Search Committee Advisory Guidelines
Posting and Advertising the Position
The Selection Process
Position Filled- Next Steps
Preparing for the Recruitment Process
Identify the Position Number
Determine the unique position number that is appropriate for the position you intend to post. This number may be an existing number that is currently vacant or will become vacant prior to completing the recruitment process; or if the number does not exist, a new number may be requested. Steps are listed for each of these scenarios.
To use an existing position number review the NBAPOSN form in Banner and and if the attributes listed are correct proceed to toolkit section, Posting and Advertising Position. If the attributes must be changed, you must submit the *Faculty Position Request Form. The attributes consist of fields like: position’s tenure status, rank, appointment base (academic or annual), FTE, Budget and ECLS.
If a new position number must be created, complete the *Faculty Position Request Form.
*The Faculty Position Request form should be routed for department head and dean/vice president approval. Next, deliver to the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost in Hadley Hall, Room 220 or mail to MSC 3445. Once signed by the Provost’s office, they will route the form to Human Resource Services (HRS). If approved, a representative from HRS will work through the Budget office to get the position created or modify attributes. HRS will notify the person listed as the contact on the request form when the position is established.
Request Underutilization Details
Per NMSU’s Affirmative Action Plan, departments must obtain the underutlization details for gender and minority. Contact your dean’s office to obtain the details from their Affirmative Action Plan Underutilization Goals report. If the dean’s office needs assistance with the report, they may contact the Office of Institutional Equity.
Identify Search Committee
NMSU is dedicated to providing equal employment opportunities in all areas of occupation without regard to age, ancestry, color, mental or physical disability, gender, serious medical condition, national origin, race, religion, sexual identity, sexual orientation, spousal affiliation, or veteran status, according to state and federal laws. NMSU’s Vision 2020 Strategic Plan identifies the following specific mission-supporting goals:
- Attract, develop, reward, and retain a high-quality faculty.
- Increase the diversity of NMSU’s faculty with the goal of having NMSU’s employee profile represent the appropriate market pool in terms of race/ethnicity, gender, and people with disabilities.
The purpose of a Search Committee is to ensure that the search process is fair and equitable to all and leads to the recruitment and selection of the best qualified candidate.
Construct a diverse Search Advisory Committee that has representatives from the campus community (i.e. students, staff, internal and external faculty members). Appoint the chair of the committee, the chair will play a significant role in the process, and sets the tone and pace of the committee work. Ensure that the chair meets the requirements needed to serve as a chairperson. Chairperson must be a tenured faculty in order to serve as the chairperson for any tenure track faculty position.
Early identification of the Search Committee Members and Chair(s) will help later as they will need to be electronically established in the PeopleAdmin system. To retain PeopleAdmin access for the individuals who may not already have it, submit the Electronic Personnel Security Request Form. Once members are identified, provide them with the link to the Search Committee Advisory Guidelines site (http://hr.nmsu.edu/searchcommittee/) so they may begin familiarizing themselves with the process.
Posting and Advertising the Position
Regular faculty positions are posted and hired through PeopleAdmin. PeopleAdmin is an all inclusive automated system, which has combined the following processes:
- Posting Details – this is a template, which when completed, creates the job description/posting announcement applicants will see on the NMSU website.
- Applicant Documents – these are the documents that the applicant will provide as part of their application process. These documents may be required or optional. These will generally include, but are not limited to: Cover Letter/Letter of Interest, CV/Resume, Reference Contact List, Transcripts, etc.
- Supplemental Questions – this feature allows the Search Committee to ask specific questions of the applicant, which may be required or optional and can attach point values to answers or disqualify candidates, removing them from the qualified pool.
- Ranking Criteria – this feature allows the Search Committee to establish applicant evaluation questions, which are then utilized by each Search Committee member in evaluating applications, interview answers, etc.
- Search Committee – this feature identifies and connects Search Committee members to the electronic process. The user designation allows search committee members access to the applicants and the recruitment process for review and ranking.
- Letters of Reference – this feature establishes the number of references required and has an electronic reference letter collection process feature.
- Underutilization (Affirmative Action Plan Compliance) – this feature establishes the underutilization status of the position.
Preparing for Posting and External Advertising
Applications must be collected electronically through the PeopleAdmin system. This is to remain compliant under our Affirmative Action Plan. The minimum posting requirement is 14 days (underutilized positions must be posted for a minimum of 28 days). HRS recommends a minimum 30 day posting period as a standard. For information on how to navigate and utilize the PeopleAdmin system to its fullest capability, please review Navigating PeopleAdmin 7 User Manual.
Advertising beyond the NMSU job posting site (which applicants view at https://jobs.nmsu.edu/) should target audiences with a goal of obtaining a diverse qualified applicant pool. Searches for tenure or tenure track positions are required to be national and need to be advertised in journals, professional listservs and other outlets that have a national audience appropriate to market pool for vacancy. Your goal should be to make a good faith effort in obtaining a qualified applicant pool by placing advertisements in media sources that target applicants with the functional-specific areas for your position. If your position has been identified as Underutilized, it is recommended that you consult with the Office of Institutional Equity. At a minimum the department is required to advertise in at least one (OIE recommends two) additional diverse media sources targeting the underutilized audience.
Be aware of how language in the advertisement may adversely impact a diverse pool of candidates
- Requirements are too restrictive can significantly reduce the applicant pool. Establish minimum requirements (i.e. education and experience) using objective measures.
- Make sure that your minimum requirements and preferences are supported by bona fide job specific reasons.
- Avoid using culturally sensitive language or language that implies a preference for one culture over others.
- All advertising must include: department name, position title, requisition number, and link to full posting.
As part of the request to post a vacant position, advertisements for external sources must be submitted as an attachment for Dean/CC President review. Departments are responsible for funding and placing external advertisements, once approved.
Request to Post Position
Requests to post vacant positions are submitted utilizing the Departmental Login for PeopleAdmin at https://jobs.nmsu.edu/hr. Vacant positions are posted on the NMSU Jobs system through the Employment Services staff once the position is approved for posting.
- The minimum posting requirement is 14 days (underutilized positions must be posted for a minimum of 28 days). Your HRS Team Partner will notify you if your position is underutilized.
- For information on how to navigate and utilize the PeopleAdmin system to its fullest capability, please review the PeopleAdmin User Manual.
Guest Users access may be requested at the time of posting.
Note: As of October 24, 2016 People Admin was updated to require routing to the Provost Office for approval prior to posting
Evaluating and Responding to Applicant Pool
Applicants are required to apply online for University vacancies. During the recruitment process, application materials are confidential. Review and screening of faculty positions should begin after the close posting date. The employing departments assigned Search Committee Members must determine which of those qualified individuals can best meet the university and department’s needs, while at the same time documenting the reasons for not selecting all other candidates. Use caution when deselecting candidates, because an automated email notification is sent immediately upon deselection. If an error is made in deselecting a candidate, contact your HR Liaison to discuss options. The deselection can be reversed, but the email notification cannot. For more details on evaluating and responding to the applicant pool, see Evaluating and Responding to Applicant Pool in the Search Committee Advisory Guidelines.
Candidate Assessments/Evaluating Candidates
The purpose of candidate assessments is to assist in making an objective and informed decision about which applicant will best provide the knowledge skills and abilities to be successful on the job.
A chart or matrix can be devised listing all interviewed candidates and listing, on the other axis, criteria for successful performance in the position such as experience, education, key skills, knowledge, abilities, presentation in interview, etc. This approach helps the interviewer organize and display a variety of pertinent information for consideration in making the final selection decision.
Preparing Interview Questions
Advanced preparation of interview questions provides a uniform basis for evaluating candidates. Prepare open-ended questions that will assist in evaluating the knowledge, skills and abilities required for a new employee to be successful on the job. Inappropriate questions that relate to an applicant’s personal life or protected class status cannot be asked.
Preparing for On-site Visits
Outlined below are the procedural steps for Preparing for On-Site Visits, for more information on this topic visit the Preparing for On-Site Visits section within the Search Committee Advisory Guidelines website.
Hiring departments may conduct interviews after the close posting date of the position. Telephone interviews and/or face-to-face interviews provide viable information about the applicant’s knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job. As a standard practice, it is recommended that interviews be conducted in a consistent setting. The interview will also provide valuable information to the applicant about the department, university/community college and the local area. In structured interviews, the same questions are asked of each candidate. The evaluation/ranking process for interviews can be established in PeopleAdmin, providing a system process for Search Committee Members to evaluate and rank each candidate. If the process is external to PeopleAdmin, the documentation (responses to each question) must be documented and retained by the department for three (3) years in the Department’s recruitment file in a secure location. In addition, a scanned copy of these documents must be attached as a supplemental document at the Hiring Proposal stage within PeopleAdmin.
The Selection Process
Conducting Reference Checks
As a standard practice, central HRS recommends conducting the reference checks on your finalist prior to interviewing. It is good practice to notify your finalists of your intent. The online application has the candidate release form built in and applicants are required to agree in order to apply for the position. Hiring departments can minimize the risk of hiring an employee who will not be able to succeed in the new job by contacting previous supervisors to ask about job performance. Reference information provided by the applicant is an essential step in cross-referencing information received. You should only conduct reference checks on finalists for the position. Many companies will only confirm employment dates and positions held. You have a better chance of getting the information you need if you are able to contact previous supervisors directly.
References will often feel more comfortable confirming information provided rather than being asked a general question about job performance. If you are unable to obtain sufficient references, the next step would be to contact the candidate and let him/her know that without references, you cannot pursue his/her candidacy further.
Suggested Referencing Questions: Questions should not be asked of any reference that cannot legally be asked of the applicant.
Outlined below are the procedural steps for Conducting Interviews, for more information on this topic visit the Preparing for and Conducting Interviews section within the Search Committee Advisory Guidelines website.
The interview gives you an opportunity to further evaluate the applicant’s job-related knowledge, skills, and abilities. This interview also provides the ability to gather additional information about critical points on the application or to resolve any inconsistencies or contradictions that were noted.
Responsibilities as an interviewer are:
- To interview applicants and select employees on the basis of job-related qualifications
- To record the steps taken in the hiring process
- To project a professional and positive impression of NMSU on prospective candidates for employment
- To be consistent and treat all applicants equal when conducting the interviews
- Be cautious of informal conversations or inappropriate questions
Required Provost Office Approval for Making the Offer
Outlined below are the procedural steps for Making the Offer, for more information on this topic visit the Finishing the Search Process within the Search Committee Advisory Guidelines website.
After the required reviews are completed, the hiring department must submit the PeopleAdmin Hiring Proposal with the requested salary and draft offer letter to the Dean/CC President (Approving Authority). The Dean/CC President will route to the Provost Office for approval to extend the offer. If the requested salary exceeds the budgeted amount, Dean/CC President must work with the Budget office prior to routing to the Provost Office. The job start date must be a future date allowing for time to process, and is generally coincided with the beginning of a semester for academic faculty. The Dean/CC President will conduct a standard review, including but not limited to verification of qualifications, internal inequities, and underutilized status of the position, etc. If the position is underutilized, the Dean/CC President must following the “Underutilized Process” (will be provided soon by OIE).
As of October 24, 2016 the People Admin system has been changed to require all actions be routed to the Provost Office for approval
Tools/Resources: Sample Letters of Offer
If approvals are granted, the Dean/CC President or designated hiring manager may make a verbal offer to the candidate. Once the candidate has accepted the verbal offer, the Dean/CC President or designated hiring manager should follow up with a written offer letter to the selected candidate. All offers of employment are contingent on a successful background check.
Once the candidate has accepted the offer, the Hiring Department will complete the Hiring Confirmation and submit to HRS. The candidate will receive an electronic notification initiated by central HRS to complete the Background Check Release (Background Check Process Flow). The Hiring Department will be notified when background check results are received.
Position Filled-Next Steps
Outlined below are the procedural steps for after filling the position, for more information on this topic visit the After the Search section within the Search Committee Advisory Guidelines website.
Onboarding New Faculty
NMSU conducts an onboarding process customized for NMSU regular faculty through PeopleAdmin. The process has been designed to assist departments with preparing for a new employee so s/he feels welcome and comfortable. It is also designed to guide the new employee through paperwork that must be completed, policy and compliance issues, training courses that may be required, and many other activities that introduce the employee to the department and the overall NMSU culture. For more information about the NMSU Onboarding program, please visit our onboarding initiative page at http://hr.nmsu.edu/onboarding-guide/.
Disposition of Applicants/Following up with Candidates
After the Hiring Confirmation has been completed, the department will need to change the status of finalists, which will electronically notify them that the position has been filled. This information is used to record and summarize recruitment activities for the Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action Program reporting requirements. Refer to the PeopleAdmin User Guide for instructions to deselect the remaining candidates.
The online application system will generate an electronic response to all applicants that a final selection has been made. Non-selected applicants who request specific information or access to selection documents should be referred to the Dean/CC President’s Office.
Recruitment Record Retention
All application documents generated externally from the PeopleAdmin process may be scanned and attached as supplemental documents to the Hiring Proposal. Departments should be aware that these documents may be released to the public under the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (NMIPRA). Examples of the application documents include but are not limited to: interview notes, candidate assessments, reference checks of finalists and online disposition of each candidate. For more information regarding records retention visit http://rmr.nmsu.edu/.