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Safe Hire Training for Search Committees. Implementing an Effective and Legal Hiring Program. What will be covered. Why do we offer training for members of Search Committees and Interview Panels? Overview of Employment Law Hiring Process Selection Criteria Additional Resources.

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Safe Hire Training for Search Committees

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safe hire training for search committees
Safe Hire Training for Search Committees

Implementing an Effective and Legal Hiring Program

what will be covered
What will be covered
  • Why do we offer training for members of Search Committees and Interview Panels?
  • Overview of Employment Law
  • Hiring Process
  • Selection Criteria
  • Additional Resources
why is this training offered
Why is this training offered?
  • When serving on a Search Committee for a Professional recruitment, you are required to complete a training designed to protect you and W&M.
  • Safe Hire training for Search Committee members is required every 2 years
  • Reduces liability associated with unsafe or illegal hiring practices
  • Broadens the opportunity to Welcome Diversity
equal employment opportunity commission
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • EEOC is responsible for enforcing laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or employee because of the person’s….
    • Race
    • Color
    • Religion
    • Sex – including pregnancy
    • National Origin
    • Age – 40 years or older
    • Disability
    • Genetic Information
equal employment opportunity commission1
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)

  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA)

Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)

Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

Sections 102 & 103 of the Civil Rights Act of 1991

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)

what is equal opportunity
What is Equal Opportunity
  • Equal access to apply for jobs
  • Equal treatment in the hiring process
  • Laws enacted to protect against discrimination based on certain characteristics
legally protected classes
Legally Protected Classes




Genetic Information


  • Race/Color
  • National Origin
  • Pregnancy
  • Sex
  • Equal Pay
race color national origin sex or religion
Race, Color, National Origin, Sex or Religion
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Race- Related Characteristics and Conditions
  • Color Discrimination
age discrimination
Age Discrimination
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
    • Forbids discrimination against people who are age 40 or older
  • Unlawful to discriminate against a person because of his/her age with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of employment
disability discrimination
Disability Discrimination
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act or the Rehabilitation Act
  • Who is defined as having a disability?
    • Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities
    • Has a record or such an impairment, or
    • Is regarding as having such an impairment
  • What is a reasonable accommodation?
    • Making existing facilities used by employees readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.
    • Job restructuring, modifying work schedules, reassignment to a vacant position;
    • Acquiring or modifying equipment or devices, adjusting or modifying examinations, training materials, or policies, and providing qualified readers or interpreters.
sex and pregnancy discrimination
Sex and Pregnancy Discrimination
  • Sex Discrimination involves treating someone such as an applicant or employee unfavorably because of that person’s sex.
  • It can also involve treating someone less favorably because of his or her connection with an organization or group that is generally associated with people of a certain sex.
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act forbids discrimination based on pregnancy in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, etc.
equal pay discrimination
Equal Pay Discrimination
  • The Equal Pay Act
    • Requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work.
    • The jobs need not be identical, but must be substantially equal.
genetic information discrimination
Genetic Information Discrimination
  • Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)
  • Definition of Genetic Information
    • Information about genetic tests of the individual and also of their family members
veteran preference
Veteran Preference
  • Do not discriminate against veterans or those who could be assigned to active duty
  • Can discuss military experience if it is relevant work experience
  • Veteran’s Preference
    • Initial screening – applicants must meet the required criteria at a minimum or better level on their own
    • Veteran Status is considered as a preferred qualification
    • Service-connected disability is considered as a second preferred qualification
    • Surviving spouse, or child, of a veteran who was killed in the line of duty is considered as an additional preferred qualification
    • Member of the VA National Guard is considered as an additional preferred qualification
affirmative action
Affirmative Action
  • Affirmative action is the practice of improving the educational and job opportunities of members of groups that have not been treated fairly.
  • Increases Diversity efforts for underutilized positions.
  • What can you do as a Committee?
    • Try to recruit a diverse, qualified applicant pool
    • Promote equitable hiring procedures
    • Consider how best to reach women or minority applicants in your recruitment plan as part of improving diversity efforts
    • Consider the qualifications of all applicants who meet the minimum qualifications for the position
    • Ties should go to the candidate who brings diversity
implicit biases reviewing applicants research on bias assumptions
Implicit Biases: Reviewing Applicants: Research on Bias & Assumptions

A large body of research suggests each one of us holds implicit biases that impact our judgment. Implicit bias is, in essence, part of the human condition. As such, it inevitably impacts interactions with others and processes in which we engage, including the faculty search process. Research suggests that we all engage in unconsciously biased assessments and decision making processes. With this understanding, we can more swiftly move away from blame and embarrassment, and towards efforts to identify, understand and minimize negative impacts of unintended bias as we search for and hire outstanding faculty.

“We all like to think that we are objective scholars who judge people solely on their credentials and achievements, but copious research shows that every one of us has a lifetime of experience and cultural history that shapes the review process.” (Fine & Handelsman, 2006).

The results from controlled research studies demonstrate that people often hold implicit or unconscious assumptions that influence their judgments. Studies include expectations or assumptions about physical or social characteristics associated with race, gender, and ethnicity and several studies relate directly to the hiring process.

implicit biases
Implicit Biases

Examples of assumptions or biases that can influence the evaluation of applications:

When rating the quality of verbal skills as indicated by vocabulary definitions, evaluators rated the skills lower if they were told an African American provided the definitions than if a white person provided them (Biernat & Manis, 1994)

Randomly assigning different names to resumes showed that job applicants with white sounding names were more likely to be interviewed than equally qualified applicants with Hispanic or African Americans names. (Bertrand & Mullainathan)

When symphony orchestras adopted “blind” auditions by using a screen to conceal candidates’ identities, the hiring of women musicians increased. Blind auditions fostered impartiality by preventing assumptions that women musicians have “smaller techniques” and produce “poorer sound” from influencing evaluation (Goldin & Rouse, 2000).

Research shows that incongruities between perceptions of female gender roles and leadership roles cause evaluators to assume that women will be less competent leaders. When women leaders provide clear evidence of their competence, thus violating traditional gender norms, evaluators perceive them to be less likeable and are less likely to recommend them for hiring or promotion (Eagly & Karau, 2002 ; Ridgeway, 2001; Heilman, et al, 2004).

implicit biases1
Implicit Biases

Suggestions for minimizing the influence of bias and assumptions:

Determine whether qualified women and underrepresented minorities are included in your pool at rates expected based on availability, and consider whether evaluation biases and assumptions are influencing your decisions by asking yourself the following questions:

Are women and minority candidates subject to different expectations in areas such as numbers of publications, name recognition, or personal acquaintance with a committee member? Have the accomplishments, ideas, and findings of women or minority candidates been undervalued or unfairly attributed to a research director or collaborators despite contrary evidence in publications or letters of reference

Is the ability of women or minorities to run a research group, raise funds, and supervise students and staff of different gender or ethnicity being underestimated? (Recall social assumptions about leadership abilities).

Are assumptions about possible family responsibilities and their effect on a candidate’s career path negatively influencing evaluation of a candidate’s merit, despite evidence of productivity? (Recall studies of the influence of generalizations on evaluation.)

Are negative assumptions about whether women or minority candidates will “fit in” to the existing environment influencing evaluation? (Recall students’ choice of counselor).

online hiring process
Online Hiring Process

applicant online site
Applicant Online Site

how to get started
How to get started ???
  • An approved position description is required before you can request to post your position
  • Professional positions are posted for a minimum of 30 days
  • Applicant materials can be reviewed as received however; interviews for professional positions can’t begin until position is posted for 10 days
  • Staff positions are posted for a minimum of 10 days
peopleadmin home page
PeopleAdmin Home Page

Helpful Resources

search committee interview panel roles responsibilities
Search Committee/Interview Panel Roles & Responsibilities
  • Members should be individuals who understand the requirements of the position
  • Committee or Panel ideally is composed of individuals from diverse backgrounds to provide a variety of perspectives
  • The responsibilities of these individuals is to work with the Hiring Official in selecting candidates to be interviewed, conducting interviews, completing all necessary documentation and making the final recommendations for consideration to the final hiring authority
  • Must be available for reviewing applications and resumes
  • Must be available for interviews
  • Understand their role in the process and when final recommendations are to be made
screening selecting applicants
Screening & Selecting Applicants
  • Review your applicant pool using the minimum qualifications established in the position description
  • Decide which applicants to interview
  • Conduct the interviews
  • Complete background checks, such as references
  • Select your finalist
  • Screen Consistently – applicants must have the minimum qualifications as outlined in the position description
  • Professional searches – screen for minimum qualifications before you do an in-depth review. Have each member of the Committee screen independently.
  • Staff – make sure each panel member is aware of the minimum qualifications and also screen independently.
  • Applicant materials are confidential. Do not share knowledge of the search prior to initial interviews.
deciding who to interview
Deciding who to Interview
  • If you are related to anyone in the pool, please do not participate in selection or interview
  • Avoid any perception of favoritism or pre-selection
    • If any applicant is a friend, consider stepping off committee
    • Do not provide a letter of reference for an applicant for your position
    • Use common sense for any potential conflict
evaluating candidates
Evaluating Candidates




  • How relevant is their experience?
  • Can they provide examples?
  • Am I willing to fill in their gaps with training?
  • Do they have skills I can’t teach?
  • Knowledge, Skills and Abilities from the position description are a great tool to help evaluate.
  • How willing are they to do the work required?
  • What motivates them?
  • Are they passionate about work and success?
  • Why do they want to work here, in this job, at this time?
  • Will they work with your management style?
  • If not, are you willing to adapt your style?
  • Will the amount of independence available match their needs?
  • How have they worked with previous managers?
  • In what types of environments are they most successful?
conducting interviews
Conducting Interviews
  • Prepare legal and job related interview questions to be asked of each candidate interviewed.
  • During the formal interview focus on the job duties and responsibilities.
  • When in an informal setting, be aware of your verbal and non-verbal reactions. When making small talk, remember nothing is off the record.
  • Common Pitfalls
interview questions
Interview Questions
  • Questions must focus on job related functions
  • Should help identify whether the applicant possesses the required knowledge, skills and abilities
  • Inappropriate Questions and Topics to Avoid
    • Gender and marital status
    • Child care arrangements
    • Date of high school graduation
    • Other languages spoken – unless job related
    • Place of birth

Additional information is available on the Office of Diversity & Equal Opportunity and Human Resources websites

completing background checks
Completing Background Checks
  • Reference checks are not required but encouraged
  • HR has a Reference Check form available on our website
  • Make sure to have candidate’s permission prior to obtaining a reference from their current employer
  • A criminal history check must be completed for all new hires prior to their start date
choosing a finalist
Choosing a Finalist
  • When making a decision regarding the finalist make sure to consider all information such as:
    • Application materials, including resume and cover letter
    • Interview
    • References
    • Evaluation by other interviewers
    • Any other relevant information


Questions ?????

Thank you for your time. If you have any questions, please

Contact the Office of Human Resources