Hiring Department Chair Resources for Teaching & Research Faculty
Here, we will walk you through the hiring process, from the moment you receive a resignation letter, to posting the position, to hiring the new member of your team.
You've received a resignation letter from an employee. What now? There are several steps you will need to take in order to ensure your former employee has vacated the position fully thus allowing you to begin the process of filling the vacant position. Part of this process will include forwarding the resignation letter to Human Resources so that we are aware of your pending vacancy. Once you have shared the news with us, we can begin the process of filling your position. The hiring checklist for Teaching and Research (T/R) Faculty [DOC] will outline the sequence of events in a typical recruitment.
Postings, Search Committees, and Advertising
The Teaching and Research Faculty Handbook (Section 1.3.1) describes the process for the authorization of faculty searches:
The Provost, with the approval of the President, authorizes all full-time faculty positions and approves the qualifications for candidates to fill such positions. The Dean of the appropriate College, with the approval of the Provost, authorizes all part-time faculty positions and approves the qualifications for each position.
The Provost authorizes searches in the summer and/or fall of each year based on recommendations from the Deans and departments. Vacancies that occur later during the year are reviewed and, if appropriate additional searches are authorized in the spring. Authorizations for searches are communicated to the Dean, who informs the Department Chair. The Department Chair has responsibility for informing the Department Personnel Committee of authorized searches.
It is very important to identify appropriate qualifications for the position. Qualifications must be job-related (education, knowledge, skills and abilities); a valid predictor of successful job performance; and, where appropriate, must be a requirement for accreditation. Finding an appropriate level of specificity is the key to developing a successful set of qualifications. A set of qualifications that is not specific enough leads to searches in which the criteria are not adequate for reviewing applications. For example, if the only qualification is a terminal degree in the field, then there is nothing to distinguish among all applicants who have the terminal degree. However, an overly specific set of qualifications may lead to few applicants and to a failed search.
When you identify qualifications for the position, it is important to distinguish between what is required and what is preferred to do the job. Ensure you do not require qualifications that are not a valid indicator of success for the job. This can invalidate the screening and selection process as qualifications cannot be changed during the recruitment process. Applicants must meet all required qualifications before being eligible to be considered for interview. Human Resources staff can assist with developing job descriptions. Other sources that can be used to help develop job descriptions include:
Federal SOC Classifications –Examples of tasks and duties for various job categories
O*Net – Examples of tasks, knowledge, skills and abilities
Each department conducting a search must develop a plan for obtaining as diverse a pool of applicants as possible. The plan identifies the strategies and specific resources that the department will use in its search. The Dean must approve the plan before any advertisements for the position are placed. An action must also be created in PeopleAdmin [PDF] requesting to fill the position.
Preparing to advertise a position in the PeopleAdmin system means that you will need to create a Search Committee [DOC], including selecting a Search Chair. You should consider having 3-8 Search Committee Members, depending upon the level of the position.
You have the option of either acting as the Search Chair for your search or selecting someone else to act as the Search Chair. The Search Committee can be established before creating the position posting, or you can notify Human Resources of your committee once created. Human Resources can add your Search Committee to your posting for you at any time.
The Hiring Process
T&R Faculty positions are posted “open until filled” with an application review date typically 30 calendar days from the posting date. T&R Faculty positions should be advertised nationally unless you have received approval from Human Resources for an exemption.
If you are acting as the Search Chair for your position, you can begin reviewing applications and creating your screening matrix at any time. However, screening matrices will need to include applicants up to the application/closing date listed on the posting. For a review of Search Chair responsibilities, please visit the Search Chair Resources page. If you are not acting as the Search Chair for your vacant position, your job here is done for the moment. Once the position is posted, the active search process will be directed by your Search Chair. You can await the decision of your Search Committee before moving forward.
Selecting a Final Candidate and Checking References
If you have not acted as the Search Chair for your open position, the Search Committee will bring their final selection of top candidates to you for review. You will then review these candidates to select your top candidate. Once the successful candidate is identified, the references for this candidate must be checked. This reference check can either be conducted by you or delegated to the Search Chair. Each reference will need to be asked the same set of questions. Here are suggestions to assist in checking references [DOC]. It is important to check the references of your top candidates after the interviews, to compare the candidates’ perception of what they have accomplished with that of the referees.
After references have been checked and you have selected a final candidate, you will need to make the recommendation to the Dean, Vice-President or other senior official. You should also notify Human Resources for a salary recommendation based on the candidate’s experience and/or education. If verbal approvals for the hire have been given, you will be invited to call the recommended candidate for a final discussion of salary and other conditions of the position and extend a verbal offer, contingent upon final approvals and a satisfactory criminal background check. Share the candidate’s decision with Human Resources before changing the candidate’s status in PeopleAdmin [PDF] to "Recommend for Hire." It is at this stage that the background check is conducted for your top candidate. The Background Check Authorization Form [PDF] must be in the Human Resources office in order for the background check to be conducted. Background checks typically take 2-3 days to complete but can take as long as 2 weeks.
Once the background check results are received and reviewed and the hiring proposal has finished the approval process, Human Resources will notify you of the result. A contract letter will be generated and sent by the Provost Office. The signed contract letter must be sent to Human Resources prior to the new employee’s start date so that he/she can be added to the various Human Resources systems and scheduled for new employee orientation.
If the top candidate declines, do not worry! You are welcomed and encouraged to make an offer to the next viable candidate identified by the Search Committee.
A search only "fails" if other viable candidates are not identified or do not accept the offer. If a search fails, it will be marked as "posting cancelled" in the PeopleAdmin system and the posting process will start again. However, the re-posting process [DOC] is much faster, and Human Resources will assist in expediting the process.
On-Boarding Your New Hire
By now, a suitable candidate has been identified and offered a position, and he or she has accepted. This is great news! Our work is not yet done, however. It is now the on-boarding period. A positive on-boarding and orientation experience is a key element to retention and satisfaction in the workplace. You can impact this positive impression by ensuring your newly hired staff member has everything he or she needs by using the Departmental Checklist for New Employees [PDF] to smoothly transition to our campus.
And, remember, if at any time you need assistance, do not hesitate to contact the Human Resources office at 540-831-5008 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to help!