Non-Senate Search Guide

This guide provides policy information and procedures for faculty and staff to conduct effective and equitable searches for non-senate academic employees. The guide, along with the AP Recruit online system, supports the University of California in fulfilling our academic interest in the pursuit of excellence and the legal requirement of non‐discrimination under federal and state laws. Additional resources are available for analysts supporting non-senate searches including checklists and a Quick Guide on the activities to complete during the search. 


Creating the Search Plan

Recruitment Details


Formatting the title correctly is important for maintaining consistency when UC Berkeley’s job postings are “scraped” automatically from AP Recruit and posted to other online locations. Use the following format:

“Job Title – Area of specialization if applicable – Department/school/college.”

For example:

  • Lecturer Pool – Composition – College Writing Programs
  • Lecturer – Nuclear Engineering – College of Engineering
  • Academic Coordinator II – Executive Director – Henry Wheeler Center for Emerging and Neglected Diseases
  • Postdoctoral Scholar – Semiconductor Nanocrystals – Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Assistant Project Scientist – Center for Effective Global Action



The “open date” is the date on which the search goes live. The IRD (“initial review date”) marks the closing of the first pool of applicants. “Additional review dates” can be assigned if the initial applicant pool does not yield a candidate. If the committee does not wish to advertise the next review date to applicants it can be made “private.” Applications will only be visible to committee reviewers if they are completed before a review date (deadline is 11:59pm PST the night of the review date). If an application is submitted after a review date has passed and there is not an additional review date set in the future, it will remain hidden from reviewers (even if the final date is in the future). The “final date” is the last date for individuals to apply for the position.

All non-senate recruitments should be set up as IRD/Open until filled (unless a special request has been approved by OFEW).

IRD must be a minimum of 15 days after the open date. Final date must be at least 30 days after the open date. Searches with fewer than ten qualified, complete applicants must remain open for 30 days and all candidates who apply in those 30 days must be reviewed. A public additional review date will need to be added. Searches cannot be open for more than one year (365 days).



The description field text is the advertisement that AP Recruit displays to potential job applicants. A carefully drafted and complete description is an important component of a broad and inclusive search. Please note that the hiring unit is responsible for all text formatting and confirming the hyperlinks are correct in the description field. This section of AP Recruit should be used to describe the job duties and qualifications, and provide required information including the Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity statement. Refer to the Non-Senate Search Plan Checklist for a complete list of the requirements for the description field. The required elements ensure that the University meets its obligations as a federal contractor, meets additional requirements of the Federal Department of Labor, follows University of California policies, and uses best practices for reaching a broad and inclusive pool.

Units are strongly encouraged to include the following language in the description field that reflects our institutional values in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

  • "UC Berkeley has an excellent benefits package as well as a number of policies and programs to support employees as they balance work and family."
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion are core values at UC Berkeley and [department X]. Our excellence can only be fully realized by faculty, students, and staff who share our commitment to these values. Successful candidates for our academic positions will demonstrate evidence of a commitment to advancing equity and inclusion.”

Reference & Document Requirements


Letters of reference are often an important part of recruitment for non-senate academic positions. Letters may be obtained by asking candidates to have referees submit letters directly through AP Recruit, or by asking candidates for referee contact information only (there is no obligation to contact references provided by candidates). Carefully consider the requirement for letters of reference because it cannot be changed once the recruitment is published and the first applicant applies.

It is common to provide a range (e.g., 3 - 5 or 2 - 4) of number of letters or contact information to request. Letters can only be received through AP Recruit or directly from the referee to the department analyst. Additional letters submitted on behalf of a candidate cannot be accepted.

Use the Reference Visibility tool to choose who will have access to the letters of reference. For non-senate recruitments letters are typically viewable to all reviewers.

If letters are requested as part of the application it is necessary for all letters to be received. AP Recruit will mark an application “complete” without letters (if they are requested by the candidate), but a candidate cannot be considered a proposed candidate without the required number of letters.  The analyst has the option of sending an email reminder to applicants regarding missing letters of reference, but if a reminder is sent to one applicant it must be sent to all. Applicants can also re-request letters of reference from their referees even after the final date.


Notice of policy on disclosure of evaluation letters

All potential referees must be given notice of the University of California policy on disclosure and confidentiality of academic personnel review files, including when the letters are provided via a third party such as a dossier service or career center. The link to the policy is: Referees who upload their letter into AP Recruit will receive the following notice through the system:

“Although a candidate may request to see the contents of letters of evaluation in accordance with California law and University policy, your identity will be held in confidence. The material made available will exclude the letterhead, the signature block, and material below the signature block. Therefore, material that would identify you, particularly information about your relationship to the candidate, should be placed below the signature block. In any legal proceeding or other situation in which the source of confidential information is sought, the University does its utmost to protect the identity of such sources.”

All advertisements for jobs where letters of reference may be sought must include the follow statement: 

“All letters will be treated as confidential per University of California policy and California state law. Please refer potential referees, including when letters are provided via a third party (i.e., dossier service or career center), to the UC Berkeley statement of confidentiality ( prior to submitting their letters.”



Set up the document requirements in AP Recruit to indicate which documents individuals must submit to be considered for the job, and which (if any) are optional. Notice that the system automatically includes a Curriculum Vitae as a default requirement; other listed choices are optional. All the default document requirements can be edited and deleted.

Provide a unique upload slot for each document. For example, if three publications are required, there should be three slots with labels such as Publication One, Publication Two, and Publication Three, rather than as “Three Publications.” Beware of requiring more information than is considered necessary to adequately evaluate the candidates adequately; an applicant with an incomplete application cannot be reviewed or hired for the position. Carefully select the documents relevant to your search and remember that the document requirements cannot be changed once the recruitment is published and the first applicant applies.

Document requirements entered into this section will be displayed on the job posting generated by AP Recruit so there is no need to include the document requirements in the description text.

Applicant Pool Diversity Benchmarks and Goals

There are two data representations that provide diversity benchmarks and goals for academic recruitments: (1) “Availability Demographics” provide information about the national availability pool for a particular position; and (2) “Affirmative Action Goals” provide information about demographic groups in broad job areas that are currently “underutilized” at Berkeley according to their national availability.


Availability demographics

The availability demographics serve as the benchmark by which the applicant pool should be compared, by gender and race/ethnicity. For most positions at Berkeley the data come from the Survey of Earned Doctorates, and provide information about the national availability of PhD recipients over a relevant recent time period (typically five years for non-senate academic positions).

The search committee should review the availability data, and compare the applicant pool to this information in order to evaluate the general effectiveness of the search and recruitment outreach efforts.

AP Recruit invites all individuals to voluntarily self-identify their gender and race/ethnicity, as well as disability status, and status as a protected veteran. While we are required to ask individuals this information, they may decline to state with no negative repercussions. The gender and race/ethnicity information provided is presented in aggregate as a comparison with the benchmark data.


Affirmative action goals

As a federal contractor, UC Berkeley establishes and maintains an Affirmative Action Program and a yearly written Affirmative Action Plan (“AAP”), and fulfills requirements established by the Federal Department of Labor, Office for Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) to provide equal employment opportunity and nondiscrimination in hiring and personnel processes. The UC Berkeley AAP provides yearly data on groups that are “underutilized” on the Berkeley campus by broad job type and by schools and colleges. Underutilization is defined as having fewer minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, or protected veterans in a particular job group than would reasonably be expected given their availability in the job market.

The Affirmative Action goals for searches reflect this underutilization (shaded cells in the Affirmative Action goals table denote current underutilization of a group). Annual goals are equal to availability for underutilized job groups; the University must make good faith efforts to address the underutilization through recruiting a broad and inclusive pool of applicants. Outreach to individuals from particular groups is often necessary to meet the goals.

It is important to know the distinction between federal affirmative action law that requires efforts to address underutilization in our workforce, and California law, which prohibits the selection of individuals based on their demographic characteristics. California Proposition 209 prohibits discrimination against or preferential treatment to “any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, education or contracting.” It does not, however, prohibit actions necessary to establish or maintain eligibility for any federal program, where ineligibility would result in loss of federal funds to the University. Therefore, UC Berkeley is obligated to take affirmative action to ensure equal opportunity in employment, but we may not set aside positions for individuals from specific groups.

The prohibition against discrimination described in Proposition 209 is consistent with University policy(link is external) prohibiting discrimination in employment on the bases of 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. The prohibition against discrimination supports the University’s commitment to address the barriers that face under‐represented groups in academic careers and to serve the needs of our diverse state.

External Advertisements & Outreach

Advertisement Documents

Once the search plan is approved, the description field text should be used for all external ad postings. If the unit intends to distribute multiple versions of the advertisement, upload only the shortened versions (medium and/or short ads) as PDFs to the Ad Documents section of AP Recruit. Please make sure these additional medium or short ads are labeled clearly to avoid confusion. Only advertisements that have been approved as part of the search plan may be posted or published. 


Posting and publishing advertisements

All advertisements for academic recruitments are automatically posted to the following locations:

Central posting of academic job advertisements to these locations meets the University’s OFCCP diversity outreach compliance requirements. However, it is ultimately up to the hiring unit to generate a robust applicant pool. Search committees are encouraged to use discipline-specific locations and to post job advertisements on websites, listservs, and blogs that serve a diverse audience within the specific field or specialization (for example, Science, Nature, the Modern Languages Association, the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, social science listservs, Association for Women in Science, National Society of Black Engineers, etc.). 


Support for posting job advertisements in additional locations through Job Elephant

Job Elephant is available to assist with most advertising, at no additional cost from the normal posting fees. The Berkeley campus representative is Michael Ang (

Prior to submitting the search plan and advertisement to the Office for Faculty Equity & Welfare, email Michael Ang to discuss possible external outreach options.


The OFCCP, U.S, Department of Labor, requires that basic qualifications be established and listed for all academic positions. These requirements must be met at the time of application and are necessary for consideration as an applicant for the position. Each individual who applies for an academic position will be considered “unknown” until assessed by the Analyst or Chair for meeting the basic qualifications. The assessment will move the individual to the “qualified” or “unqualified” group. Only those individuals who meet the basic qualifications will be considered applicants according to the federal government. Individuals with incomplete applications should remain in the “unknown” category and should not be assessed for the basic qualifications. It is best practice to review applicants for the basic qualifications as soon as they apply. Individuals who do not meet the basic qualifications listed for the job should not be considered further and cannot be hired.

The additional qualifications must be met by the start date of the position. Failure to meet one of the additional qualifications disqualifies the person for hire.

Fields and disciplines are not allowed in the basic or additional qualifications. This applies to all degrees, programs, and work experience. Examples:


  • Bachelor's degree
  • Advanced degree
  • Research experience in a lab


  • Bachelor of Science
  • Advanced degree in Physics
  • Research experience in a biology lab


  • Basic qualifications may only include the required degree (Bachelor's, Advanced degree, Master's, Doctoral), or enrollment in the required degree program.*
  • Additional qualifications may only include the required degree, number of years of work experience (if applicable), and a publication record (if applicable).*
  • Preferred qualifications should specify relevant fields/disciplines, along with other desired skills/knowledge/experience. Applicants can be deselected for not possessing preferred qualifications.

*If stating anything other than advanced degree, the qualifications must include "or equivalent international degree"

The hiring unit determines the degree, the number of years of work experience (if any), and whether a publication record is needed, based on the job duties and proposed classification. The Academic Personnel Office will consider these qualifications at the time of classification review.

Please note that OFEW highly recommends using the language “advanced degree” rather than listing specific degrees (Master’s, JD, PhD, etc.), unless a specific degree is required based on policy for the position classification (e.g., Postdocs must possess a Doctoral degree by the time of hire). If the hiring unit decides to use a specific degree in the basic or additional qualifications, they cannot hire anyone without that exact degree.

Basic and additional qualifications must be objective.


Qualifications Examples


Basic (required at the time of application):
  • Advanced degree or enrolled in an advanced degree program


Additional (required by the start date): 
  • Advanced degree


  • PhD in Art History, History, Anthropology, or related field
  • Demonstrated excellence in teaching
  • Experience teaching college level courses


Basic (required at the time of application):
  • PhD (or equivalent international degree) or enrolled in a PhD (or equivalent international degree) program


Additional (required by the start date): 
  • PhD (or equivalent international degree)
  • No more than five years of post-degree research experience by start date
  • Publication record


  • PhD in molecular microbiology, biochemistry, genetics, or related field
  • Experience with bioinformatics and analysis of genomic datasets

Junior Specialist

Basic (required at the time of application):
  • Bachelor's degree (or equivalent international degree) or enrolled in a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent international degree) program


Additional (required by the start date): 
  • Bachelor's degree (or equivalent international degree)


  • A Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Business, or Statistics 
  • At least one year of experience assisting with research for a professor in Economics, Statistics, or Econometrics, at a research- oriented university
  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.5

Determining the Selection Process

Selection criteria

It is best practice with non-senate searches to provide a description of the selection criteria to be used in evaluating the candidates, but this is not required. Although you do not need to submit the criteria for review, it is important to determine evaluation and selection criteria prior to beginning the search in order to equitably evaluate all applicants. These criteria should be job related and taken from the position description. Choose selection criteria that can be consistently applied to all candidates, and consider quantifying the evaluations with a ranking system. The Sample Candidate Evaluation Form can be used as a template from which to create the criteria. If using a search committee, ensure that all members agree on how the evaluation and selection criteria should be interpreted and how they relate to the goals for the search. For example, the search committee should discuss:

  • The qualifications that an applicant must demonstrate in order to be considered for the position
  • The specific attributes or dimensions along which qualified applicants will be distinguished
  • The evidence the committee members will look for to determine if applicants have met the criteria


Do’s and don’ts for selection criteria and evaluation

  • The search committee should rely on evidence in the discussion of candidates’ qualifications. Statements about candidates should be supported by materials in the application or from the interview. 
  • The search committee should not use criteria that are difficult to defend with evidence.
  • Be able to explain your decision for rejecting or retaining a candidate based on evidence in the candidate’s file that follows agreed upon evaluation criteria.
  • Review the evaluation of candidates at each stage of the search to be sure that the criteria are applied uniformly.
  • Do not use years of experience since Ph.D., or anything age‐related as a criterion. If the criterion is education in a specific, recently developed sub‐discipline, state the criterion in terms of the sub‐discipline, not years since degree.
  • Do not require uninterrupted periods of employment, as this may adversely affect women in their childbearing years and persons with medical conditions or disabilities.
  • Do not use demographic characteristics to describe why a candidate either would or would not be a good fit for a position. 


The role of contributions that promote diversity and equal opportunity

The University of California Academic Personnel Manual (APM 210-d) states that search committees should consider contributions to diversity in their evaluation of candidates for faculty positions at Berkeley.

The University of California is committed to excellence and equity in every facet of its mission. Teaching, research, professional and public service contributions that promote diversity and equal opportunity are to be encouraged and given recognition in the evaluation of the candidate’s qualifications. These contributions to diversity and equal opportunity can take a variety of forms including efforts to advance equitable access to education, public service that addresses the needs of California’s diverse population, or research in a scholar’s area of expertise that highlights inequalities.

The ideal way to evaluate contributions to diversity is to require applicants for academic positions to provide a statement regarding their past or potential future contributions as part of their application in AP Recruit. This allows search committees to have clear information to evaluate, rather than having to guess or rely on applicants’ other materials. It also communicates to applicants the University’s commitment to hiring academic employees who will best serve the needs of our diverse student body and public institution. AP Recruit has a default “Contributions to Diversity” application requirement, set as “optional.” To require the statement of all applicants set the document to “required” when creating the application requirements.


Selection plan

It is also best practice to provide a description of the selection plan to be used in evaluating the candidates, but this is not required.

Although you do not need to submit the selection plan for review, it is important to have a selection plan to evaluate the applicants and choose the proposed candidate. The selection plan should include the screening process, interview procedures, voting procedures (if relevant), etc.

Search Committee

Search Committee Composition and Size

Searches for non-senate academic employees vary greatly in the extent to which a formal search committee is used versus relying on a single individual, such as a faculty Principal Investigator, to conduct a search. This is a recommended guide for the most common non-senate titles: 

Type of Appointment Reviewer(s)
Lecturers Single faculty member, depending on the needs of the department
Academic Coordinators, Continuing Educators, Librarians, and Coordinators of Public Programs Search committee
Specialists, Project Scientists, Researchers, and Postdocs Faculty Principal Investigator. For research centers or units, a committee is often used.
Extension HR Manaager


Committee Member Roles

Core committee: The search committee may consist of as many members as is necessary. One person must serve in the role of Chair. 

Additional access: This role is for individuals not on the search committee who have a business reason to view applicant information.

Committee members who are non-Berkeley affiliates: To assign a non-Berkeley affiliate access as a search committee member, a Calnet Sponsored Guest account must be created. Click here for instructions and more detailed information. Once the Calnet Sponsored Guest account has been created please allow 48 hours AP Recruit to refresh before adding them as a reviewer. 

Please note: It is not necessary for analysts to have “additional reviewer” roles – all analysts with access to searches in a particular department automatically have analyst access to the search.


Guidelines for Search Committees

Each department or school should establish its own procedure for appointing a search committee or individual to conduct the search, depending on the needs of the department and the job type. Department analysts, dean’s analysts and department managers may not serve on search committees for academic positions.

One member of the search committee should serve as the chair, and the committee should consist of individuals with a demonstrated commitment to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion. Whenever possible, the committee should represent a diverse cross section of individuals, including men and women, and majority and minority group members.

Any conflicts of interest must be acknowledged and addressed (see the conflicts of interest policy for senate faculty searches, and contact OFEW with questions).

Confidentiality preserves the integrity of the selection process and protects the privacy of the candidates. Specifics of the committee deliberations should not be discussed with anyone outside the search committee, with the exception of the department chair, or OFEW. The requirement for confidentiality extends to all aspects of the search, including written and verbal communications, and through all phases of the search process.

Setting up Disposition Reasons

After reviewing applicants, one or more “disposition reaons," or reasons for deselection of a candidate, must be assigned to individuals who submitted a complete application for the position, but were not selected. AP Recruit has one set of reasons that can be used for individuals deemed “unqualified” because they did not meet the basic requirements for the position as stated in the advertisement, materials submitted were not correct or were incomplete, or they withdrew prior to being invited for an interview. Another set of disposition reasons are used for all applicants who met the basic qualifications. Refer to the Dispositions Reasons tab in AP Recruit for the complete lists.

In addition, the search committee has the ability to create up to five additional custom disposition reasons that relate to the specific search being conducted if the preselected list is not sufficient. Custom disposition reasons should be clearly related to the job and must be entered as part of the Search Plan (they cannot be added after the recruitment is published). It is also possible to delete disposition reasons that do not apply to a particular recruitment. The deleted reasons will not appear as options for any candidates in the pool.

Search Plan Submission and Approval

Refer to the Non-Senate Search Plan checklist for a list of all items that must be complete prior to submitting search plans for approval. When all checklist items have been confirmed the search plan can be submitted for approval. The Recruitment will be in a “Draft” state, as shown by the badge on the Recruitments page, and edits can continue to be made as needed until the Search Plan receives final approval by OFEW. However, once OFEW starts review please do not make additional changes. 

Use the following approval chain for non-senate search plans: 

  • Search Committee Chair (can be the search committee chair, the faculty principal investigator, or the faculty member assigned to reviewing a lecturer pool) – assign the correct name 
  • Department Chair (or equivalent, often the Unit Director) – assign the correct name(s) 
  • Dean’s Analyst – assign the correct name 
  • Dean (and often a Dean’s delegate) – assign the correct name(s) 
  • Academic Personnel Office – names are auto-populated (do not add an alternate name) 
  • OFEW (“Diversity Office”) – names are auto-populated (do not add an alternate name)

As the final approver, OFEW will also publish the recruitment. Once approved, the final search plan PDF serves as the permanent record of what was approved. 


During the Search


External Advertising

Once the search plan has been approved and the search is published, conduct additional outreach/advertising to external locations as planned. 

Assessment of Basic Qualifications

The Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP), Department of Labor requires the assessment of basic qualifications for all academic positions. These requirements must be met at the time of application and are necessary for consideration as an applicant for the position. After the initial review date passes, use the basic qualifications as stated in the advertisement to assess each complete applicant. The search must be open for at least 15 days. If there are less than ten minimally qualified applicants after the minimumn 15-day period, an additional public review date must be set for 30 days from the open date and all candidates who apply in those 30 days must be reviewed.

Pool Demographics

To assess the value of outreach efforts review the demographic profile of the applicant pool now that it includes only individuals who met the basic qualifications, and compare it to the diversity benchmarks available in AP Recruit on the diversity tab for the search. A new public review date can easily be established if the pool is small and/or lacks diversity. However, it is not necessary to submit the applicant pool for review or approval in AP Recruit.  

Applicant Evaluation

Guidelines for search committee evaluation of applicants

  • Review the written materials submitted for each candidate who meets the minimum qualifications, ensuring that sufficient time is spent on the initial review of each application to provide a thorough assessment. Rushing or spending too little time can increase the influence of unconscious biases.

  • Each candidate’s file should be reviewed by more than one search committee member when a committee is used.

  • Evaluate each candidate’s entire application using established selection criteria; don’t depend too heavily on only one element.

  • Be careful not to subject women or minority candidates to different expectations. The work, ideas, and findings of women or minorities may be undervalued or unfairly attributed to a research director or collaborators despite contrary evidence in publications or letters of reference.

  • Be careful not to make assumptions about possible family responsibilities and their effect on the candidate’s career path that would negatively influence evaluation of a candidate’s merit, despite evidence of productivity.

  • A candidate may be selected for his/her track record in diversity‐related research or working with diverse students, but State law prohibits use of characteristics of the individual (e.g., race, sex, color, ethnicity, disability, veteran status, or national origin) as a basis for selection.

  • Candidates should not be selected based on University/college/graduate advisor’s reputation. This is hard to justify as job‐related, and it may discriminate by race or gender.


Countering Selection Bias

Regardless of the social groups we belong to, we all perceive people differently based on their demographic characteristics (race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religion, politics, etc.). However, and importantly, most people try to overcome their stereotypic preconceptions. In searches for academic personnel at UC Berkeley it is unacceptable to act on biases, conscious or unconscious. There are many successful strategies for overcoming the tendency we all share to fall back on preconceptions and stereotypes in decision-making. Click here for more information on countering selection bias.


Interviews can take place in person, by telephone, or by video call. It is important to make every effort possible to interview all candidates in the same manner. This is sometimes not possible if one candidate is local and another is out of state. It is not necessary to submit a short list for review and approval in AP Recruit.

Create a list of interview questions based on the job description and evaluation criteria to ask of all candidates interviewed. These interview questions will need to be provided as part of the final search report. Take notes during the interview. Interview notes in one of the following formats will also need to be provided as part of the search report:

  • Notes on each candidate's response to each question (can be typed or handwritten)
  • Summary of interview responses for each candidate
  • Ranking sheet/evaluation template created for each interviewed candidate


Interview Topics to Avoid

Topic Discriminatory Question
Family Status

Are you married?

What is your souse's name?

What is your maiden name?

Do you have any children or plans to have them?

Are you pregnant?

What are your childcare arrangements?

Race What is your race?

What is your religion?

Which church do you attend?

What are your religious holidays?

Sex Are you male or female?
Arrests or Convictions of a Crime Have you ever been arrested?
Citizenship or Nationality Are you a U.S. citizen?

Are you disabled?

What is the nature or severity of your disability?

What is your condition?

Have you had any recent or past illnesses or operations?


In what branches of the armed forces did you serve?

If you've been in the military were you honorably discharged?

Letters of Reference

Letters of reference are often an important part of evaluating candidates for academic positions. The search committee is not obligated to contact the referees provided by the candidate, but if letters are requested of one short-listed candidate they should be requested of all.

Please note: Reference writers have two ways to submit their letter in AP Recruit - by uploading the document as a PDF, and by copying and pasting the text of the letter directly into the provided text box. Letters pasted directly into the text box may lack typical identifying information available in letter head, and occasionally lack a signature line if the referee neglects to include it in the text box. These letters should be treated the same as letters uploaded as PDFs.


Unsolicited Letters

If an unsolicited letter from a referee arrives, it should not be reviewed by the faculty member or search committee. 


Requests for search-related documents from applicants

If a selected candidate requests his or her redacted file, such a request should be submitted to the Academic Personnel Office ( 

Selecting the Final Candidate

Making the final selection

Every search committee or faculty member conducting a recruitment should establish protocol for making the final candidate selection, including procedures for evaluating, discussing, voting and making recommendations on top candidates. Any significant departures from the established protocol should be discussed and agreed upon in advance.


Communicating with Candidates

Maintain communication with candidates. Keep them informed about where the committee is in the process, so they know whether or not they are still under consideration.

Respect unsuccessful candidates’ time by notifying them of their non‐selection as soon as a firm decision has been made, and prior to public announcement of appointments, rather than waiting until the entire search process has been completed. As soon as possible after an offer is accepted, finalists not chosen should be notified.


Discussing the Offer

The discussion of the soft offer should make it clear that all terms are contingent on approval by the campus (whether central campus or Dean). A formal offer or hire cannot be made prior to approval of the search report.


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

For all IRD/Open until filled searches, 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. But remember not to set review dates too far in the future.

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).


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, 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.

Use the following approval chain for non-senate search reports:

  • Search Committee Chair (can be the search committee chair, the faculty principal investigator, or the faculty member assigned to reviewing a lecturer pool) – AP Recruit will auto-populate this field with the person identified in this role on the Search Committee tab)

  • Department Chair (or equivalent, often the Unit Director) – assign the correct name(s)

  • Dean’s Analyst – assign the correct name

  • Dean (and often a Dean’s delegate) – assign the correct name(s)

  • OFEW (“Diversity Office”) – names are auto-populated (do not add an alternate name)

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 at the campus level, 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 cancelled

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.