Component I: Planning and Recruiting

Equity and Confidentiality

Search committees are to conduct business in a fair and transparent manner, which enables each voting committee member to have an equal voice in the process. Maintaining discretion is an expectation of all individuals who participate in the search and screening process, particularly confidentiality of the search committee’s deliberations.

  • Confidentiality is not only important during the search, but even more critical after the search process has ended. The hiring manager and the search committee possess the responsibility to honor applicant/candidate confidentiality throughout the search process.
  • Do not discuss candidate names or other identifying information or disclose information about the processes, including voting, to anyone not involved in the search process other than OHR and OEDI.
  • Breach of confidentiality or professional ethics throughout the search process may lead to expulsion from the process, including the search committee, and result in a failed search.
  • Adhering to the recommendations outlined ensures the effectiveness and quality of the search process and safeguards the efficacy of the onboarding process as well.

Diversity as a Core Value

It is expected that finalist lists be comprised of candidates that are diverse with respect to race/ethnicity and gender. To achieve this, diversity should be considered at all stages in the process, which includes the initial applicant pool, the semi-finalist list, and the finalist list. As such, it is expected that the search committee intentionally and periodically review the presence of racial/ethnic and gender diversity in the pool and document how diverse populations transition throughout the hiring process. When assessing applicants, search committees are encouraged to be mindful of the following in each stage of the process.

  • Due Diligence: The search committee should engage in and document genuine and deliberate attempts to ensure the presence of racial/ethnicity and gender diversity from the applicant pool to the finalist list of candidates.
  • Equitable Treatment: All candidates should receive reasonable similar treatment in all stages of the process, including interactions outside of the formal interviews. Search committees are required to maintain procedural equity to ensure that all candidates receive fair and equitable treatment throughout the process.
  • Availability in the Workforce: Certain professional fields and jobs have disproportionately lower representation of race/ethnicities and/or genders. In these circumstances, the hiring manager and/or search committee must demonstrate intentional attempts of due diligence and equitable treatment is maintained to maximize the potential of reaching diverse populations.

Identifying Hiring Need

An essential component of the hiring process is to review the information of the vacant position. For staff positions, this work is primarily completed by the hiring manager, who serves as the catalyst to the hiring process. For faculty positions, minimum qualifications for faculty positions are more often developed collaboratively by the unity head and the faculty members of the search committee. Desired qualifications for the successful candidate, regardless of staff or faculty, involve:

  • Identify the need for a new employee or replacing an existing employee, who has left the institution, is being promoted, or being transferred to another role within the institution.
  • Determine if the duties noted in the position description are still valid and if required and/or preferred qualifications are still accurate.
  • Align with the current and future needs of the department/division with institutional need to enhance diversity among faculty or staff

Creating a Search and Selection Plan

Recruiting a broad and diverse pool of candidates is one of the most important functions of the search process. A successful search and selection plan addresses how and where a position will be advertised, who will participate in the review of applications, and how that review will occur.

To be effective, the search and selection plan must be creative and thorough in seeking to identify diverse and qualified candidates. The more rigorous the search efforts, the more successful the recruitment outcome.

A successful search and selection plan documents the various stages of the hiring process, outlines required checkpoints within the hiring process, ensures the reputation of the institution, and serves as a guide for search committees to ensure consistency in achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion excellence throughout the hiring process. When creating the search and selection plan, each hiring division is encouraged to consult with OHR and OEDI to ensure the following checkpoints are met.

  • Review tenure, tenure stream, and appointment stream faculty position and monitor all staff position announcements.
  • Request and participate in Implicit Bias and Excellence in Diversity Recruiting trainings to reduce the impact of implicit bias and fair evaluation of candidates.
  • Review position announcements for inclusive language.
  • Monitor the composition of the search committee and applicant pool for racial, ethnic, and gender diversity and composition.
  • Ensure diversity within candidate pools, including recommendation of additional recruiting resources to expand the candidate pool if efforts to attract a diverse pool is not sufficient.

Creating a Diverse Search Committee

Research demonstrates that a diverse search committee is necessary to foster the inclusion of individuals with varied experiences and ideas and to engage an array of applicants. Search committees with a diverse composition have the benefit of a rich set of perspectives, have access to professional networks and contacts to seek out a diverse pool of candidates. Diverse search committees send important and positive signals about Pitt’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, often enhancing the interest of candidates from diverse groups and candidates for whom diversity and inclusion are core values.

While a diverse search committee is especially important, it is equally important that the search chair and all committee members collectively take responsibility for developing a proactive strategy to recruit a diverse candidate pool and for assuring an equitable and fair process for all candidates. The most effective search will include a committee that is creative and aggressive in seeking qualified candidates with diverse experiences and backgrounds.

  • Request and participate in Implicit Bias Training and the Excellence in Diversity Recruiting training for faculty and/or staff.
  • Search committees are required for tenured, tenure track faculty, and higher-level exempt staff position require to fill vacant positions.
  • Document demographics of search committee members, noting the race/ethnicity and gender of members.
  • Ensure composition diversity has been reached on search committee. Documentation and approval are required in order to move forward with the appointed search committee.
  • Request assistance with pre-screening and request advertising sources for recruiting diverse candidates from OHR and OEDI.
  • Ensure candidate pools are diverse prior to interviewing candidates. Search committees and/or hiring managers may not move forward with interviewing candidates if the candidate pool is not diverse or documentation to support a non- diverse pool is reviewed and approved.
  • When creating a diverse search committee, where possible and when appropriate, undergraduate and/or graduate students should be included as full voting members of the search committee.

Search Advocate Role

An important aspect of the search advocate’s role is to encourage diverse perspectives, minimize bias at each phase of the search and selection process, and ensure adherence to inclusive hiring procedures.

The search advocate engages with search committee members throughout the search and selection process. Under the guidance of OEDI, search advocates participate as a member of the search committee and serves as a resource to hiring managers, search chairs, and search committee members. The search advocate authenticates the inclusiveness of the search process by promoting inclusive and equitable strategies are intricately weaved throughout each phase of the search and selection process.

Go to Component II: Screening and Interviewing