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Key Steps to Filling a Salaried (Professional) Position Vacancy - Search Committee

Search Committees may be formed to assist a hiring administrator/supervisor in the selection of a finalist or finalists for hourly paid positions. The adminsitrator/supervisor will give the committe general guidance in the job related criteria and the timeframe to complete the process.

A diverse search committee can be an important factor in identifying and attracting a wide range of talented candidates.  Hiring administrators are encouraged to include women and minorities on search committees.  Departments and constituent groups that work with or are served by the position can be good places to solicit search committee members or to gather job-related scenario based questions for applicants. The Associate Director or Director of Equal Opportunity will contact the search committee chair to arrange for a meeting to discuss affirmative action and discrimination issues.

Role and Purpose for the Search Committee and its Members:

  • Ensures that the recruiting efforts produce a pool of diverse and qualified applicants,
  • Screens the applicants in each stage of the review process based on the identified job-related criteria,
  • Seeks to treat all candidates equally,
  • Avoids any illegal discrimination,
  • Immediately discloses any instance where the consideration of an applicant could be considered a conflict of interest,
  • Endeavors to fully participate in each stage of the screening process,
  • Assists the search committee chair or other designated staff person in the organization and scheduling of screening activities, and
  • Works to determine the most qualified candidate or group of candidates for recommendation to the hiring authority.

Human Resources supports the department through the screening process as workloads permit. Assistance can include things such as collaborating on the initial screening of applicants, and assisting the search committee with determining the organization and structure of the interview process, and with communicating to the applicants.

Tips for Making Your Search Committee Efficient and Effective:

  • Designate a departmental staff person who will coordinate the search process. Search chairs report that having a staff person within the department who assists with such things as preparing, organizing and maintaining search materials, making contacts, and completing follow-up on details can be very helpful. This can also help keep the search on schedule. Be sure to share details of the search process with this person.
  • Contact Search Committee members to confirm involvement, contact information, and schedule availability for meetings.
  • Schedule a meeting with the Director or Associate Director of Equal Opportunity to discuss affirmative action and diversity.
  • Consult with your Human Resources Officer about meeting with the search committee to review process and employment issues.

Guidelines and Process Summary

The following is a list of materials and information to be used in screening, reviewing, and interviewing candidates for your vacancy.

      • Applications - HR will electronically send the applications meeting the minimum qualifications of the vacant position
      • Application and Interview Rating Sheet- To use as a tool for committee members to grade each applicant based on job related qualifications and criteria as stated in the advertisement. Depending on the size of the pool, you may do a brief interview followed by more in depth interviews.
      • Comparative Application Rating Sheet- Screening process for applications based on search qualifications (listed in bold on job posting) and criteria as advertised. The objective review will determine the applicants you will interview.
      • Comparative Interview Rating Sheet – Use this to summarize the individual search committee’s Interview Sheets.
      • Interview Guide (PDF)- This guide provides you with suggestions for appropriate and approved questions to ask your interviewees. Ensure that all candidates are treated similarly during the interview process. Be consistent when questioning candidates, but it is permissible to ask follow up or clarifying questions. If the applicant asks for a job description, supply one.
      • Interview Schedule Sheet- Can be used as you schedule interview appointments.
      • Telephone Reference Sheet (PDF)- To guide you through the reference checking process. A minimum of two work references should be called for finalists. It is essential to get permission before making a reference check beyond those references given by an applicant.
      • Equal Opportunity Forms - Contact Karen Kemble at 581-1226 or email karen.kemble@maine.edu.

After a Finalist is Identified:

  • Hiring Department- electronically submit Application Rating Sheet summary, Interview Rating Sheet summary, and Telephone Reference Checks to HR for review.
  • Human Resources Officer- makes a tentative offer contingent on the completion of any background checks, physicals, and other screenings required. Documentation that the candidate possesses any license or certificate must also be included.
  • Human Resourcesinitiates background checks, physicals, and screenings with a candidate, and once completed will contact the employee with tentative offer and try to establish a start date. The official start date for a regular employee should allow enough time for the HR review. Please note that the official job offer comes in the form of an appointment letter to the candidate from the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources.
  • Hiring Department- retain for three years: copies of applications and resumes of those who were interviewed along with copies of your Application and Interview Ratings, Application Summary, Interview Summary, Reference Checks, and interview questions/notes.


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