So, you’re in charge of a search team – good for you! As with nearly all things in life, a little preparation will go a long way. Here are a few key items you’ll want to consider. To frame these concepts, I made a handy graphic – the Hierarchy of Search Team Preparation (oh hey, Maslow).
The base level of the hierarchy is all about organization. It may seem like a no-brainer, but your search team can’t review candidate files if they don’t have access to the info. Specific administrative items to note:
- Share a complete list of applicants. It’s hard to hire the best person for the job if you accidentally omitted their name from consideration.
- Grant access to candidate materials. Inform the search team how to view candidate info (do they need a login from HR? Access to a shared drive? Copies of paper files?)
- Set regular meetings. Will your team meet weekly? As needed? Schedule those meetings, reserve rooms and get it on everyone’s calendars.
Next up in the pyramid is setting and sharing expectations. Don’t assume that everyone on your search team knows what it means to be a part of a search committee. At your first meeting, be sure to clearly share your expectations. Items you should consider covering:
- Scope of the role. Will search committee members review applications? Conduct phone interviews? Contact candidates? Participate in or plan on-campus interviews? Do reference checks? All of the above?
- Time commitment. How often will the committee meet? How much time is expected to be put into application review? Approximately how many phone interviews/on-campus interviews will be conducted?
- Timeline. When will application review begin? Anticipated date of phone/on-campus interviews?
- Objectivity and confidentiality. Talk to your committee members about the traits that are necessary in their role.
Finally, at the top of the pyramid, train your team to execute their defined roles. Again, don’t assume that everyone has the same level of knowledge about conducting a search. A few possible areas:
- What’s the job? Ensure all members have access to the full job description, as well as the minimum/preferred qualifications of the job.
- Evaluating candidates. Educate members on how to use a rubric to objectively evaluate each applicant. HR may provide some of this training/documentation – or you might need to do it.
- Avoiding bias. Train the group on how to recognize (and address) their own personal biases when reviewing candidate materials. Need a place to start? Check out this training video from Google all about addressing implicit bias in the hiring process.
There you have it – the three main areas to consider when you are preparing your search team. With thoughtful preparation, you’ll be well on your way to filling your open position with the right candidate (and you’ll have team members who are well-equipped to run their own search team in the future)!
This post is part of our #SArecruits series, which will share experiences from a variety of #SApros who have hired new employees. We hope that these stories will give great insight for both professionals looking to improve their hiring tactics, and also those on the job search looking for an inside perspective. For more information, please see Bill Mattera’s intro post. Be sure to check out other posts in this series!
> BONUS <
Podcast With Courtney O’Connell on Innovating Staff Training