I am a Search Committee Member

The use of search committees is prevalent in higher education and serves as a screening committee to identify the most qualified candidates to interview.  Search committee composition should include a diverse group of employees who can provide valuable input when reviewing applicant materials, selecting applicants for interview, and conducting interviews. The search committee has the same responsibilities in the interview process as any individual would have. However, with a committee, the option of using different interview approaches becomes available.  In this section you will find the roles and expectations of search committees.

Getting Started

Role of the search committee members

  • Commit time and effort necessary for successful outcome
  • Attend and actively participate in all meetings/interviews
  • Thoroughly read all materials pertaining to the search and be prepared in advance
  • Be compliant with EEO guidelines and legislation
  • Follow "do" and "Don't" examples for interviewing
  • Select candidates based on requirements of position
  • Work collaboratively with the ER/HR staff

Role of a search committee chair for executive searches

Role of Employee Relations and Human Resources

  • Serve as search committee chair
  • Facilitate and guide the search process from beginning to end
  • Provide accurate and timely responses
  • Provide internal consulting
  • Liaison with EEO, Campus HR and candidates
  • Help keep the process flowing smoothly
  • Help keep selection committee compliant
  • Facilitate and coordinate all interviews
  • Aid the committee in developing interview questions
  • Conduct and document references
  • Prepare final search documentation
  • Make recommendation of top candidates to hiring manager
  • Retain necessary search documentation based on statutory retention requirements  


Recruiting Process

  • EEO Guidelines

    • Should contain at least 3 persons
    • Committee should be diverse (minorities and females).  If the department is unable to identify diverse committee members from within the department, then it  should look outside the department for individuals who will add diversity and value to the committee.  Said individual(s) should be someone who will/may have interaction with the person selected for the position.


  • Printing Resumes
  • Sample Search Timeline
  • Sample Agenda
  • Search Committee Ethical Standards
  • Search Committee Best Practices
  • Search Committee Tips
    • Commit to the process and time for search
    • Be reliable
    • Arrive on time
    • Dress appropriately
    • No laptops
    • Be courteous using cell phones
    • Be prepared, review applicant materials and questions prior to the interview
    • Maintain confidentiality, when uncertain, ask
    • Don't do informal references
    • Do NOT search social media for information on applicants
    • Eliminate side conversations during the interviews
    • Don't be afraid to speak up even if your opinion is in the minority