EQUAL OPPORTUNITY & DIVERSITY OFFICE
UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST
The following are information guides with detailed suggestions for implementing specific portions of the recruitment procedure. Please note, for a detailed guide to the entire search procedure see Search Procedures: Faculty and Professional Staff and also Forms for the Search Procedures: Faculty & Professional Staff .
Tasks and Procedures
Search Committee Chairperson: Check-off List
Protected Categories of Persons Requiring Equal Opportunity
and Affirmative Action Efforts
Enlarging the Applicant Pool
Evaluating Protected Group Applicants
Notification on Employee Background Reviews
Questions Search Committees Might Want To Use
(Instructions for Search Coordinators, Committee Chairs, and record keepers)
As soon as the last candidate has left campus, start the documentation process. The turnaround time on this task must be as quick as possible because job offers cannot be made until the documentation has been approved by the hiring authority, intermediate authority, as appropriate for your area, and the University Equal Opportunity and Diversity Office.
I. Tasks that should already be completed:
A. Record Keepers1. Create a file for the successful applicant materials. This file should contain the applicant's cover letter, resume, college/university transcripts, letters of recommendation, etc.
2. All Waiver of Access to Letters of recommendation forms in a folder so labeled. Make a copy of the successful candidate's form and put with the rest of the search materials.
3. As above, all EO/AA Information Request Forms placed in a labeled folder. Also make a copy of the form for the successful candidate and place with the rest of the search materials.
4. All original resumes alphabetized and placed in a folder so labeled.
5. Applicant Log filled out except for last two columns.
B. Search Chair1. Memo to Appointing Authority re: List of finalists. List each finalist, describing their respective strengths and weaknesses, and rank order (faculty only), as well as recommending a choice of person to offer the position to (faculty only)..
2. Draft work for "Affirmative Action Statement: New Appointments," items 1-4. Note: Item 1 should include the Position Description for the position if it is non-faculty, not the advertisement.
II. Tasks that need doing now:
A. Complete the Applicant Log, filling out the last two columns. IMPORTANT! The disposition "MQ" should be given to everyone who meets the REQUIRED minimum qualifications as they appear in the advertisement.
B. Complete the Applicant Log Summary. Please make sure that the totals for Minimally Qualified applicants ("MQ") include all the people interviewed and hired. In other words, the "MQ" total should be equal to the Total Applicants minus Not Qualified applicants.
C. Type sections 1-5 of the Affirmative Action Statement - New Hires form
D. Have the Applicant Log Summary signed by the Search Committee Chair.
E. Attach the following items:1. Copy of Job Description
2. Copy of Job Announcement (Either a "White sheet" or flyer from the mailing, or text of ad as published.
3. Copy of Memo from Search Committee to Appointing Authority
4. Affirmative Action Statement - New Appointments Form,
5. Applicant Log Summary
6. Applicant Log
7. Résumé(s) of the candidate(s) to be offered position
F. Review this whole packet with the Appointing Authority, and have her/him sign the Applicant Log Summary after completing #6 of the New Appointments form.
G. Forward this documentation through appropriate channels for your department.
III. Routing Search Materials for EO&D Approval:
The documentation will be routed to the appropriate Executive Area, and then to the Equal Opportunity Office for approval. Once Equal Opportunity has approved the search process, the materials will be returned to the department for storage and official job offers. The Search Committee/Chair then sends out the remaining rejection letters and works with the record keeper to clean up loose ends and prepare the search for storage.
IV. Disposal of old Search Materials:
Please note that the search material should be discarded three years from the date of hire of the successful applicant.
AA & EO 9/21/92
____Ensure that copies of the job description and the advertisements are supplied to search committee members.
____Meet with Affirmative Action representative to discuss search procedures.
____In conjunction with other committee members, develop paper screening process to determine minimal required qualifications, as stated in the advertisement.
____Coordinate all meetings of the committee, including time and place and alert all committee members.
____Inform the department head of absent members should this become a problem.
____Ensure that each committee member sees and reviews all resumes. When there is a large applicant pool, the committee may delegate the responsibilities of eliminating those who do not meet minimum advertised required qualifications. Documentation of this procedure must be included in the search process rationale.
____Ensure that acknowledgments to all candidates are sent promptly by support staff.
____Document first, second, and final cut decisions for eventual inclusion in the applicant log and memorandum of transmittal with offer.
____Ensure that regrets are sent to all candidates rejected at the first cut, second cut, etc.
____Provide support staff with list of candidates for interview and coordinate with support staff the development of a candidate itinerary for the interview process.
____Submit a memorandum listing and evaluating the finalists to the department head/appointing authority.
____Submit the Affirmative Action New Appointments Form for review by department head/appointing authority.
____Forward all resumes and documentation to the Department for review and storage for three years from the date of hire of the successful candidate.
If there are any questions along the way, please contact the EO&D Office at 545-3464.
Note: Information regarding membership in protected categories is based on voluntary, self-disclosed information
Successful affirmative action activity extends beyond the 90-day search schedule and crosses disciplines as faculty and staff promote the goal of establishing a diverse workforce whenever representing UMass.
The Equal Opportunity and Diversity Office continually expands and updates its resources of directories and bibliographies which should be consulted for names and addresses of publications and organizations which have the attention of minorities and women.
The following suggestions to enlarge the pool of candidates are reprinted with permission from the Ohio State University Handbook For Faculty Searches with Specific Reference to Affirmative Action. References to Ohio State have been edited to reflect the corresponding office or program at UMass.
In addition to advertising a position in a variety of publications, making direct contact with academic departments, professional organizations, and colleagues is an effective method of expanding your search. The informal, "word-of-mouth" approach to recruitment is one of the most successful practices for identifying candidates. The following activities are recommended for specific searches, as well as for possible ongoing endeavors:
Reference checks are used to find out patterns of strengths and weaknesses which indicate whether the candidate will fit the demands of the position. Single responses, whether positive or negative, should not determine the survival of the candidate in the search process. Reports from search committee chairs to the Equal Opportunity & Diversity Office about reasons for elimination of candidates indicate a practice of eliminating protected group members from further consideration after fewer negative reports than are necessary to eliminate other candidates.
The recent literature on recruitment, including recruitment in higher education, encourages search committees to abandon the traditional practice of procuring letters of recommendation in the initial stages of a search. Telephone reference checks after receipt of applications allow the committee to ask questions about information not provided in the candidate's application such as how the candidate completes specific tasks enumerated in the vitae. There is no requirement that any specific number of references must be contacted by phone or by letter. The committee may choose to contact only the references of the finalists to be interviewed or any larger aggregate of applicants.
If the search committee makes telephone calls to references, the committee should develop a standardized protocol of questions, record the answers, and include the notes in the candidate's file. Finalists should be notified that phone calls will also be placed to others knowledgeable about the candidates. Telephone calls to friends or colleagues at other institutions from which the candidate comes are discouraged unless the candidate has given permission. As a courtesy, the request to not contact the current supervisor may be honored until the committee is ready to select those finalists to interview on campus. At that time if permission is not granted to contact the supervisor, the candidate may be eliminated from further consideration and notified of same.
Alternately, the committee may request a short list of candidates to provide letters of recommendation by a specific deadline. The committee should notify candidates if letters are not received. When the search committee chooses to contact the references to request the letters of references, the committee should
1. Provide a Position Description
2. Request reference to identify relationship to candidate
3. Indicate the deadline date for the letter
4. Acknowledge receipt of letter
1. If a candidate is eliminated from further consideration based upon a reference check, the source and the specific information procured should be documented in the candidate's file. Upon the candidate's request, federal law requires disclosure of all information received or procured regarding the candidate unless the applicant has waived his/her rights by returning the Waiver of Right of Access to Letters of Recommendation form.
2. To complete the initial personnel file, any candidate who is selected for interview provides names, addresses, and phone numbers of three references who will send letters of recommendation directly to UMass (unless the letters have been previously submitted in the application process). The references will be contacted directly by the search committee.
The search committee must demonstrate sensitivity to the effects that protected group status may have on the development of a professional career. External barriers to education and employment as a result of prejudice may account for significant differences in the application from a woman or a minority or a veteran, disabled, or older applicant. Because protected group members may not have had equal access to similar opportunities, they may appear to be less qualified than other candidates. Hence, recognition of their contributions to diversity in the workforce should be considered in the application review. However, the committee is cautioned that inquiries into the explanations for the existence of particular differences may lead inadvertently to questions which are illegal to ask (e.g. marital status).
Search Committees should weigh the following factors in evaluating applications from women, ethnic minorities, persons of disability, veterans, and persons between the ages of 40 and 70:
The search committee should identify the objectives for the on-campus visit, spending time on thinking about the information that needs to be exchanged between the candidate and the committee and the hiring official. What information does the committee need to determine if the candidate will succeed in the position? What information will the candidate need to decide if s/he will accept the position and commit energy to UMass for the next period in her/his career?
The experts on interviewing from search firms and personnel agencies suggest several guidelines which run counter to the usual interviewing practices on this and other campuses:
1. One of the primary objectives of the interview is to interest the candidate in the position and UMass. The candidate's information needs should be addressed first. Acceptance of an invitation to interview does not indicate automatic acceptance of an offer, if made. Highly competent candidates, particularly women and minorities, are in demand.
2. Interviews should be held with fewer people for longer periods to allow time for both the candidate and the interviewers to get past introductions and into discussion of philosophy, personal agendas, the tasks of the position to be filled, the candidate's motivation and work style.
3. The longest interview should be with the hiring official to allow both parties to decide if they would want to work together.
4. Direct involvement in the interview by affected constituencies to assure that their needs and interests are represented is a vital part of the selection process and helps assure the candidate's success once hired.
5. If at all possible, the candidate should perform some task during the interview which is a part of the regular position responsibilities. (e.g. give a lecture).
In accordance with unit policy, the department chair or search committee chair develops the itinerary for the interview and makes the necessary contacts with the candidates. Internal candidates should follow an identical interview schedule to that which external candidates follow. The search committee chair confirms in writing all agreements regarding interview schedule and expenses incurred by the candidate during the interview such as transportation to and from the airport, meals, accommodations.
The search committee chair should provide the candidate with relevant printed information about the University before the interview (i.e., department brochures, policy manuals, annual reports; admissions materials for students; current Campus Chronicle; and a current Collegian). The search committee chair should also inform all interviewees about important issues which face the hiring unit and/or University in a timely manner, so that the candidate can prepare responses and questions for the interview. Such issues might include: unit reorganization, enrollment, definition of program priorities, major funding efforts, branch campus activity.
In order to address the personal needs of the candidate, the search committee chair asks the candidate if there is some specific person, place, or activity which might be included during the visitation. Responses may include access to a librarian or computer services to discuss resources. Others may wish to tour the area or to meet with potential research collaborators. Some may request time for physical activity.
Information sought during the interview cannot include any inquiries concerning race, creed, color, national origin, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or veteran status unless there is a direct relationship to meeting specific work requirements. For example, a wheel chair user may be asked what modifications are necessary in the work site to accommodate the laboratory research activities. Any candidate can be queried as to ability to meet specific work schedules and travel schedules rather than asking how a partner and children will adjust to the candidate's time away from home. The committee must avoid asking a female candidate if she would be comfortable supervising men or a male candidate if he would be comfortable supervising women. See Pre-Employment Inquiry Guides.
The interview schedule usually includes four components:
Person to whom candidate would report
The formal interviews should allow for some common questions or some common basis for evaluating all the candidates. However, interviews with each candidate should provide opportunity to fill information gaps in the materials already collected in the individual's file. Interviewers must avoid asking questions which are viewed as discriminatory by preparing positions before the interview. Some query about the candidate's experience in promoting the professional development of women and minorities should be included. The Equal Opportunity & Diversity Office will provide the search committee with prototype questions. Likewise information should be given to all candidates about UMass's commitment and activity to promote the careers of women and minorities. The search committee may determine by role or personality who will ask each question and who will be the recorder.
The search committee determines the degree of confidentiality which will be maintained during the formal interviews and will inform the candidates of their expectations.
The semiformal interviews chaired by members of the search committee provide opportunity for interested persons from within and outside the hiring unit to meet the candidate and contribute to the hiring decision. Participants are expected to be consistent in their participation and to submit a review form at the close of the interviews. Semiformal interviews might include meals, e.g., lunch with junior members of the department, with graduate students without other faculty present, or with office staff. The structure is one of question and answer, and the candidate should be encouraged to seek information from these interviews.
The informal interviews provide opportunities to discuss nonacademic qualities of the candidate, the University, and the community and to explore the subjective issues of collegiality. The format might be conversation during transportation to and from the airport, a reception for department or unit members and their guests, a tour of the community by someone other than the hiring authority or future supervisor. Here is the opportunity for a candidate of minority or disability status to meet members of the same protected group if the candidate wishes to establish identity with that group.
Per the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees Policy on Employee Background Reviews, all offers of employment or hires made after January 23, 2012, will be subject to a background review that includes a criminal history check as a condition of employment. Information about the policy can be found at www.umass.edu/humres/empl_job_opportunities.htm.
I wish to acknowledge receipt of your application for the position of ________ at the University of Massachusetts. The search committee will review all completed applications after the application deadline ________ and will communicate with you regarding the progress of the search.
UMass is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Educator and Employer. In order to implement Affirmative Action policies and procedures in hiring and to provide valid information regarding these efforts when requested by governmental agencies, we request that all applicants for positions complete the enclosed Equal Opportunity Information Request form and the Waiver of Right of Access to Letters of Recommendation form. Failure to comply will in no way disqualify you from consideration for employment.
I also wish to inform you that UMass employs only U.S. citizens and lawfully authorized non-U.S. citizens. All new employees must demonstrate employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. In addition, University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees policy requires all new employees to pass a background review that includes a criminal history check as a condition of employment. Information about the policy can be found at www.umass.edu/humres/empl_job_opportunities.htm.
Thank you for your interest in employment at the University of Massachusetts.
Chair, Search Committee
Thank you for your interest in the position of ________at the University of Massachusetts.
The search committee has fully evaluated your application in terms of the qualifications for the position. We believe that other applicants are more suited to the particular needs of UMass at this time and regret to inform you that your application is no longer being considered.
I appreciate your interest in employment at the University of Massachusetts and wish you the very best of luck in securing a rewarding position.
Chair, Search Committee
SAMPLE - Letter of Rejection After Interview
Thank you for agreeing to come to UMass for an interview in the search process to fill the position vacancy of (Position Name).
Unfortunately, I must inform you that we have offered the position to another candidate whose professional goals more closely match the demands of the position as we currently envision it.
Thank you for exchanging good ideas with us, and we wish you success in your future.
Chair, Search Committee
Search committees often have difficulty determining if a candidate is aware of and responsive to minority and women's issues and to issues involving the disabled and other groups requiring sensitive treatment. When prospective employees are asked, "Are you concerned about and supportive of these issues?", they will invariably give an affirmative reply. Unfortunately, that gives little indication of their level of concern or commitment. Asking some of the questions listed below may help you gain a better understanding of a candidate's position on these issues. Many of the questions suggested below do not have a "right" or a "wrong" answer. These questions should be asked by both men and women on the search committee because having only women or minority persons ask questions about these issues may give a candidate the impression that equity issues are not important to the institution as a whole. Many candidates will not have prepared answers to these questions in advance. These questions will, therefore, be useful in drawing out the candidate's opinions rather than the "correct answer".
Parentheses are used to indicate that one or more of the following words are missing: Minorities, Blacks, Hispanics, Native-American; Women; economically disadvantaged persons; disabled persons; veterans or disabled veterans; homosexuals, gays, lesbians; protected groups; affirmative action groups, etc.
How have you demonstrated your commitment to (____) issues in your current position?
Which of your achievements in the area of equity for (____) gives you the most satisfaction?
How would you demonstrate your concern for equity for (____) if you were hired?
In your opinion, what are the three major problems for (____) on your campus?
How are general issues in higher education related to (____) issues? What is the link?
Describe activities--include articles, interviews, and speeches--in which you have taken part that demonstrate a public commitment to equity.
In your current position, have you ever seen a (____ ) treated unfairly? How would/did you handle it?
In your current position, what is your relationship to the affirmative action officer? Have you ever sought his or her help in recruiting?
How many of the top people at your current or previous institution are (____ )? What did you do to encourage hiring more (____ )?
Which committee at your current institution would you consider the most powerful? How many (____) are on it? How many (____ ) have you appointed to it?
How did/would you deal with faculty members or employees who say disparaging things about (____)?
What scholarship about (____) have you read lately?
Have any students ever complained to you about sexual harassment or discrimination in any work with professors or staff? If so, how did you respond?
* Adapted from It's All in What You Ask, Association of American Colleges Project on the Status and Education of Women. Bernice R. Sandler, Project Director.
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