A Selection Committee is a group of people that are responsible for selecting a person or team to be included in an event or competition. Often, this group is comprised of experts in the field who have expertise that can help with the decision making process.
Selection processes vary widely across organizations, but there are some best practices that can be applied to help ensure a successful outcome. A good selection process will consider the needs of the organization and its stakeholders while also ensuring that a positive candidate experience is delivered.
For example, a search committee might recruit outside the usual pool of candidates by strategically posting the position specification on job boards, using internal staff and external constituents as sources of referrals, or even seeking out members of the wider community with connections to potential applicants. It is important to remember that the selection process should be a collaborative effort between everyone involved, and each member of the committee should be committed to finding the right person for the role.
When deciding who to interview, the committee should carefully review all of the applications and shortlist those that most closely meet the criteria set out in the job description. If the committee feels that it is not possible to choose the best candidate from the applications received, it may be appropriate to convene a panel or sub-committee for further evaluation. This further assessment will include conducting personal interviews with the selected applicants, in addition to evaluating written material.
While the precise composition of a selection committee varies by honor, it is generally defined in the unit’s bylaws or by APS (if the honor is not associated with a specific unit). The committee should be balanced, and it is important that each member can offer perspective and time to support the process. It is also important that all members are committed to the integrity of the decision making and can avoid potential conflicts of interest.
If a member of a selection committee has a conflict of interest, the chair should recommend to the delegated authority that the individual be replaced. The full details of the committee’s deliberations and resolution should be recorded on the recruitment file.
The UWC-USA Selection Committee reads nearly a thousand documents, teacher recommendations and applications from students applying to be Davis Scholars. In addition, they conduct personal interviews with about 150 semi-finalists at our finalist weekend each year. It is the dedication of this group that enables UWC-USA to select some of the most outstanding students in the country.