It’s all about hiring the right faculty from the start.
It’s all about hiring the right faculty from the start. All searches for faculty are conducted in collaboration with the Office of Human Resources and the Office of the Dean. What can Human Resources (HR) do? They will work with you to recruit top faculty to Saint Mary’s College.
Human Resources has a specialized role so it is important for you to contact HR early in the search process so HR can:
- Work with hiring authorities and search committees to develop search strategies, concurrent with the approval process;
- Assist in the development of the position announcement using our faculty position templates;
- Strategize with hiring authorities and search committees to determine search and selection criteria;
- Provide ideas on search committee and recruitment best practices;
- Identify the best resources for posting positions and recruitment, including diversity advertising;
- Design recruitment advertising and position postings that will be clear and attractive; and
- Provide hiring authorities and search committees with effective interview and reference questions.
Saint Mary’s College is an equal opportunity employer. In compliance with applicable law and our policy, the College is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty and staff population and does not discriminate in hiring faculty and staff or in the provision of our employment benefits to faculty and staff on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex/gender, martial status, ancestry, sexual orientation, medial condition or physical or mental disability.
The following recruitment and hiring guidelines are intended to assist faculty and staff hiring authorities and search committees when initiating a search. Additionally please consult the Faculty Handbook (FH) regarding search and appointment procedures (FH Section 2.3).
RECRUITMENT AND HIRING
A. RECRUITMENT GUIDELINES
The primary focus of recruitment is to employ faculty and staff with qualifications and experience that enhance the College’s commitment to academic excellence. It is essential that the staff or faculty hiring authority ensure that a non-discriminatory hiring process is followed and that each candidate is considered on the qualifications stated in the position announcement. Chairs are asked to (a) educate themselves on best practices for proactive recruitment with help from the Director of Recruitment & HR Consultation, dean or vice provost; (b) develop a recruitment plan; and (c) consult with the Provost regarding this plan. The Director of Recruitment & HR Consultation and the dean are to provide recommendations regarding the plan. The Faculty Handbook states, “In order to meet the College’s commitment to diversity, a good faith effort should be made to include at least one candidate, in the final list of candidates, from traditionally underrepresented groups (including but not limited to racial, gender, and disabled) in the field for which the search is occurring.”
B. THE RECRUITMENT CAMPAIGN
Once a dean has approved a search, the chair meets with the Director of Recruitment & HR Consultation to learn the search steps including writing a position description and using external recruitment sites. The chair submits a draft of the position description to the Director of Recruitment & HR Consulation, who in partnership with the Academic Affairs Coordinator reviews the position description for general compliance with College recruitment guidelines and equal employment opportunity compliance. The Academic Affairs Coordinator formats the position description and sends the final draft to the hiring authority for final review and approval. The final position description is entered into the GAELRECRUIT system by Academic Affairs Coordinator.
C. Electronic Recruitment Process: GAELRECRUIT
Recruitment efforts are conducted through the College’s online and web-based recruitment and applicant tracking system called GAELRECRUIT. HR or the Academic Affairs Coordinator trains the Chair as a user in GAELRECRUIT Job system. The chair then completes an electronic Job Posting Request (JPR) also know as a Requisition in the GAELRECRUIT system. The electronic system approval process includes the dean, provost, the Controller, and the VP of Finance as appropriate.
HR then lists the position on the College’s website and external recruitment sites. Position announcements and advertisements are developed to provide potential candidates with as much information as possible about the position. All of the College’s faculty and staff position announcements include the College’s equal employment opportunity statement and a Clery Act statement. Hiring deadlines are determined by the hiring authority in consultation with the dean and the Director of Recruitment & HR Consultation. Timeline options for posting include: 1) five business days internal or external, 2) date specific deadline (with a minimum of 30 days for advertising purposes).
Candidates for all faculty and staff positions listed on the College’s website submit their application materials online through the GAELRECRUIT system to HR. For faculty and staff positions, application materials are available directly to the chair/hiring authority for review within GAELRECRUIT.
D. SEARCH COMMITTEES
Search committees are an integral part of an effective search. The appointment of search committees is made by the hiring authority as soon as a position vacancy is announced. In most cases faculty search committees are appointed by the department chair. Typically, the department chair will serve as the chairperson for the search committee.
Members of search committees should be composed of several members, usually between five and six, drawn from constituencies served by the position taking care to ensure that the committee is representative of the College’s diverse workforce and student population. For faculty searches, the FH notes, “the Committee shall include a faculty member from outside the department, preferably one from outside the School. For primarily traditional undergraduate appointments, the Committee should include a faculty member who has taught in and will represent Collegiate Seminar.” (FH 2.3.1) The Director of Recruitment & HR Consulation is available to consult with faculty search committees and/or the Chairperson.
The initial meeting of a search committee should be held to cover the following essentials:
- The position to be filled with a position description attached;
- The role and responsibility of the committee during the search;
- The scope of the search (internal, local, national);
- Procedures for reviewing application materials;
- Develop interview questions;
- Develop methodology for candidate selection criteria; and Confidentiality of the search process.
E. APPLICATION REVIEW
It is critical that chairpersons, hiring authorities, and/or search committees conduct a thorough review of all application materials submitted by the candidates. To be considered for a position, candidates are expected to submit all the application materials required in the advertised position announcement through GAELRECRUIT. Candidates may be contacted by the hiring authority or chair of the search committee for clarification of information contained in a vitae or other submitted application materials. The hiring authority or search committee chair should limit the discussion to clarification of received application materials and refrain from engaging in lengthy or in depth conversations with the candidate about the position or the candidate’s skills, background, education or experience. Unless conducted for all candidates, these conversations may appear to unfairly advantage or disadvantage a candidate.
Interviewing candidates is one of the most important stages in the recruitment process. Two very important things are taking place during the interview process: the hiring authority or search committee is assessing the candidates and the candidates are assessing the position and the College. A list of core questions based on the position-related criteria that will be asked of all candidates should be developed by the hiring authority or search committee. A consistent interview structure for every candidate allows the hiring authority or search committee to make the best comparisons, ensures that each candidate is treated fairly, and minimizes unconscious biases. The interview questions should be aimed at learning about the candidate and what the candidate can bring to the position and the College. The questions must be limited to those that directly relate to the position to be performed. Ask only questions related to the position or search. There are inquiries that are not permitted because they request or allow the use of information that may lead to an unfair or biased decision. If there are questions, please contact the Director of Recruitment & HR Consultation.
Types of Interviews
Phone Interviews – Phone interviews are used to review the first group of candidates that meet the qualifications of the position. Phone interviews help the committee determine the initially interest of the candidate, gives the committee an opportunity to tell the candidate more about the position, department, school, and campus environment. Phone interviews last between 30 -45 minutes.
Virtual Interviews aka Video Conference Interviews (optional) – These interviews are used to ask follow up questions and more in-depth questions of candidates. The benefits of this type of interview are numerous. Some benefits include having face to face conversations with candidates to have them do an initial demonstration of their presentation/teaching style and/or assisting the evaluation of out of the area candidates without having them miss additional time from their current role.
On-Campus Interviews – On campus Interviews are the final interviews that may include several parts of the campus community such as the Dean, Provost, VP of Mission, Department members, students, and the general community in the form of a Classroom presentation, Open Q and A Forum, small group interviews and/or one –on-one interviews.
Research has shown that behavioral interviewing is the best predicator of future job performance and provides critical information about how the candidate has handled or responded to similar situations in the past. The premise is that past performance is the best predictor of future performance. The process of behavioral-based interviewing is much more probing than traditional interview questions. The key is asking questions aimed at getting the candidates to describe past behaviors to give the search committee clues about how the candidates respond to challenges inside and outside of the classroom
Related Resources: HR Recruitment Manual which includes - 1) The Guide for Pre-Employment Inquiries outlines acceptable and unacceptable inquiries; 2) The handout of Behavioral Interviewing explains how to conduct behavioral interviewing.
G. FINAL CANDIDATES
For adjunct and tenure-track faculty positions, the search committee shall narrow the pool to 2-4 candidates. Please note that candidates that are from out of the area and need assistance with travel must go through the Academic Affairs Coordinator who will handle the travel arrangements. As noted in the Faculty Handbook, “this list, as far as possible, should reflect the College’s commitment to its mission, department/program needs, equal employment opportunities, and diversity. After choosing the final candidates, the Search Committee will submit an account of actions taken according to their proactive plan to the Dean and/or Provost. If the Dean and/or Provost find that there has not been a good faith effort, the Dean and/or Provost will ask the Search Committee to make such an effort before the interviews can proceed.”
All candidates meet with the committee, Dean, Provost or Provost's designee, and should meet with the Vice President for Mission. Allow as much lead-time as possible when scheduling the candidate’s interviews with these administrators. Undergraduate programs are also encouraged to invite the directors of Collegiate Seminar and January Term to meet candidates during some part of the visit.
- Once the hiring authority or search committee has identified the preferred candidate, employment references, verifications of credentials and background screening as appropriate will be conducted. The hiring authority or search committee is expected to conduct professional reference checking, and Academic Affairs Coordinator will verify credentials and conduct background screening for all faculty of choice.
H. REFERENCE AND BACKGROUND CHECKING
As mentioned, references must be identified and checked before an offer of employment is extended, including verification of degrees and other credentials received from the candidate in faculty searches. Reference checking is an important part of any recruitment effort. References help identify successful hires and help avoid charges of “negligent hiring.” While letters of professional or academic reference submitted by the candidate are useful, it is critical that the hiring authority or search committee conduct telephone reference checking for either the final candidates or candidate of choice. Hiring authorities and search committees will need to develop specific job-related questions for a telephone reference check ( also see Tips on Reference Checking found in the HR Recruitment Manual. All questions asked and issues raised must be job-related and consistent for all candidates.
Related Resource: HR Recruitment Manaual -Tips on Reference Checking
The Academic Affairs Coordinator will conduct a background screening for the candidate and notify the hiring authority or search committee chair when it is completed. The final candidate/s are asked to sign an authorization for background screening Candidate will need to provide their full legal name (no initials or nicknames) by signing into our electronic Third party Background checking Vendor.
I. PRIOR TO OFFER – Prior to extending an offer of employment to a candidate
- for any position, the hiring authority is expected to ensure that the reason(s) for not pursuing the other candidates are job related. For faculty positions, the search committee should assess its process to ensure equity and selection criteria. The protocols for ranking the final pool of candidates and submitting the ranked list to the dean are outlined in the Faculty Handbook, section 2.3.
J. OFFERS OF EMPLOYMENT
The following process outlines the steps to take when a department has reached agreement on a candidate for a ranked position:
- The chair notifies the dean of the choice, and the dean confers with the provost, as appropriate.
- If the dean and provost concur, the dean notifies the chair to informally contact the candidate to say that the department is recommending that he/she be offered the position, and the dean will be in touch. There is to be no negotiating over the terms of the offer at that step.
- Then the dean contacts the candidate to discuss the parameters of the offer: i.e., salary step, R&T schedule, start-up needs, and anything else that is pertinent.
- Once that step is completed, the dean submits a specific recommendation either to the provost based on that conversation.
- The provost prepares the letter of appointment and sends it to the candidate.
K. RECORD KEEPING DURING A SEARCH
The hiring authority or search committee is expected to maintain summary information about the search process, applicants and hires. Search committee members should consider maintaining the following information about a search:
- Position description;
- Actual dated copies of announcements, advertising, and other solicitations for applications and nominations, including documentation of recruitment of women and minorities;
- Nominations, correspondence, evaluations, references, a record of verbal contacts with or about applicants or nominees and other materials submitted by the candidates or requested by the search committee;
- Minutes for all committee meetings;
- Information on how search committees function, including the charge to the search committee; and
- Evaluations of candidates at each step of the interview process, including evaluations of candidates who are interviewed and reasons why candidates were not further considered for the position.
Following completion of the recruitment process and after the candidate of choice has accepted the position, the hiring authority or chair of the search committee sends all material to the HR Office, attn: Director of Recruitment and HR Consultation. All records of faculty and staff searches are retained by HR for a minimum of three (3) years.
L. LETTERS TO CANIDATES NOT SELECTED
The hiring authority or search committees are responsible for sending letters to candidates interviewed (phone and/or in person) and not selected. The Academic Affairs Coordinator will send emails to caniddates that were not considered and close out the position in GAELRECRUIT.