For Search Committees

Find tools and resources for search committee members to guide you through the recruitment process in support of the university's mission to create a more diverse and inclusive culture.

On this page:

When added as a search committee member, you will receive an email from ub-hr@buffalo.edu with details about the posting. Use these steps to access applicant information in UB Jobs.

1.     Use your UBIT credentials to log in to UB Jobs.

2.     Once on the site, click the User Group dropdown menu at the top right of the screen and select Search Committee Member.

3.     Click on the Postings drop-down and select the appropriate position type for your posting.

4.     Scroll through the postings click on the Title of the position for the search you are serving on.

5.     Click Applicants to access applicants and their application materials.

6.     Click the applicant’s Name to view their application or click the Documents you are trying to view to view the documents directly.

Develop a Timeline

A thoughtful, intentional search plan is key to finding the best candidates. A great way to plan your search is using reverse order to plan the timeline for your recruitment. Start with the date you want your candidate to begin working and work backwards including all key milestones the search will require.

Keep in mind that the minimum posting period for each position type is predefined. Use the posting periods below and the key milestones of the search to develop a timeline.

Posting Periods
Position Minimum Posting Length
Competitive classified
10 calendar days
Noncompetitive/labor  classified 15 calendar days
UUP faculty Open until filled unless otherwise specified by the department
UUP professional Internal for 15 calendar days and external for 30 calendar days
M/C professional 30 calendar days
Research Foundation 14 calendar days
UB Foundations Activities 15 calendar days
Need a Longer Posting Period?

Request to post your position for a longer period of time by a note on the comments tab in UB Jobs.

Key Milestones

End of Internal Posting Period: If an internal candidate is identified before the end of the internal posting period, the external posting period can be canceled. The end of the internal posting period is the last day to cancel the external posting period.

End of External Posting Period: At the end of the external posting period, the search committee should decide whether the applicant pool is sufficient or if additional outreach is needed.

Interviews: The search committee can begin interviewing immediately after the position is posted. Starting interviews right away will help minimize the time spent interviewing candidates and can help shorten the posting timeline.

Recommendation for Hire: After the search committee has interviewed candidates, they must deliberate and decide who they would like to recommend for hire.

Hiring Proposal Submission: Once a recommendation has been made, the hiring manager will need to submit a hiring proposal for approval in UB Jobs.

Hiring Proposal Approval: An offer of employment can only be extended after the hiring proposal has been approved. Once the hiring proposal has been approved, the department can contact the candidate to offer the job.

Offer Accepted: When the candidate has accepted the offer, the department can coordinate a start date and begin making onboarding preparations.

Date to be Filled: The date to be filled is the start date for the candidate who has accepted the position.

Determine where advertisements for the posting will be placed. Utilize a variety of print or web advertising and listservs to reach the largest possible applicant pool.

The university’s affirmative action statement is required on all postings. Be sure to include one of the following statements on all external advertisements:

“University at Buffalo is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and, in keeping with our commitment, welcomes all to apply including veterans and individuals with disabilities.”

 - Or -

"As an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action employer, the Research Foundation will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin and veteran or disability status."

Listserv Advertisements

Sharing a posting announcment through a listserv is an advertisement and should include the university's affirmative action statement.

Proactively Build a Diverse Applicant Pool

Review the National Pool

  • Identify national pools of qualified candidates for the field as a whole and for subfields for which you are considering hiring
  • Identify institutions that are successful in educating women and/or underrepresented minority doctoral or post doctorates in your field or subfield. These institutions become a great recruitment source

The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) has compiled a table of local census data by profession that can be used to determine what your applicant pool should look like.

Download

Review Past Departmental Searches

  • Learn about successes and challenges in recruiting underrepresented candidates from previous searches. Talk with the search chair from successful searches to learn about what made them successful.

Ways to Increase Your Advertising Outreach

  • Contact the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) for assistance
  • Include an external diversity advocate on search committees
  • Highlight diversity throughout the language used in the vacancy announcement and all other advertisements
  • Send notifications to minority and women’s professional interest groups regarding all new vacancies
  • Place ads in targeted journals and on specialized websites 
  • Reach out to discipline-based organizations
  • Advertise with publications, web sites and professional organizations that specialize in the recruitment of diverse staff members
  • Attend national and regional meetings

Form a Search Committee

A search committee is responsible for advertising a posting, reviewing all applicant materials and recommending the best candidate to fill a vacancy.

Identify the Best People for the Committee

Committee Size

Committee should be composed of at least three individuals with both women and minority representation (not the same person).

Look for key characteristics when identifying search committee members:

  • Demonstrates good judgment
  • Savvy about people
  • Can discern talent who know and insist upon high quality work
  • Known for their personal integrity
  • Performs independently
  • Devoted to the goals of UB
  • Willing and available to assume the committee assignment

Place Value on the Committee Members

Value employees that take on a search committee role by:

  • Acknowledging and commending their efforts
  • Demonstrating respect and confidence in their decisions

Discuss Confidentiality

Information should be shared by the search committee strictly on a need-to-know basis.

The details related to the search must be kept strictly confidential including:

  • Applications and resumes
  • Any related search documents
  • Information, such as names of references
  • Completed screening materials or tools
  • Responses to interview questions
  • Conversations or comments made in search committee meetings

Provide Search Committee Training

Search committee training is key to getting the search committee ready to interview candidates effectively. Have the search committee complete these trainings as part of their preparation for the search.

In addition to search committee trainings, search committee members should familiarize themselves with university policies and federal laws related to recruitment and employment.

Meet with the Search Committee

It is important that all the search committee members know their role in the search and are prepared to review applicants. Make sure to cover the following issues in the first search committee meeting to ensure that the committee is ready to do their job:

Introductions

  • Thank the committee members for their time and commitment
  • Introduce the members of the committee to eachother

Review the Charge to the Committee

  • Review the essential characteristics of the position
  • Discuss the position and qualifications listed, update the posting as needed
    • Carefully consider the qualifications that actually matter to the position and articulate those criteria upfront
    • Criteria should be specific, measurable and tied to the skills, experience and expertise required for the posted position
    • Avoid criteria that artificially narrow the pool
  • Set clear expectations of the search committee members
  • Detail the expected outcome
  • Inform the committee of the deadline

Emphasize the Importance of Diversity

The search committee can play a key role in advancing UB’s commitment to equity and inclusion. Greater diversity of views enhances group performance.

Diversity includes:

  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Gender
  • Gender identity and expression
  • Age
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Veteran status
  • Disability status

Discuss the Search Process

  • Share the timeline and expectations of attendance and confidentiality
  • Discuss how to find applicant materials
  • Plan how the candidates will be evaluated based on criteria established in the posting
  • Describe the process the committee will use to generate the candidate shortlist and determine who will be interviewed
  • Talk through how the search committee will take steps to mitigate bias from their search
  • Discuss internet searches
  • Discuss what approvals are required and when they are needed throughout the process
  • Discuss how the search will be concluded

Identify Candidates

Not all applicants will be a candidate for a posting. Develop a plan as to how you will work through the applicant pool to identify the qualified candidates for your posting.

Develop Selection Criteria

Creating selection criteria helps to ensure each applicant receives a fair and equitable review during the search process. Your plan should include determining:

  • How the committee will screen applicants initially 
  • Which applicants meet the required qualifications
  • Which applicants will be considered
  • What characteristics will move the applicants to the interview stage
  • How do you define education, experience and competencies that may be generic on the posting
  • How the candidates values align with UB's mission, vision and strategic plans

Translate your critical goals into observable measurable items to rank candidates.

Review, Assess and Screen

Review all applications to ensure candidates meet the minimum qualifications on the posting. Disqualify candidates that are not qualified immediately. Provide feedback on the candidates by categorizing the candidates into:

A Group – meets all the minimum and preferred qualifications

B Group – meets all the minimum qualifications and some of the preferred qualifications

C Group – meets some of the minimum qualifications and some of the preferred qualifications

Select for Interview

After the applicants have been organized into groups, you will need to determine which applicants you are selecting to interview.

  • Review the applicants beginning with the A group and then the B group and select or deselect applicants to potentially interview.
  • Develop and submit a list of candidates to recommend for interview
  • When approved, schedule candidates for the initial interview
  • Discuss which candidates will be moving to the second interview step.
  • Develop and submit a list of seriously considered candidates for second interviews which should all be in-person interviews.
  • When approved, schedule seriously considered candidates for interviews.
  • Discuss the results of the interview with the search committee and make recommendations to the department head on the ranked candidates for the position.

When scheduling for interviews, all candidates should be interviewed the same way (i.e., all through Skype, all through phone or all in-person). All second round interviews must be interviewed the same way.

Review Candidates for Competitive Classified Searches

For competitive classified positions, HR provides list eligible candidates who have taken the civil service exam and are reachable based on their score. Applicants can also apply for transfer, reassignment, or reinstatement.  

List Eligibile Candidates

HR canvasses positions by title for the entire university. Based on the responses, HR determines who is eligible for consideration and copies these candidates into open postings for that title.    

  • The three highest scoring individuals and anyone else with the same score is eligible for consideration.
  • The department is responsible for sending declination letters to candidates who decline the position.
  • New list candidates can only be added when HR has received copies of declination letters and there are less than three eligible list candidates remaining.

Declination Letters

Declination letters must be signed and sent to list eligible candidates who decline the position with your department. A copy of this letter must be sent to HR. There must be less than three list eligible candidates who have not declined the position before HR can copy over additional candidates.

Download

Transfer, Reassignment and Reinstatement

Applicants who apply directly to the posting must fit into one of the following categories to be considered:

Transfer: Transfer applicants must have a current permanent appointment with a minimum of 1 year of service in a position of the same or transferable title. This includes applicants who are applying from outside of UB but work in the same title at a different state agency.

Reassignment: Reassignment applicants must hold the same title at UB. This includes applicants who are working at UB in a different department under the same title. There is no minimum length of time a person must work in order to be reassignment eligible.

Reinstatement: Reinstatement applicants are former state employees requesting to go back to a title that they use work in (or transferable title). This includes applicants who used to hold a state appointment but have separate from state service.

Human Resources can review these candidates to ensure that they meet eligibility requirements before making them available to the search committee for review. Please reach out to your Workforce Recruitment and Position Specialist if you would like HR to review candidates for a competitive classified posting.

Applicants who apply for transfer, reassignment, or reinstatement must have their final eligibility confirmed by Civil Service before a hiring proposal can be approved.

Communicate with Candidates

It is important to provide candidates with clear and timely communication throughout the search process. Keep candidates informed of their application status and of any changes made to the search timeline.

Email Templates for Communicating with Candidates

Human Resources has developed email templates that can be used to provide candidates with updates related to the search process.

2 Weeks After Close Date - Under Review By Search Committee

Position Applied For:  classification title, job title, department name

Posting Number:

Greetings,

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in this position. This message is to let you know that your application for this position remains under consideration by the search committee. 

The review process will continue until a successful candidate is chosen or the position is closed. The recruiting department will contact you after review of your qualifications if it is decided to pursue your candidacy for the position. We appreciate your interest, and we wish you well in the pursuit of your career goals.

Should you have any questions about the timeline for this search, please contact the person listed as the contact on the posting.

Thank you,

Human Resources

Posting a New Position Following a Cancellation

Greetings,

Thank you for your interest in the <<Insert title of position>> posting within our <<Insert department name>> department. We wanted to inform you that some changes were made to the description after this position was posted, resulting in the cancellation of the original posting.

The revised position has been posted and can be viewed on our website <<hyperlink to quicklink for posting>>. I would invite you to submit your online application to the posting if you are interested in the revised position. If you have any questions about this posting, please feel free to contact

Thank you,

Human Resources

Communicating with Candidates Selected for Interview

A great way to communicate clearly with candidates is to send out letters and information packets to candidates selected for interview.  Consider including the following:

  • Time, place and format of the interview
  • Detailed itinerary including names of interviewers
  • Contact information including cell phone if applicable
  • Background on department, school/college, UB and WNY
  • Travel arrangements or direction to the location of the interview
  • EDI contact information that a candidate can use if needed for accommodations for a disability
  • General information on benefits

University Communications has developed handouts that can be useful for marketing the university to candidates.

Downloads

Select Interview Questions

Interviewing your applicant is an opportunity to learn as much as possible to make an informed decision. Use interview questions that relate directly to the selection criteria you have developed.

Additional interviewing resources are available through University Libraries.

Know What Interview Questions are Illegal

There are some interview questions that are illegal to ask. Make sure that the members of the search committee are aware that they cannot ask these questions.

  • That’s an unusual name. Where is it from?
  • Are you a U.S. citizen?
  • How old are you?
  • What is your date of birth?
  • When did you graduate?
  • Are you married? Engaged? Divorced?
  • With whom do you live?
  • Do you plan to have a family? When?
  • Do you have children?
  • What are your childcare arrangements?
  • How tall are you?
  • What is your weight? (questions about height and weight are not acceptable unless minimum standards are essential for the safe performance of the job.)
  • Do you have any disabilities?
  • Please complete the following medical history.
  • Have you ever been hospitalized? If so, for what condition?
  • Have you had a major illness in the last 5 years?
  • How many days were you absent from work because of illness last year?
  • When did you lose your eyesight? How?
  • Have you ever been treated for a mental condition?
  • Have you ever been treated by a psychiatrist? If so, for what condition?
  • Are you taking any prescribed drugs?
  • Have you ever been treated for drug addiction or alcoholism?
  • What organizations or groups do you belong to?
  • Have you ever been arrested?
  • If you were in the military, were you honorably discharged?
  • What is your current salary?

Interview Seriously Considered Candidates

The interview process allows both the search committee to assess candidates’ qualifications and the candidates to assess their interest in employment at the University at Buffalo. Candidates’ impressions of UB will be influenced by the consideration, competence and sincerity of each of the search committee members.

Ensure a Fair Selection Process

  • Plan consistency in the interview including same questions, setting, time allotment and interviewers
  • Allow the committee to make the best comparisons, ensuring that each candidate is treated fairly and minimizing unconscious biases
  • Utilize behavior-based interviewing techniques to separate candidates who skillfully answer interview questions from candidates who skillfully display their quality on the job
  • Assess the answers to questions to be sure there is no disparate impact on applicants in protected classes and that the questions are essential to judge an applicant’s qualifications
  • Resist the urge both to label any given candidate as ‘most promising’ and draw conclusions on candidates prematurely
  • Avoid making assumptions based on perceived race, ethnic background, age, disability, veteran status, marital or familial status, sexual orientation or religion
  • Ask only for information that can legally serve as a basis for the hiring decision

Invite Candidates to Campus for Interview

When inviting candidates to campus, you may want to consider one or a combination of the following:

  • Meet with the search committee
  • Meet with students, faculty and/or university personnel
  • Give a presentation
  • Enjoy a luncheon or dinner

Be sure to provide all candidates with contact information for any special arrangements or accomodations that may be needed, including parking and building access.

Conduct an Initial Interview

All commitee members should be included in evaluating the active applicants.  When conducting initial interviews: 

  • Develop a standard set of questions to ask all applicants and metrics to evaluate responses
  • Eliminate candidates that should not be considered further

Check References

Be sure to obtain permission from the candidate before contacting references. Ways to collect reference information include:

  • Develop a set of standard questions to use with phone reference checks
  • Request reference letter submissions

Download

Making the Final Recommendation

  • Consider only the candidate’s ability to perform the essential function of the job; do not make assumptions based on perceived race, ethnic background, religion, marital or familial status, age, disability, sexual orientation or veteran status.
  • Ask for feedback forms previously circulated to interviewers
  • Ensure that the discussion of the candidates remains focused on the search criteria and evidence about the qualifications of the candidates for the position.

Contact an Expert

Recruitment Support

Avatar of Tony.

Anthony Grieco

Recruitment and Position Specialist

State Workforce Planning and Recruitment

120 Crofts Hall

Phone: 716-645-4483; Fax: 716-645-2724

Email: ajgrieco@buffalo.edu

Avatar of Kevin Johnson.

Kevin Johnson

Recruitment and Position Specialist

State Workforce Planning and Recruitment

120 Crofts Hall

Phone: 716-645-4436; Fax: 716-645-2724

Email: kmj42@buffalo.edu

Delorian Miller.

Delorian Miller

Recruitment and Position Specialist

State Workforce Planning and Recruitment

120 Crofts Hall

Phone: 716-645-4432; Fax: 716-645-2724

Email: dem34@buffalo.edu

Melanie Phillips.

Melanie Phillips

Recruitment and Position Specialist

State Workforce Planning and Recruitment

120 Crofts Hall

Phone: 716-645-4438; Fax: 716-645-2724

Email: mmm49@buffalo.edu

Brendan Tom.

Brendan Tom

Recruitment and Position Specialist

State Workforce Planning and Recruitment

120 Crofts Hall

Phone: 716-645-4529; Fax: 716-645-2724

Email: bjtom@buffalo.edu