Western Illinois University: Macomb Campus
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Equal Opportunity & Access
1. Initiate Search Process | 2. Plan & Develop Search | 3. Receive & Screen Materials | 4. Interview Applicants
Step Three: Receive and Screen Applicant Materials (Search Committee)
Note: Confidentiality is important throughout the search process. Maintaining confidentiality is essential when receiving and screening applicant information such as resumes/vitas and reference materials. To ensure confidentiality, all external contacts about applicants should be coordinated through the search committee.
A. Applicant Data Cards and Acknowledgement—now done through Interview Exchange
As applications are received, the Interview Exchange Applicant Tracking System will automatically create individualized applicant files. The system will gather the requested identifying information and provide the acknowledgement letter. However, if the applicant is missing something, the designated committee chair or administrative aid will need to follow up with the applicant, indicating what they are missing to complete their application.
B. Screen Applicants
At each step in the screening process, committees are responsible for completing and updating each applicant profile by posting reasons for non-selection in the applicant's profile in the "Candidate Report Fields" box under "Specific Reasons for Non-Selection" for those applicants not moving forward to the next phase. An Equal Opportunity officer must approve the applicant reasons for non-selection before further steps are taken.
The required first phase of any search requires an initial assessment. During this screening phase, the committee evaluates applicants against the criteria established in the position announcement, using a rubric that delineates each required and preferred qualification.
Additionally, applicants may be screened by telephone, meetings at conferences, campus visits, reference checks, or Skype. All information received, whether electronically or otherwise, should be treated confidentially. Updated applicant profiles listing reasons for non-selection for those not moving forward must be completed and approved by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access at each screening stage before proceeding to the next step in the process. While the committee may wish to develop a ranking scale or set point values to use in evaluating the remaining applications, reasons for non-selection must relate directly to qualification criteria.
C. Check References
Reference checks are a useful way to further assess candidates and can be conducted before a campus visit or following a phone interview.
Before any reference checks are made, these questions must be sent to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access for approval.
The committee should develop a set of questions to be asked of each candidate's references.
The basis for the reference check is to verify suitability for the position, but also serves to confirm education (request for complete set of official transcripts at this time would be highly recommended but may be put off until interview offers are extended), experience and demonstrated ability to perform the job.
Only those references provided by the applicant are to be contacted. If the contacts provided are not adequate for addressing work performance, the candidate should be asked to submit additional names.
If the committee would like to check references that are not on the list provided by the applicant (off-list) the committee must ask the applicant for permission first.
Information obtained during the reference process should remain confidential and not shared beyond the committee and hiring administrator(s).
D. Search Process: Detailed Guidance
Please see the following for detailed guidance for search committees regarding the search process: [search process].
Role of Office of Equal Opportunity & Access in Screening Information
The Office of Equal Opportunity and Access is responsible for the monitoring of searches to maintain compliance with state and federal regulatory agencies. Equal Opportunity officers work with each search committee to ensure that the committee keeps detailed documentation for each screening phase and provide the reasons for selection/non-selection of each applicant.
The Office of Equal Opportunity and Access monitoring is designed to ensure that only non-discriminatory, job related qualifications and criteria are used in the screening process. Before anyone is invited to interview, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access must review the selection criteria.