When a department or library has a position to fill, it may decide to set up a Selection Committee to help make the hiring decision. This can be beneficial for a variety of reasons: It can provide a broader perspective, ensure the best applicants are considered and increase the likelihood that the final decision will be based on the best fit.
However, Selection Committees can be complicated and difficult to manage, especially when the committee is trying to make a unanimous decision. This is why it is essential to set up the process and guidelines beforehand, so there are no surprises for the candidates or the committee members.
1. Agree on a list of key criteria that must be met in order to be considered for the role. This list can include things like: experience, education, knowledge and skills. The committee should also agree on a scoring system to assess the applications against. This helps to prevent individual committee members from skewing the outcome of the meeting, or putting too much weight on one particular factor over another.
2. Assign a chairperson for the Selection Committee meetings. The chairperson should be the person who will be most impacted by the final decision, or who understands the role the best (e.g., the person who will be the new hire’s direct manager). It can also be useful to assign a chairperson who will take on the responsibility of summarizing and presenting the results of each meeting to the full committee. This can help to expedite the decision making process and seal any final decisions.
3. Make sure committee members are aware of their conflicts of interest and the rules of conduct for Selection Committee meetings. Having clear and consistent rules around conflict of interests is important to protect the confidentiality of all applicants. For example, if a committee member has a relationship to any school under consideration – whether it’s their alma mater, the current employer of their spouse, a former employer or a school where their child works – they must be recused from both voting and discussion on that school until the committee reaches its consensus Top 25 and leaves the room on Tuesdays.
4. Start seeding teams as soon as possible. This allows the committee to affirm true seed accuracy throughout selection weekend and in the bracket. It also lets the committee focus on regional balance, avoid second-round intraconference matchups and maintain bracket integrity.
5. The committee can move teams within their respective seed bands in the event of a tie. It can do so to help out a region for attendance factors, reduce travel costs, avoid second-round intraconference matchups or for any reason at all.
6. If a team isn’t selected for an at-large bid, it can be removed from the field by a vote of all eligible committee members. The committee can then begin the process over again without prejudice.
When it comes to selecting the ideal candidate for a job, there are many variables that go into play. However, if the committee can arrive at a definite and compelling vision of what the role should look like and then identify qualified and talented candidates, the chances for success will be greater.