Search Committee Guidelines
Search CommitteesSearch committees are required for the selection of candidates at all levels of professional and faculty service. The college is less vulnerable to potential discrimination lawsuits if the screening and selection process includes a search committee, each of whom independently screen and evaluate each candidate.
ConfidentialityIt is critical that confidentiality is maintained throughout the entire Search process. The essence of good recruitment and personnel practice is that candidates are assured privacy.
Reference CheckingHiring managers are required to check references on all finalists. Reference checking confirms that a candidate has achieved what is indicated on the resume or discussed at the interview. A general guideline is to request three references, preferably from past and present employers.
Role of Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion OfficerThe college is committed to making a broad outreach to all populations in an effort to attain diverse applicant pools. At the beginning of the recruitment process, the Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion officer (CDEIO) will notify the department and search committee if underutilization exists. Underutilization exists if women and underrepresented populations are not being employed at a rate to be expected given their availability in the relevant labor pool.
At the first search committee meeting the CDEIO will give the charge to the search committee explaining the committee's compliance obligations in terms of utilization goals, recruitment options, advertising sources for expanded outreach, applicant screening and interview documentation, permissible and illegal interview questions, and selection documentation and approval process.
The CDEIO will review the search committee's list of candidates selected to be interviewed to ensure compliance with federal non- discrimination laws and regulations. If questions arise during the review, the CDEIO will contact the chair of the search committee for clarification and additional information as may be warranted.
Federal Documentation RequirementsFederal law requires employers to maintain and summarize race, gender, and ethnic information related to each search and selection process. This information is retained by the Human Resources department and is utilized for tracking purposes only. This information is confidential and should not be used in any way during the selection process for filling the position.
Federal law requires applicant records to be maintained for at least two years from the date of the making of the record or the personnel action involved, whichever is later. It is the responsibility of the Human Resources department to maintain search and selection documentation for this period. In the event that the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs conducts a compliance review, these records may be requested from the hiring official.
Required Search Documentation
The four documents listed below are required to be utilized during each search. Documenting these four steps allows for consistency in the search process and assists a department in providing equal opportunity to all applicants throughout each phase/step of the search process.
Upon completion of the search, each of these documents must be submitted to the CDEIO.
- Applicant Screening Tool – The applicant-screening tool explains the method used to determine which candidates of those meeting the minimum qualifications are invited for an interview. Screening criteria must be job related. The screening process can begin as soon as applications are received.
- Interview Questions – All interviewees should be asked the same core questions, keeping in mind that in-depth questioning may vary slightly depending on the interviewee's background. All interview questions must be job-related and must pertain to the position being recruited. Federal and State laws prohibit certain questions that are used to find out personal information. The CDEIO will provide guidance on interview questions at the initial meeting of the search committee.
- Interview Evaluation Tool – It is best to evaluate a candidate right after the interview while the results of the interview are fresh in one's mind. An interview rating tool assists a hiring manager in determining which candidates had the best experience and qualifications related to the requirements for the position.
- Justification – An explanation of why the selected candidate is being recommended for hire over other qualified candidates must be supplied. This explanation should indicate any specific skills and/or experiences that the recommended candidate possesses that other candidates do not.
V. Approval: Board or President
VI. Responsibility: Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer (CDEIO) & Executive Director, Human Resources
Bucks County Community College Search Committee Guidelines
Role of the Search Chair
- Schedule committee meetings
- Preside over search committee meetings
- Receive initial applications/resumes from candidates
- Communicate directly to candidates
Role of the Search Committee
- Has access to all documents related to the search process.
- Ensures that a broad range of qualified applicants apply for the position and are considered for it.
- Screens the applicants to assess their ability to carry out the duties and responsibilities of the position.
- Ranks the applicants.
- Recommends to the hiring officer/department those candidates to be invited for campus interviews.
- Organizes and participates in the interviews of the finalists.
- Conveys to the hiring officer how finalists were ranked.
Search Committee Demographics
- Must have a minimum of five (5) members.
- At least one member must be from outside the hiring unit.
- List the members’ gender, race, ethnicity, and professional area/department.
Interview Guide: Appropriate & Inappropriate questions
|Subject||May Ask||May Not Ask|
|Name||Current Legal Name||
Whether person worked under a different name; questions that would divulge ancestry
May not comment on person’s sex unless it is a bona fide occupational qualification. This is highly unlikely in our academic environment, so please check with the Affirmative Action Officer first.
|Address||Place and length of current address||
How long have you lived in the United States? What foreign addresses have you had?
Any inquiry into place of birth, or that of parents, spouse, grandparents, or other relatives.
|Citizenship||If not a U.S. citizen, do you have the right to permanently remain in the U.S.? Are you legally authorized to work in the U.S.? If yes, please explain the basis of your employment authorization.||
Whether applicant, parents, or spouse are naturalized or native born U.S. citizens; of what country applicant is a citizen.
|Marital Status||Nothing||Whether applicant is married, single, divorced, engaged, widowed, or living with someone.|
|Sexual Preference||Nothing||Whether applicant is homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, or any other question pertaining to sexual tendencies or preferences.|
|Lifestyle||Nothing||Anything involving the applicant’s natural and preferred way of living.|
Any questions concerning family size, family planning, children’s ages, plans for childcare, spouse’s employment.
|Religion||Nothing||About religious denomination/ affiliation|
Whether the individual has a mental or physical disability that would relate to his/her ability to perform the job.
|Questions about physical or mental limitations that are not job related.|
|Physical Data||Whether the applicant is physically able to perform job responsibilities.||Applicant’s height or weight.|
|Pregnancy||Nothing||About the applicant’s plans for having children; about medical history concerning pregnancy and health related matters.|
|Military Status||About job-related experience gained in the military.||About branch or service; type of discharge.|
|Housing||How applicant can be reached if there is no telephone at home.||
Whether applicant owns or rents an apartment or house.
About educational institutions attended; training.
About religious or racial affiliations of schools attended.
|Organization||About professional organizations||
Organizations that indicate race, color, religion, gender, status.
About credit ratings, garnishments, debts, to whom debts are owed.
|Arrest Records||Nothing||About arrests, or time spent in jail. Arrests without convictions do not indicate guilt.|
About convictions, but only if job related
|General questions about whether applicant has ever been convicted.|