University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Organizing a Search Committee

Search committees have an important role in attracting the most talented candidates to the University.

Recruiting Tool

Members of a search committee are often the first impression a candidate gets of an organization and therefore each member has a responsibility to represent the University as a diverse and welcoming community. Search committees have the ability to make a fundamental change to a department by recruiting the most qualified candidates available.

The Importance of a Search Committee

While search committees are not required for all positions, they can strengthen the recruitment process and the identification of the best qualified applicants by combining the experience of various individuals that comprise a search committee. Search committees also reduce the opportunity for illegal discrimination allegations and help to protect you against accusations of arbitrary or inappropriate applicant evaluation and candidate selection.

Guidelines for Search Committee Members

The Hiring Manager…
  • Aims to establish a diverse search committee.
  • Selects a committee chairperson that has the ability to lead people and has a thorough understanding of the position.
  • Ensures the search committee receive their charge before beginning the search process.
  • Ensure that the search committee has a thorough understanding of their role in the search process.
  • Establish goal timelines for the search.
The Search Committee Chair…
  • Act as spokesperson and facilitator.
  • Coordinate search committee meetings and timelines.
  • Describe the duties, responsibilities and expectations of the committee members during the search process.
  • Ensure proper documentation is maintained.
  • Review committee expectations regarding confidentiality and meeting attendance.
  • Identify administrative support to take notes, perform data entry tasks, make travel arrangements (if applicable), schedule interviews and prepare itineraries for campus visits.
  • If an applicant or candidate checks to see why they were not selected, only one individual on the committee should respond.
Search Committee Members…
  • Ensure that you are available to interview all candidates in order to ensure each candidate is given an equal opportunity to demonstrate their abilities.
  • Provide a variety of perspectives on the role and function of the position in question.
  • Treat all applicants in a respectful manner.
  • Participate fully and consistently.
  • Ensure confidentiality.
  • Review applications and create shortlist of applicants.
  • Assist in development of interview questions.
  • Determine how to create shortlist – vote, consensus, etc.
  • Check references as assigned.