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. Mail Applicant Data Collection Cards
As applications are received, the department should create an applicant file and mail applicant data collection cards, available from the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access, to each applicant. This card should be sent with a letter acknowledging receipt of application and include a checklist of application materials indicating if application requirements are complete. Return of this card, by the applicant, allows a review of the distribution plan, and determination of the effectiveness of the strategies used to recruit the applicant pool.
B. Screen Applicants
Committees are responsible for completing and updating the Monitor Job Applicant Pool Spreadsheet at each step in the screening process. The form must be submitted to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access for approval before further steps are taken.
Evaluate the applicant materials against the criteria established in the position announcement and job advertisement. 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.
Additionally, applicants may be screened by conference call, meetings at conferences or by electronic application. All information received, whether electronically or otherwise, should be treated confidentially. An applicant file must also be created for individuals who file applications electronically.
The names and reasons for non-selection must be provided to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access at each screening stage before proceeding to the next step in the process.
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.
- The committee should develop a set of questions to be asked of each candidate’s references.
- Before any reference checks are made, these questions must be sent to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access for approval.
- 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.
- Information obtained during the reference process should remain confidential and not shared beyond the committee and hiring administrator(s).
Role of Office of Equal Opportunity & Access in Screening Information
Keep detailed documentation for each screening phase and the reasons for selection/non-selection of each applicant. The Office of Equal Opportunity and Access is responsible for monitoring each search.
In order to monitor the search, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access will need the name of each candidate who will be invited for interview. 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.
If the pool includes protected class applicants who meet advertised qualifications and they are not selected for an interview, a meeting must be scheduled with the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access to review their files.