When selecting an executive for your business, you may need to form a committee to help you make the best decision. Having a well-formed selection committee can give you a more objective perspective on candidates, and help you avoid hiring errors that could have long-term consequences for your company.

Whether it’s to find a new leader for your organization or decide who should be tapped as a member of a board, selecting the right members for a selection committee is critical. The committee should have a broad range of skills and abilities, and should include HR professionals, technical experts, and financial analysts as appropriate. It’s also a good idea to have a diversity of personalities and backgrounds on the committee, to ensure that all voices are heard.

Selection committees are not only useful when it comes to making large-scale decisions, they can also be crucial in resolving conflicts within the organization. If a disagreement arises, the chairman of the selection committee can appoint another member to serve as the tiebreaker. The chair of the committee sets the tone for the meeting, reminds committee members of their obligations, and takes the votes. This person also makes sure that confidentiality is maintained, and that conflict of interest rules are followed.

Select committees are often used to review government policy, but they can be useful in other types of organizations too. For example, the College Football Playoff Selection Committee helps determine which teams should compete for a national title based on its rankings. This committee reportedly meets up to 10 times per year in private to discuss the rankings, and ultimately chooses which teams will advance to the playoffs.

While it’s important to have a diverse set of skills on the selection committee, it’s also necessary to limit the number of people on the committee. Too many members can overwhelm the process, and it can be difficult to reach a consensus. It’s also a good idea for the selection committee to agree on the criteria it will use to evaluate nominees before they begin reviewing applicants. This prevents unconscious bias in the evaluation process by ensuring that all committee members are judging candidates against the same criteria.

In addition, it’s important that all committee members are aware of potential conflicts of interest and recuse themselves if necessary. If a conflict of interest appears to exist, the committee chair should take appropriate action in keeping with the spirit of SIAM’s conflict of interest guidelines.