VII. Interviews

The interview is the next stage, one of the most critical ones in the recruitment process. The search committee should devise a group of core interview questions based solely on job-related criteria and a set of tasks representative of the demands of the advertised position. The same questions should be asked of all candidates, and each candidate should be required to perform the same interview tasks in maximally similar conditions, so as to allow comparative judgments while ensuring that crucial job-related information is obtained. A patterned interview of this sort has the beneficial effect of minimizing unconscious biases.

The interview tasks should include:

  • a public lecture on research (for tenure-track hires);
  • a demonstration of teaching (for general faculty hires); and
  • one-on-one meetings with as many MESALC and area studies faculty as possible.

The search committee must make every reasonable effort to assure widespread and diverse participation among MESALC faculty in the searches. Public lectures should be scheduled for departmental colloquium times so that everyone can participate.

It may be useful to print the questions on a form with space below to record the candidate’s responses and the interviewer’s reactions. (These written remarks will aid in evaluating the candidates and will facilitate subsequent completion of the interview summations that will be entered in Jobs@UVa.)

Search committee members and other individuals involved in interviewing candidates need to concentrate on job-related questions and must avoid inquiries with a discriminatory implication. Occasionally during an interview, applicants may volunteer non-job-related information with regard to religion, sex, marital status, national origin, age, etc., that could potentially be used to discriminate against the candidate. (An example is an applicant who mentions being divorced or talks about children and child care arrangements.) Even though you did not ask for the information, you may still be charged with discrimination if a question arises subsequently about how this information was used. Should an applicant volunteer information that does not relate to the job, you should handle the situation in the following manner:

  • Do not, under any circumstances, write down the information.
  • Do not ask follow-up questions or make statements to continue in the area of discussion.
  • Refer the applicant to sources that may answer the questions. For example, if there are concerns about spousal employment, you may say that you will pass on those concerns to the Dean’s Office, where they will be addressed appropriately, by the Associate Dean.
  • Return the discussion to job issues.
  • Do not consider the revealed information in evaluating the applicant’s candidacy.
Expand content

VIII. Department Discussion and Vote

Upon completion of the interviews, the search committee should solicit the input of department faculty. The committee then meets to review the merits of each individual, taking faculty input into consideration, prepares interview summations, and decides on its recommendation. The department Chair will call a meeting of the department faculty (including graduate student representative) and ask the committee to present its recommendations to the faculty. The faculty discusses the committee’s recommendations, and the department votes by secret ballot. All eligible faculty (as well as the graduate student representative) present at the meeting get a single vote; absent faculty may send comments to be read out by the search committee chair or the department Chair and included in the discussion, but they may not vote.

Expand content

IX. Documentation for Candidate Selection

Like the pre-interview selection info, a brief narrative is needed comparing each candidate's qualifications to the job criteria in the ad, but not to other candidates. The narrative about each candidate should reflect new information gleaned during the interview process, as well as objective info such as educational background. The narratives about each interviewed candidate should be sent to the department Chair along with written interview summations. The interview summaries should outline the strengths and weaknesses of each person and provide some clear indication of why the applicant selected is the most qualified. Do not send a travel itinerary or interview schedule in lieu of (or in addition to) a narrative describing the candidates’ qualifications and the reason for the committee’s decision. The department Chair or the search committee chair forwards the documents to Maggie, who enters the selection information in Jobs@UVa. The information is electronically routed to the Dean's Office for review. Be sure to include whether any of the candidates should be considered as alternates, should the first choice decline an offer. The Dean's Office will handle the offer process.

Expand content

X. Negotiation of Contract

Record Keeping. The faculty hiring process should demonstrate a “good faith” effort to recruit under-represented groups. The department originating the search must retain for three years all files developed during the recruitment process. Among the records that should be retained are:

  • A copy of the position description
  • A copy of all advertisements used to announce the position
  • A listing of where the position was posted
  • A record of the efforts made to enlarge the pool of candidates
  • Copies of sample letters used in the process
  • The core questions asked in the interview
  • A summary evaluation for each candidate, whether they were rejected in the first screening or were interviewed by the committee

Negotiation of Terms with Dean. Once the search has been conducted and a candidate has been chosen, the departmental Chair negotiates the exact terms of the offer with the Dean via email. The Dean’s Office issues offer letters and negotiates moving expenses. The department Chair may be consulted by the dean’s office during this process, but the dean’s office manages the process. When an offer is made, the dean’s office provides a copy to the department Chair.  Once a signed offer letter has been received, the Dean’s Office provides copies to the department Chair and to the Admin Supervisor.