Selection Committee

A Selection Committee is a group of individuals that reviews applicants for a position, award or event. The selection process can be lengthy and complex, but it helps to remove bias in decision-making and ensures that diversity is considered.

Selection Committees can be used in a variety of situations, from academic admissions to job recruitment to judging an awards or sports team. The size and composition of a selection committee can vary depending on the needs of the organization. Regardless of the type of committee, there are some general best practices that should be followed in order to make the selection process more fair and transparent.

1. Make sure members understand the nature of the position and the characteristics of the person sought.

Before conducting interviews, it is important for members to thoroughly review the application forms and the role description. This will help them to identify any shortcomings or anomalies in a candidate’s application that should be followed up during the interview.

2. Agree on uniform criteria.

In order to mitigate implicit bias, it is essential that the committee agrees on what qualities and skills are most relevant to the role before reviewing nominations. This will help to prevent the unintentional “criteria-shifting” that can occur when nominees are discussed and debated.

3. Write down feedback before discussing it.

Whether you are conducting an internal briefing on the applicant pool or discussing the results of an interview, it is helpful to have written notes before holding a discussion. This will reduce the risk of a committee member’s initial opinions influencing the others and will also enable each member to be more consistent in their assessment of the candidates. In addition, it is advisable to avoid group discussions for longer than necessary and to limit each member’s speaking time to a fixed amount of time per nominee, say 30 seconds.

4. Discuss and rank the candidates.

It is important for the selection committee to discuss and rank each of the candidates before making a decision. This will allow them to consider all of the options and choose the most appropriate candidate. It is also helpful to keep an open and honest dialogue throughout the discussion process in order to mitigate any conflicts of interest that may arise.

5. Consider having a chairperson.

Assigning one member to act as the “chairperson” can help decisions move faster and can serve as a seal of approval for any final decision. This is especially useful in cases of close competition or if there is a clear tie between several candidates. The chairperson should be the member who will most directly impacted by the choice, or who understands the role the best – for example, the person who will be the new hire’s direct manager.

While Selection Committees have a number of benefits, they can also be time consuming and expensive for both the delegate and the applicants. The key is to have a thorough, well-thought-out process in place to minimise potential bias and ensure that a diverse pool of candidates is considered for each role.