Quick Summary of Search Process

Overview of a Search (PDF)

Vacancy within the department is identified and the decision to run a search to fill the open position is made.

Once a position becomes vacant in a department or approval for a new FTE line has been granted, the hiring authority will initiate the CSU search process.

Search chair selected

The search chair is appointed by the hiring authority. The search chair must have completed search chair training. It is highly recommended that the search chair is provided support staff to assist with the search.

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Search committee selected

The hiring authority appoints the search committee. The search committee should include representation of appropriate constituencies and members who provide relevant expertise and a perspective on inclusion and diversity. The role of the search committee is to identify, recruit, evaluate and recommend candidates to fill vacant positions.

Search committee approved by the EO Coordinator

The search committee should be appointed as soon as a vacancy is known to exist. Some units have standing committees to conduct searches. All committees must be approved by the Equal Opportunity Coordinator (EO Coordinator). This may be done via email.

Initial charge meeting of the search committee

Agenda items at the initial, charging, search committee meeting generally include: the directive and priorities from the hiring authority, the format for the search committee’s final recommendation to the hiring authority, determination of who will conduct reference check (hiring authority or search committee), further development of the position description, search timeline, discussion of the budget, recruitment activities, creation and discussion of the minimum qualifications screening form and evaluative screening tool, and discussion of equal opportunity and confidentiality responsibilities of the members of the search committee. The availability of the EO Coordinator should be considered for the scheduling of all search committee meetings. Attendance will be at the EO Coordinator’s discretion.

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Search committee develops evaluation criteria for applicants (Approved by OEO at the Job Posting stage)

The search committee needs to decide in the first search committee meeting which evaluative information it will seek and when in the search process it will request and use this information. The more information the search committee obtains about the applicants, the better positioned it will be to determine which applicant best matches the requirements of the position. The most effective method seems to be systematic expansion of information about a slowly contracting pool of individuals. Care must be taken not to evaluate areas for which there is no information. Methods of evaluation may include: an initial rating sheet to screen for minimum qualifications; an evaluation form to rate and rank applicants based on minimum and preferred qualifications; standardized interview questions to be asked of all shortlist candidates; job-related presentation, seminar, philosophy statement, writing sample; work product example; or skills assessment exercise. The rating sheets and other evaluation materials along with corresponding search committee assessments are to be retained as part of the search materials at the conclusion of the search.

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Position description entered into the TMS

Once the search committee and hiring authority have settled on a final draft of the position description, the Initiator (typically the support staff member) will create or modify the position in the TMS within the Position Management module. Please note, the final position description determines the composition and quality of the applicant pool and how it will be evaluated. When developing the description, it is important to assess every qualification for its relevance to the position and its potential to exclude non-traditional applicants. Care should be taken to use language that is inclusive in order to create as diverse a pool as possible that is consistent with the position’s responsibilities. The identification of quantifiable minimum qualifications assists in the initial screening exercise

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Job posting created from approved position description in the TMS

Once the position description has been approved by HR, the initiator will create a job posting from the approved position description in the Applicant Tracking module of the TMS. The job posting will list the job qualifications, duties, position summary, search committee members and the recruitment plan. While the core of a recruitment plan is often an online listserv, a journal, or print advertisement, the plan should include other mechanisms which will effectively assist in identifying potential candidates who, oftentimes, will help make the pool more diverse. Beyond reliance on mainstream journals, nominations and outreach to constituencies by search committee members is essential to obtain a diverse group of qualified candidates.

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Advertising the Position & Recruitment

All administrative professional and non-tenure track job postings must be advertised for a minimum of three weekends and two weeks. All tenure-track faculty job posting must be advertised for a minimum of four weekends and three weeks. CSU posting announcements are automatically placed on the CSU Jobs Website, Connecting Colorado, Indeed and HigherEdJob.com. Required advertisement in other recruitment resources is determined and completed by the committee. Each job search presents an opportunity to enhance the diversity in the membership of the University. It is the collective responsibility of the search committee to do everything within reason to recruit the broadest segment of qualified individuals. It is also the search committee’s responsibility to conduct a search that is a positive reflection of the institution. Ongoing contact with applicants and nominees regarding search progression, supplying additional information about the hiring unit, university and/or community to the short list candidates, and prompt attention to candidate questions or concerns are all important recruitment activities beyond the announcement phase of the search.

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Nominations and applications received

A general call should be made to the campus at large, peer institutions, targeted organizations and colleagues to participate in identifying qualified applicants. Nominations can be made to the search committee chair. Enlisting the help of constituencies both on and off campus widens the circle of possible contacts. Direct contact by the search committee of a qualified applicant is most useful in actually obtaining that application.

The composition of the applicant pool reviewed by the EO Coordinator

The search chair and EO Coordinator will make an assessment of the applicant pool viability approximately one or two weeks prior to the full consideration date to determine: has a pool been generated that will likely yield quality candidates, is the pool sufficiently diverse, and should recruitment be extended? Ultimately, the EO Coordinator must approve the applicant pool.

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Search committee evaluates applicants and seeks approval of semifinalist or finalist candidates

Once the full consideration date has passed, the search chair and one other search committee member will review all on-time applications for minimum qualifications using the minimum qualifications screening form. After the minimum qualifications have been evaluated, search committee members will independently rate applicants using the approved applicant rating sheet. In order to ensure that evaluations are not influenced by other search committee members, there should be no discussion of applicants until all ratings are completed and the full consideration date has passed. Search committee members should discuss in advance how they might evaluate the criteria stated in the qualifications. As the applicant pool is narrowed, the committee should be careful to retain any viable candidates. The semifinalist interview is a tool available to committees to further narrow down the candidate pool prior to investing time and money to bring a candidate to campus. It provides an opportunity for the committee to learn more about the individual and can be seen as an inclusive strategy to allow for a larger group of candidates. It is often better to retain all the potentially viable candidates until a hire is made by placing them in a ‘Hold’ applicant workflow state in the TMS. Committees may need to go back into a semifinalist group for both interviews and the hire. Each time applicants are slated for elimination from further consideration, the rationale for elimination must be stated in the TMS when moving the applicant into a new workflow state. It is the search chair’s responsibility to create rationale for each applicant as the search progresses. Prior to scheduling interviews, semifinalist requests must be approved by the EO Coordinator in the Talent Management System. (Please note, Faculty semifinalist interview requests are reviewed by the EO Coordinator and OEO).

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Semifinalist interviews take place

Once applications have been screened for minimum qualifications, rated/reviewed by the entire committee using the applicant screening/rating sheet, and a list of potential semifinalists have been compiled and reviewed/approved in the TMS, semifinalist interviews can be scheduled by the search support staff member.

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Search committee evaluates semifinalist interview results and seeks approval of finalist candidates

Once the semifinalist interviews have taken place, the search committee will meet to determine who they wish to bring forward for a finalist, on-site interview. As the applicant pool is narrowed, the committee should be careful to retain any viable candidates. It is often better to retain all the potentially viable candidates until a hire is made by placing them in a ‘Hold’ applicant workflow state in the TMS. Committees may need to go back into a semifinalist group for both interviews and the hire. Each time applicants are slated for elimination from further consideration, the rationale for elimination must be stated in the TMS when moving the applicant into a new workflow state. It is the search chair’s responsibility to create rationale for each applicant as the search progresses. Prior to scheduling interviews, finalist requests must be approved by both the EO Coordinator and OEO in the Talent Management System.

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Schedules established for finalists

Once the finalists are identified and have been approved in the TMS, it will be the responsibility of the search support staff person to arrange the schedule and notify the individuals scheduled. The search chair must ensure that vested campus constituencies are notified, especially if there will be open forums and/or the position is one of University-wide impact. Reminders from the search chair that interviews are anticipated around a given time will help campus constituents plan. At least two full work weeks between notification of the first interviews and arrival on campus is suggested to facilitate optimal participation.

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Campus interviews take place

Participants in the interviews should be given information on how to provide their assessment. Whether a specific evaluation or comment form is used is at the discretion of the search committee. Maintaining the confidentiality of the information is imperative. Participants may be extremely reluctant to be candid if they think others outside the search committee and hiring authority may have access to their comments. It is recommended that the table of Appropriate and Inappropriate Questions during Interactions with Candidates be shared with all individuals who will interact with the candidates during the interview process.

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Search committee formulates recommendation to hiring authority

At the conclusion of the finalist interview process, the hiring authority should receive a final recommendation from the search committee.

Hiring authority makes decision of who to hire. Request to hire submitted to Office of Equal Opportunity for approval prior to verbal offer contingent on a successful background check made to candidate.

Upon receipt of final recommendation from the search committee the hiring authority selects the candidate(s) to receive the job offer(s). Once a selection has been made, but prior to the verbal offer, the EO Coordinator and the OEO review the request submitted in the TMS. The turnaround for the review is 24 hours, but more time may be necessary if there are questions or additional information is needed. All offers, however, are subject to the approval of the Colorado State University Central Administration and the Board of Governors. After the selected candidate accepts the verbal offer, a background check is requested. Once the background check process is complete, the hiring authority can provide the candidate with a written offer letter. Once the signed offer letter is received and the hiring proposal is completed,  the remaining non-selected candidates should receive notification from the search chair regarding their non-selection and the completion of the search.

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All search materials retained for three years

The search chair or designated search support staff member is responsible for collecting and retaining all pertinent search documents for three years. This includes any materials submitted by applicants that have been printed out and assessment notes taken; resumes, curricula vitae, reference letters, performance documents, video or audio tapes (duplicate copies may be destroyed). This also includes the evaluative materials gathered by the search committee: the search committee rating sheets from the initial screening, evaluation forms, phone or campus interviews, notes from reference checks, search correspondence, summaries, list of nominations (including nominees who did not subsequently apply for the position), the minutes or notes from search committee meetings if taken, interview schedules, final recommendation, etc. Materials may be saved electronically in an easily retrievable and confidential format.

Miscellaneous Items

Equal Employment Opportunity statement: Colorado State University is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment based on race, age, creed, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, sex, gender, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or pregnancy and will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. Colorado State University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and Colorado State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. The Office of Equal Opportunity is located in 101 Student Services.

The Acting Title IX Coordinator is the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, 201 Administration Building, Fort Collins, CO. 80523-8004, (970) 491-5312.

The Section 504 and ADA Coordinator is the Associate Vice President for Human Capital, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 Student Services Building, Fort Collins, CO 80523-0160, (970) 491-5836.

The initial rating sheet of minimum qualifications is completed by two members of the search committee (the search committee chair and one other committee member). The resulting preliminary screen is based solely on the minimum objective qualifications set out in the position description and should include no subjective assessments. These are generally questions which can be answered yes or no. If there is question about whether or not an applicant meets the minimum qualifications an applicant is left in the pool that is then provided to the entire search committee.

Applicant Screening forms must be based on the minimum qualification that can be assessed from the written application materials. Applicant screening forms can also assess preferred qualifications. Every search committee member reads, evaluates and scores the application of each applicant who meets the minimum qualifications. Members should discuss in advance how they might evaluate criteria stated in the job description and if some criteria should be more heavily weighted than others. Assessment measures are to be objective and equitable for all members of an applicant pool. Regardless of the information sought and the point at which it is used, there must be consistency to the degree possible among applicants.

The applicant rationales must list a brief but specific summary of rationale for elimination for all applicants meeting minimum qualifications. All information must be congruent with supporting documentation ultimately retained in the applicant or search files. The applicant rationales are to reflect the consistent and equitable processes used for the applicant evaluations.