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 is committed to collaborating with and assisting deans, departments, hiring manager and others as they navigate the search process.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion 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
Getting Authorization to Begin the Search

The hiring authority (typically the vice president, dean, chair or director) in the department or unit initiates a search for a faculty or professional staff position by requesting authorization to fill a position. 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.

This information is submitted to Workforce Planning (Professional staff) or Provost (Faculty) for approval, including funding approval. Once all respective offices have reviewed the search packet, Workforce Planning will notify the hiring unit that the search has been approved.

More information about the requirements for filling out the Affirmative Action Recruitment Plan (AARP) can be found in the "Establishing a Recruitment Plan" step detailed below.

Establishing 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, including but not limited to women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and covered veterans. There must be gender and racial diversity present on the search committee.

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

Members serve on the search committee to assist in the outreach to qualified persons for position vacancies, to develop screening mechanisms in accordance with the job description, to interview qualified candidates and to recommend candidates to the hiring authority. It is the responsibility of each search committee, with the support of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, to promote equal employment opportunity for all qualified individuals including but not limited to women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans.

 

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. This person will assist the search committee in carrying out its responsibilities to develop a broad and diverse candidate pool, and will act as a liaison to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion during the search process. While this person should not be the Chair of the Search Committee, they do not need to be a woman or minority.

General responsibilities:

  • To evaluate all steps of the search process in terms of the goals and principles of affirmative action, including ensuring the position is widely advertised and the search committee does not unconsciously engage in discriminatory practices.

  • To communicate with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion 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.

  • To participate in all aspects of the hiring process.

Specific responsibilities:

  • Review advertisements to ensure appropriateness and consistency with vacancy announcement.

  • Review the Application Screening Form.

  • Assist with development of interview questions on appropriateness of all questions.

  • Assist with the compilation of the Applicant Flow Analysis.

  • Assist the Search Committee Chair in certifying to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion the efficacy of the above named forms to obtain necessary approvals.

  • Ensure that all candidates are asked and receive the same questions.

  • Monitor the discussion of candidates after interviews to ensure that job-related factors are the only ones considered in determining the finalists and that those factors are evenly applied.

  • Before the final recommendation for hire is made, review any concern regarding the selection process with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Assistant Director, who shall determine the appropriate action to be taken.

  • At the conclusion of the search, work with the Search Committee Chair to provide a completed report to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to document that the approved search plan was followed.

 

Committee Chair and ODI Representative

One member of the Search Committee will serve as Chair and assume ultimate responsibility for moving the search process forward. In addition, one member of the committee will serve as the ODI Representative and work directly with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to ensure that the Search Committee has a clear understanding of its responsibilities in promoting equal employment opportunity and affirmative action.

At the outset of the search process, it is recommended that the Search Committee Chair and the ODI Representative contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to review the following:

  • The affirmative action placement goals.
     
  • The procedures for the affirmative action recruitment process, including specialized outreach efforts by the department in its search for underrepresented groups.
     
  • Any questions regarding guidelines for the search and hiring process.
Establishing a Recruitment Plan

Fill out an Affirmative Action Recruitment Plan (AARP).

This document outlines:

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

The direct supervisor and/or final decision-maker should not serve on the committee. 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:

  • A closing date for accepting applications should be included (30 days minimum from 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, 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.

Advertising and Promoting 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 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. 

The University at Albany has contracted with the Graystone Group Advertising for placement of approved advertisements. To contact Graystone for placement of ads in selected media, visit the Graystone Group Advertising website or call 800-544-0005

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

  • Outreach to other colleges and universities

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion can provide Recruitment Resources 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.

Responding 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:

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 licensure, 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 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.
 

NOTEAll questions regarding employment eligibility of foreign nationals should be directed to the Office of Human Resources Management.

Evaluating and Screening Candidates

Once the search is approved, the Search Committee should meet to develop an Application Screening Form to assist the committee members in evaluating the credentials of the applicants. This form, the contents of which are agreed upon by the Search Committee, should list relevant job-related criteria that are directly related to the Announcement of Vacancy.

Each application should be reviewed to assure completeness, to substantiate academic attainments and experience, to assess the strengths and weaknesses in the position criteria, and to eliminate those candidates who do not meet the minimum requirements. Our sample Application Screening Form includes examples of how it can be used for screening applicants.

In cases where there are a large number of applicants, initial screening using the Application Screening Form can be conducted by a subcommittee of at least two members. It is permissible to call candidates as necessary to seek clarification or discuss qualifications. The work of each subcommittee should be reported to and affirmed by the full committee. After the applicant screening process is complete, the committee members should submit their screening forms to the Chair to maintain for the record.

The result of the entire screening process is typically a “short list” of applicants whose knowledge, skills and abilities closely meet the needs of the hiring unit.

Preparing an Applicant Flow Analysis and Interview Questions

The Applicant Flow Analysis includes the reason(s) for the Committee’s decision on each applicant and the Committee’s recommendation of the top candidates for interviews. Once the Search Committee completes this form, it is submitted to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and a copy is sent to the hiring authority.

All applicants not being considered for an interview should have a non-selection code included. The Applicant Flow Analysis spreadsheet has two tabs, the second of which contains a listing on non-selection codes.

 

Interview Questions

Interview questions should be developed in advance and must relate closely to the Announcement of Vacancy. Questions developed and agreed on by the search committee are forwarded to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for approval.

The search committee must send all interview all questions to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion before requesting an interview. The interview questions must include questions about diversity and inclusion. (For example: "How have your experiences prepared you to advance our institution’s commitment to diversity and inclusion?") To ensure uniform and fair treatment of all interviewees, please note the questions that cannot be asked of candidates.

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

Completing the Interviews and Contacting References

After the proposed list of interviewees is approved, the Search Committee will prepare an interview schedule to be followed for all candidates, and make arrangements for telephone interviews and/or to bring candidates to campus for an interview.

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 this time, an updated Applicant Flow Analysis is sent to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for approval.

In the event that there is a large number of final candidates, the committee may choose to conduct phone interviews to reduce the field. If this is done, the ODI Representative should ensure that the reasons for non-selection are documented and reviewed by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Individuals who clearly do not meet the minimum qualifications should be notified at this point. Other applicants may remain in the pool for consideration.

The Search Committee should interview candidates as a whole committee whenever possible. The Chair should also schedule candidate interviews with the hiring authority, the appropriate dean/director, vice president and/or president, other academic or administrative departments, units, and other pertinent persons or groups as appropriate.

 

Contacting references

Contacting references by telephone regarding a candidate’s qualifications is encouraged. If there are individuals who are not listed as references whom you would like to call, you should notify the applicant as a professional courtesy. 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.

Submitting 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 letterletters of regret 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.