Non-Senate Search Guide: Completing the Search

Creating the Search Report

At the end of the search it is necessary to document the search process, and provide justification for the selection of the proposed candidate(s), and deselection of all other applicants. This information is included in the search report in AP Recruit, which must be submitted and approved prior to hiring candidates (multiple candidates can be put forward as part of the same search report). A search report continues to “live update” with any new information or edits until the search report is approved by OFEW, when it becomes the final, legal record of the search.

The search report includes:

  • up-to-date applicant statuses
  • disposition reasons for all candidates not selected
  • documentation of all evaluation processes
  • search committee narrative (for certain job titles)

Please note that as a federal contractor and public institution, all search information created and included as documentation of the search process can be requested and reviewed by outside auditors at any time - all information should therefore be clear to a reviewer with no familiarity of departmental or unit hiring practices.

Review dates

Search reports only include applicants who have completed an application by the selected review date for each report. If an individual applies in the period of time between a past review date and future review date they will be visible to the search committee, but will not appear in a search report until the future review date has passed. This ensures that all qualified candidates who apply before a set review date receive fair consideration for employment. 

Updating Applicant Statuses

Review all complete candidates in AP Recruit to confirm that they have the appropriate candidate status. Please make sure all statuses are marked in the correct sequence and do not skip statuses (e.g., if a candidate is interviewed and selected for hire, update their status to 'interviewed' before updating them to 'proposed candidate,' and do not skip from ‘complete’ to ‘proposed candidate’).

  • Individuals who were deemed unqualified specifically with respect to the basic qualifications should be marked "does not meet" and should be in the “unqualified” section.

  • Applicants who met the basic qualifications should be marked “meets basic” and appear in the “qualified” section.

  • Applicants who withdrew should be marked "withdrawn," and those who withdrew prior to being named on the short list will automatically appear in the “unqualified” section.

  • Duplicate applications should be marked as "withdrawn."

  • Applicants who were on the “long short list” or otherwise under serious consideration should have the final status “serious consideration” if they did not proceed to a further round of consideration.

  • Applicants who were interviewed should have the status “interviewed.” If an applicant withdrew after being recommended for an interview they will have the status “withdrew after recommend for interview.” Please note that "recommend for interview" is not a terminal status.

  • Applicants being put forward to the campus for consideration should have the status “proposed candidate.”

  • No applicants should have a status beyond “proposed candidate” at the time the Search Report is submitted for review and approval. If the candidate withdrew after becoming the proposed candidate they will have the status “withdrawn after proposed candidate.”

Information about the Proposed Candidate

Provide a few sentences in the disposition comment for the proposed candidate(s) explaining why they were selected based on the established selection criteria, qualifications, and job duties. Do not use comparative language (e.g., "the candidate had the most experience"). Additionally, it is not sufficient to state that the proposed candidate was the best fit for the position. The disposition comment should specify why they were selected.

Do not select a disposition reason for the proposed candidate.

Provide the proposed offer information for the proposed candidate, including the anticipated start date. Start dates must be after the search report is approved.

Disposition Reasons/Comments

One or more reasons for deselection should be provided to all individuals who submitted a complete application for the position. Select from the list of disposition reasons provided in the system or write a custom disposition comment that explains why the applicant was not selected for the position.

Disposition reasons/comments must be relevant to the description of the position and stated qualifications. For example, it is not appropriate to deselect a lecturer for lacking research experience. Additionally, applicants cannot be deselected based on assumptions (e.g., assuming a candidate would not take the job because they live in a different state), nor based on identity or protected status (including race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition [cancer‐related or genetic characteristics], ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or status as a covered veteran).

Alternate Candidates

Alternate candidates are applicants that the committee would like to hire if the proposed candidate(s) withdraws. It is critical that units clearly label alternate candidates using the “alternate for position” disposition reason and provide information in the disposition comment that explains the strengths that make them suitable for hire in the event that the proposed candidate withdraws, but also why they were not chosen as the proposed candidate. Candidates must be interviewed to be put forward as alternates for the position.

For pool recruitments, candidates who are deselected for a specific hiring need cannot be put forward as the proposed candidate for that same hiring need at a later time, unless they were labeled as alternates. For all non-pool searches, after the first search report is approved, only candidates labeled as alternates in the original search report can be proposed for hire in subsequent search reports.


All relevant documentation created during the search must be uploaded to the documentation section of AP Recruit, including relevant memos and interview notes (and a search committee narrative for relevant titles).

Interview Materials

Interview questions and notes must be uploaded as part of the search report, in one of the following formats:

  • Notes on each candidate's response to each interview question (can be typed or handwritten)

  • Summary of interview responses for each candidate (not a summary decision or disposition about the candidate)

  • Ranking sheet/evaluation template created for each interviewed candidate

Search Committee Narrative

Search committee narratives are required for all titles except lecturers, teacher-special programs, postdoctoral fellows, specialists, project scientists, and continuing educators. The purpose of the search committee narrative is (1) to document the search process and the candidates considered for the position, and (2) to provide a compelling case for the candidate who is selected. This report need not be long; typically four to five paragraphs are sufficient. Upload it into the Documentation section as part of the search report.

  • Introduction
    Provide a brief overview of the search area, efforts made to attract a diverse pool of applicants, and the extent to which the efforts were successful in achieving a broad and inclusive pool.
  • Overview of the evaluation process
    • Provide a description of how the applicants were reviewed and evaluated.

    • What selection criteria and/or rating scales were used?

    • How were the finalists for interview selected?

    • How were campus visits conducted (if used)?

    • How did the committee rank the finalists (if applicable)?

    • How was the proposed candidate ultimately chosen?

  • Brief narrative description of the finalists
    Provide a brief description of the academic strengths of the finalists (everyone who was interviewed) as measured against the selection criteria, and ultimately why individuals were deselected, or became a proposed candidate (or alternate). This information can also be used in the disposition reasons section in AP Recruit.
  • Academic qualifications of the finalist
    Describe the strengths of the candidate in relation to the job position, refraining from relying on comparisons with other shortlisted candidates to the extent possible.

Guidelines for Failed Searches

Failed searches when no applicants were acceptable

If candidates were reviewed (whether anyone was interviewed or not), but no one in the pool or search was acceptable for the position a failed search report must be submitted for liability purposes (for example, if a candidate not selected for a position later files a complaint, the University needs to demonstrate that there was a fair search and a clear rationale for not selecting the individual).

The failed search report must include:

  • Candidate disposition reasons

  • Comments for candidates interviewed

  • Evidence of advertisement and outreach

  • Search Committee Narrative – brief description of why the search failed

  • All written materials created during the search (e.g., interview notes, completed evaluations tools, etc.)

  • Final candidate statuses

  • Title of the search report should indicate it is a failed search

Conclusion: After the search report is approved, conclude the search using the Conclusions feature on AP Recruit and select "no candidates proposed” under the search outcome.

Failed searches when no applicants were needed

If no candidates were needed, no search report is needed. The Search can be concluded by selecting “cancelled” under the Search Outcome, and add a sentence or two to explain the situation. The most common reasons for this include lecturer pools where the departments did not have a need to fill courses, or changes to funding that result in cancelling the search.

Search Report Submission and Approval

Use the Non-Senate Search Report or Lecturer Pool Search Report checklist to determine if the search report is complete and ready for review. Preview the search report PDF using the “Preview” button to be sure all required elements are present before submitting. Provide a name for the search report that includes the last name of the candidate(s). This will aid in differentiating from the initial Search Report and any others that may be submitted in the future for additional candidates.

Edits can continue to be made as needed until the search report receives final approval by OFEW; all edits are live updated in the report. However, once OFEW starts review please do not make additional changes unless notifying OFEW first.

When OFEW has approved the search report, the PDF serves as the permanent record of the recruitment. Please note that approval of the search report is not approval to hire. Typical hiring processes must be followed for all appointments.

Concluding the Search

After the search report is approved by OFEW, and there is a hiring outcome for the search, return to AP Recruit to conclude the search. This must be done as soon as possible and is required for data reporting purposes and compliance with University, state, and federal policies and laws.

Concluding the search requires updating applicant statuses (e.g., from proposed candidate to offered to hired), providing appointment information and employee IDs for hired candidates, and entering a search outcome for the recruitment. Once this information is provided the search can be formally concluded. Concluded searches are hidden from reviewers so they will not appear in their recruitments list in the system.

A search should be concluded after the search report is approved, when no new hires will be made, and as soon as one of three conditions is met:

  • A candidate for a non-pool recruitment has been hired by the University and the appointment start date and Employee ID are available;

  • A pool recruitment reaches the end of the open period (typically 12 months), and appointment start dates and Employee ID information are available; or

  • The recruitment is failed or canceled

Important: Do not move a candidate beyond the status of “proposed candidate” without an official campus offer (unless to indicate that he or she has withdrawn from consideration). Campus offers cannot be made prior to the approval of the search report.