Step-by-Step Process

Overview

University at Albany’s Strategic Plan, "Authoring Our Success," lists Diversity and Inclusion as one of its core priorities.

The University's recruitment and selection procedures are designed to guide search committees through a fair, inclusive, and transformative search process. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) is committed to collaborating with and assisting deans, departments, hiring managers, and others as they navigate the search process.

The ODI also oversees the campus Affirmative Action program for employment and monitors individual hiring recommendations for compliance. Search committees can use the recruitment and selection procedures to assess their equal opportunity and affirmative action efforts in recruitment and to develop, where necessary, plans to improve their efforts. The procedures also ensure the University follows all federal and state regulations.

The following guidelines do not apply to Civil Service placements. Please contact the Office of Human Resources Management at 518-437-4700 for information on Civil Service placements.

Recruitment and Selection Procedures
Step 1: Authorization to Begin the Search

Professional Staff positions

The hiring authority initiates the search by requesting authorization from the appropriate Director or Vice President.  Once the request is approved by the Director or Vice President, the hiring authority will then submit the request to the Workforce Planning Committee for review

PLEASE NOTE: The Workforce Planning Committee only meets on the first Thursday of every month. Therefore, all documentation, including the Affirmative Action Recruitment Plan (AARP), must be submitted as per noted deadlines.  Any requests received after the deadline will be placed on the following month's docket. 

In consultation with the Office of Human Resources Management, the hiring authority or designee will agree on the rank, title, salary, and programmatic responsibilities associated with the position. Once approved, the Workforce Planning will notify the hiring authority and all documentation will be forwarded by Human Resources to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

 

Faculty positions

In the Division of Academic Affairs, the Department Chair consults with the Dean’s Office.  The Dean or the Dean's designee then consults with the Provost’s Office.  The University is committed to accelerating efforts to recruit more faculty of color and increase the number of women faculty in STEM fields.  To aid in this effort, the following faculty search process has been instituted in keeping with a key priority of the University's Strategic Plan.

 

Step 2: Establish a Search Committee

The Search Committee is appointed by the department head, supervisor, and/or Dean, Director, or Vice President, as appropriate. For joint faculty appointments or positions carrying extra-departmental responsibilities, the secondary department is represented on the committee. Search committees must reflect the diversity of the University community in relation to gender, race, and ethnicity. There must be gender and racial diversity present on the search committee. 

Generally accepted best practice for search committee construct (in terms of size and diversity of perspective) is five to nine members and could include employees from other areas/departments. 

Please note: the direct supervisor, department chair, and/or final decision-maker should not serve on the committee or take part in the initial applicant review as this could potentially be seen as causing an undue influence on the search committee.

It is the responsibility of the department head, supervisor, and/or Dean, Director, or Vice President, as appropriate, to give the committee a charge as to what type of skills are needed to fill the open position. The charge given by leadership is vital to the success of the search committee.

 

Members

It is the responsibility of each search committee member, with the support of the ODI, to ensure equal access to opportunities without regard to an individual's race, color, national origin, religion, creed, age, disability, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, familial status, pregnancy, predisposing genetic characteristics, military status, domestic violence victim status, or criminal conviction.

Member General responsibilities:
  • Complete self-demographic data on the AARP form
  • Contribute recruitment resources on the AARP form
  • Evaluate all candidate’s application materials
  • Interview all selected candidates
  • Contribute to the interview outcome assessment of candidates

 

ODI Representative

When a hiring officer appoints a search committee, they must designate one member of the committee as the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Representative hereafter called the ODI Representative. The ODI Representative has the same duties as a member with additional responsibilities serving as a liaison to the ODI. The purpose of this role is to have one person on each search committee ensure that the goals of an inclusive search are met, including ensuring the position is widely advertised and the search committee does not unconsciously engage in discriminatory practices. While this person should not be the Chair of the Search Committee, they do not need to identify as a female or a person of color.

ODI Representative General Responsibilities:
  • Communicate with ODI throughout the search process, asking for advice and assistance as necessary to ensure a diversified pool of applicants and adherence to all related University policies and NYS laws
  • Assist the Chair with the compilation of screening tools, data, and materials
  • Submit all search materials for approval including:
    • Applicant Rubric Screening Tool
    • Proposed interview questions
    • Completed Applicant Flow Analysis (AFA)
  • Midway through the posting period (i.e., day 15 of a 30-day posting) and prior to reviewing applications, request from ODI the applicant pool snapshot to verify the search has yielded a diverse applicant pool or if some additional interventions are needed
  • Ensure that all candidates are asked and receive the same questions by all interviewers
  • Monitor the post-interview discussion and assessment of candidates by the search committee

 

Search Committee Chair

One member of the Search Committee will serve as Chair and assume ultimate responsibility for moving the search process forward. The Search Chair will perform all member duties as well as some additional responsibilities.

Search Chair General Responsibilities:
  • Oversee the entire search process, committee, and meetings
  • Ensure the AARP form is complete
  • Ensure the position is widely advertised and the search committee does not unconsciously engage in discriminatory practices
  • Lead or facilitate the creation of the search methodology tools including:
Step 3: Establish a Recruitment Plan

Download and Fill out an Affirmative Action Recruitment Plan (AARP).

This document outlines:

  • The current composition of the Hiring Department /Office/Job Group.
     
  • The gender and racial diversity of members of the Search Committee.
     
  • The recruitment sources that will be used in the search process, include targeted or specialized outreach efforts to recruit qualified women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.
     
  • The screening procedures have been agreed on by the Search Committee and the hiring authority.

The direct supervisor, department chair, and/or final decision-maker should not serve on the committee or take part in the initial applicant review as this could potentially be seen as causing an undue influence on the search committee.



Fill out an Announcement of Professional Vacancy (UP5)

Please consider the following when filling out the UP5 for professional staff or faculty positions:

For Professional Vacancies: The description of duties should be clear and concise, and all the required qualifications must be included. Any special or preferred qualifications or skills should be stated and based on a rationale that relates to the job description.

For Faculty Vacancies: Qualifications shall be directly related to the responsibilities of the job and, at a minimum, shall include formal education, previous professional or employment experience, and, where applicable, professional accomplishments and demonstrated competencies.

For ALL Vacancies:

  • The closing date for accepting applications should be included (30 days minimum from the publication date of advertising for a national, regional or state search.) For searches that elect to remain “open until filled,” the Office of Human Resources Management includes the following, “Review of applications will begin ___ and continue until the position is filled.” This statement means that ALL applications will be reviewed and assessed until a recommendation to the hiring authority is made.
     

  • The items that constitute a completed application must be listed and can be incorporated in the Special Notes area. For example, a letter of application, resume, contact information for references and any other materials required by the Search Committee can be included here. Any additional information, action or activity required at the later stages of the search (for example, a writing sample), must be described in the Announcement of Vacancy (UP5).
     

For United University Professions (UUP) Promotional Opportunities: Promotional opportunities in United University Professions (UUP) classifications of SL-3, SL-4 and SL-5 are posted internally for 10 business days to current UUP members in permanent or term appointments. Upon completion of the 10 days, if the decision-making authority does not choose to offer the position to an internal candidate, the department must notify the Office of Human Resources Management, who will then post the position externally. The department will execute the outreach plan as stated on the AARP at this time.

Step 4: Inclusive Search Workshop

In support of the University’s Strategic Plan goal ‘to recruit and retain faculty, professional staff, and graduate students who reflect the multidimensional diversity of our undergraduate student body,’ all search committees are required to attend Inclusive Search Workshop.

The workshop will run for 75 minutes and should be completed prior to the start of the search.   The workshop is mandatory for anyone serving on a search committee but is also open to other members of the University community.

Upon completion of this workshop, participants will be able to: 

  • Recognize biased thought patterns and/or behaviors that interfere with objective candidate evaluations.
  • Identify key points within the recruitment process where bias checkpoints should be intentionally applied.
  • Implement strategies that demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Prepare objective screening tools that mitigate bias and consider inclusive search best practices.
Step 5: Advertise and Promote the Position

Attracting a broad and diverse pool of candidates to compete for the position is an important component of the search process. While paid advertisements are not the only way to search for possible candidates, they are an important element in the recruitment effort. The advertisement must include responsibilities, qualifications, and experience. The required items for a completed application must be the same on both the ad and the Announcement of the Vacancy). However, to minimize advertisement costs, notices may be shortened to refer candidates to the Office of Human Resources Management website for the complete vacancy notice. 

In addition to paid advertisements, other affirmative action efforts and recruitment strategies include but are not limited to the following:

  • Professional Associations, Listservs, and conferences

  • Social Media platforms, including LinkedIn and Twitter

  • Posting of notices at local, regional, and national meetings and conferences

  • Letters to graduate schools in the discipline for the type of position being advertised

  • Contact qualified persons who have written letters of application in the past year

  • Outreach to other colleges and universities

Diversity Recruitment Resources are available to support attracting and recruiting candidates from underrepresented groups. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion is also an important resource for best practices in creating diverse pools of applicants.

Step 6: Create and Submit Applicant Rubric for Approval

All search committees utilize a rubric as an applicant screening tool to evaluate the candidate’s application materials objectively, negate bias, and select candidates for first-round interviews. The rubric is designed by search committees with alignment to the job posting qualifications. The ODI Representative from each search committee should submit the applicant rubric to ODI for review and approval during the advertising phase and prior to reviewing applicants.

Download a sample Rubric and Applicant Flow Analysis (AFA) Combined.

All search committee members are expected to review and evaluate all applicants. This document will be submitted by the ODI Representative to ODI with the request for first-round interviews

Step 7: Request Applicant Pool Snapshot

Midway through the posting period (i.e., day 15 of a 30-day posting) and prior to reviewing applications, the ODI Representative will email ODI requesting the applicant pool snapshot called the EEOC Data Report.

This snapshot contains a summary of the diversity of the applicant as a result of the advertising and recruitment efforts outlined in the AARP.

It is important that this report is requested and reviewed by the Search Committee prior to reviewing applicants’ resumes to ensure that the recruitment plan strategy is resulting in an inclusive and diverse applicant pool.

At this point in the search process, if the applicant pool is not deemed to be adequately diverse, ODI will work with each search to identify additional sources to advertise to target diverse populations.

Step 8: Respond to Applicant Inquiries and Applications

When initial letters of inquiry and/or application materials are received, the Chair of the Search Committee, or their designee, should:

Acknowledgment receipt of the letter of inquiry with a letter of response.

The letter of response should indicate to each applicant which essential elements of a completed file have been received and which ones still need to be received by the application deadline. A follow-up letter can be sent to candidates with incomplete files.

 

Typical elements of a completed file include:

  • Letter of application
  • Resume or Vitae
  • Proof of license, if appropriate
  • Names of references with contact information, as requested
  • Any additional information required in the Vacancy Announcement

 

Confidentiality

All searches must be conducted in a manner that best protects the privacy of the applicants. Access to files is limited to search committee members, supervisors/department chairs and, to the extent necessary, the department or unit’s clerical staff. (Campus members, hiring authorities, or employees not on the search committee shall not have access to the files until finalists have been named.) The files may, of course, be made accessible to the necessary administrative officials. Strict confidentiality must be maintained. Candidates assume that their candidacy is held in confidence. Do not break this confidence. Likewise, do not break the confidence of your committee members by discussing privileged remarks of the committee deliberations.
 
NOTE: All questions regarding employment eligibility of foreign nationals should be directed to the Office of Human Resources Management

Step 9: Evaluate and Screen Candidates

All search committee members are expected to review and evaluate all applicants utilizing their approved Rubric and Applicant Flow Analysis (AFA)_Combined

The Applicant Rubric serves as a screening tool to evaluate each applicant's materials objectively, negate bias, and select candidates for first-round interviews.  Every member's scores should be visible on the applicant rubric.

For any candidate not selected for a first-round interview, the appropriate application non-select code should be utilized.  The last sheet of the Applicant Rubric contains both Application and Post-Interview Non-Select Codes.  

Once all applicants have been reviewed, the ODI Representative should submit the completed Applicant Rubric to ODI along with first-round interview questions.

Step 10: Prepare Interview Questions

Interview questions should be developed in advance and must relate closely to the Announcement of the Vacancy. First- and second-round questions developed and agreed on by the search committee are forwarded to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion prior to interviews being scheduled.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion has prepared a sample list of interview questions that can be asked for both staff and faculty searches.  All interviewers must have their questions pre-approved including Hiring Authorities, Department Chairs, Deans, Department Colleagues, and Students. Both first and second-round interview questions must include a question about diversity and inclusion

To ensure uniform and fair treatment of all interviewees, please note the interview questions that search committees should not ask candidates.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will then review the interview questions and requests to interview, provided all materials are submitted with appropriate information.

Step 11: Complete the Interviews and Contact References

After the proposed list of interviewees and interview questions are approved by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Search Committee can now contact candidates for an interview and make arrangements for first-round interviews. To offer a consistent and equitable interview experience, one interview format (Zoom, in-person, or phone) should be offered to all candidates selected for first-round interviews.

After the candidate accepts the interview request, a letter confirming interviews may be sent to all candidates invited to participate in this stage of the process. If candidates have special needs that necessitate accommodations during the interview process, they should contact the search chair and/or the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. 

At the conclusion of first-round interviews, the AFA First Interview Results tab should be updated with the appropriate post-interview non-select code. This updated document and the request for second-round interviews and the proposed second-round interview questions can be sent to ODI for review.  One interview format (Zoom, in-person, or phone) should also be used for second-round interviews.

The Search Committee should prepare a second-round interview schedule to be followed for all candidates. If candidates have special needs that necessitate accommodations during the interview process, they should contact the search chair and/or the ODI.

Individuals who clearly do not meet the minimum qualifications should be sent a non-selection letter at this point. 

 

Contacting references

Contacting references by telephone regarding a candidate’s qualifications is encouraged. A record of all inquiries must be maintained within the candidate’s file. Under the Freedom of Information Act, information received by telephone is available to the applicant upon request. An example of the format for recording information from a telephone reference is provided for your reference.

Step 12: Submit a Final Hiring Recommendation
  1. Upon completion of the interview process, the Search Committee prepares and submits its recommendation to the hiring authority, who consults with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion staff member on the proposed hire.
     

  2. An updated Applicant Flow Analysis and request to make an offer is sent to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, along with a summary of the strengths and weaknesses for all candidates interviewed.
     

  3. The Search Committee Chair and the hiring authority will consult to determine rank (if applicable), salary and any other aspects of the appointment package. An offer is made by the hiring authority, or the appropriate Provost or Vice President. Teaching faculty appointments are made by the Provost based on the recommendation of the appropriate dean.
     

  4. Once an offer is accepted, an Appointment Request (HRM-2), or Change in Status Request (HRM-3) for current employees, is generated by the hiring authority, signed by the dean/director and the appropriate Vice President, and forwarded to the Office of Human Resources Management. This transaction form activates the personnel record for the new hire and is critical for initiating many campus services such as computing and SUNY card.
     

  5. If inquiries are made by applicants before an appointment is made, the unsuccessful candidates may be told the status of the search. Once the position has been accepted and the candidate has signed an appointment lettera post-interview regret letter should be sent to unsuccessful candidates.

    Note: If an offer is declined, the hiring authority should work in conjunction with the Search Committee Chair, Dean or Vice President to determine if an offer can be made to another qualified finalist. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion must be informed of the declined offer and approve a request to make supplemented offer.
     

  6. All search file information should remain in the hiring unit office for three years from the end of the search.