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Texas State University

Assistance with Faculty Hiring

Faculty Hiring Toolkit

The Faculty Hiring & Retention Toolkit is meant to provide guidance on faculty searches. It is designed to reinforce the university’s commitment to inclusive excellence and to serve as a supplement to the legal and regulatory obligations as indicated by university policies and the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

While this toolkit is geared toward faculty hiring, other search committees will find the information useful for enhancing the diversity and inclusion goals of equally important hiring processes across the Texas State community. 

The cover of The Faculty Hiring & Retention Toolkit

Faculty Search Guidelines

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    1. Recommend search committee members and search chair to dean.
    2. Manage interaction between search committee and personnel committee, if necessary. Refrain from obtaining any information on applicants until the committee forwards the applicant log.
    3. Charge of the search committee is to discuss the department needs including diversity and future growth plans. This drives the position description and recruitment strategy.
    4. Construct the position authorization request form. Search committee completes position vacancy announcement (see below).
  • Lead search committee members through the following discussions prior to constructing the position vacancy announcement. Steps in building the job description with required and preferred qualifications.

    • Determine the knowledge, skills, and abilities the successful applicant must have to begin the position. These will constitute the required qualifications and should reflect what the department's essential needs.
    • Determine the “preferred” knowledge, skills, and abilities – what knowledge, skills and abilities would the department like an applicant to have but are not necessary. These will constitute the preferred qualifications and should not include any characteristic or KSA the department really needs as these should be moved to the “required” qualification statements.
    • In faculty positions desiring an associate or assistant professor, the position vacancy announcement must distinguish the necessary requirements at the associate professor level and the requirements at the assistant professor level.
    1. Construct the job vacancy announcement using the results of the discussion (posting, recruitment plan, requested materials, timelines, etc.)
    2. Lead search committee members through the following discussions related to the job announcement prior to reviewing applications.
    • Use department goals and needs to describe intended outcome for this position. Use this information to determine best sources for applicants.
    • Design the recruitment plan best suited to achieving this outcome.
    • Define the terms used in the qualifications for clarification purposes: such as “or related field,” “potential for,” etc.
    • Determine what constitutes evidence for meeting/not meeting the required qualifications (ask the committee the question: “What are we willing to accept as proof of these qualifications?”
    • Determine how and where in the applicant materials the committee is likely to find information that will allow for consistent and equitable assessment of all candidates (use of information in cover letters, references, prior knowledge, etc.)
    • Determine the assessment process (prior to reviewing applications) including Construction of the assessment materials such as scoring sheets and/or matrix. Use the published required and preferred qualifications listed in the ad. Incorporate the background set of experiences the committee agreed to accept as proof of qualifications
    • Agree on additional aspects of the search process: timelines, response to incomplete applications, closing and review dates, use of added value, timing of phone and campus interviews, managing of potential internal or known applicants, etc.
    • Restrict access to applicant materials to only the search chair and administrative support personnel until review date.
    1. Monitor the recruitment process – emphasize committee members' responsibilities for recruiting:
    • Target recruiting approach to reach a large, diverse, qualified pool of applicants.
    • Apply appropriate recruiting efforts to offset challenges presented by position.
    1. Emphasize confidentiality during the assessment process instructing committee members to avoid sharing information and ongoing discussions with anyone not on the search committee.
    2. Use the process agreed upon by the search committee in earlier steps.
    3. If the search had a closing deadline, the committee should follow the agreed-upon methods for managing the materials. Give all applicants the same opportunity for consideration.
    4. Equity in the hiring process is determined by two factors: the consistency between the job description and the actual assessment criteria applied; and the consistency with which all applicants received the same treatment.
    5. Ensure equitable treatment of all applicants by extending the same opportunities to all applicants.
    6. Assess all applicants against the same standard.
  • First Screen

    The committee screens out applicants not meeting REQUIRED qualifications. Such applicants will be considered unacceptable and eliminated from further consideration(s). Document the results of this evaluation via a committee rating matrix. Use this as the “reason for non-hire” on the log.

    Second screen

    The suitability of the remaining applicants is judged on the basis of the REQUIRED and PREFERRED qualifications. Document the results of this evaluation via a committee rating matrix. On the basis of these results, determine which applicants meet and/or exceed the advertised qualifications and which do not. For applicants who meet the required but lack one or more of the preferred qualifications, use “met required qualifications, lacked _____” as reason for non-hire on the log.

    1. Of the applicants meeting/exceeding qualifications, select a “top tier” to be interviewed by telephone, in order for the committee to gain additional information about a candidate’s suitability for the advertised position, i.e., congruent with job description and qualifications, before inviting them to campus. 
    • Conduct the phone interviews in a consistent manner, and utilize a rating matrix (completed prior to reviewing applicant folders) for evaluating candidates’ responses. Have more than one person in the room for the phone calls, preferably the entire committee. 
    • If references are called, be consistent and equitable in the questions asked and in gaining/interpreting their responses. Have more than one person in the room during the reference calls, preferably the entire committee. Keep a record of responses.
    • Based on results of the telephone interviews, select candidates for campus interviews, or decide if other potential candidates need to receive a phone interview and considered further.
    1. Send results of selection of candidates for campus interviews for Department Chair signature and then to Dean’s office. Applicant log should reflect names and assessment outcomes on all applicants. All applicant files must accompany the log and completed matrix.

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