Understanding when to use a search committee enables it to become a valuable part of your recruiting efforts.
Steve has been very busy in his efforts to hire somebody for a high profile position within his organization. After spending endless hours sifting through resumes, conducting initial phone interviews, doing on-site interviews, and making the final hiring decision, Steve has finally hired a qualified candidate named Jeff. There was no argument that Jeff was qualified for the position, but Steve was only one opinion and only one view point. Within a few weeks of hiring Jeff, it was apparent to everyone around that Steve had missed something. Although qualified, Jeff was not a cultural fit for the organization. In fact, Jeff was pushing all the wrong buttons and going in all the wrong directions. Jeff was not a fit for the organization and Steve had to let him go. It was now time for Steve to begin the time consuming and costly hiring process all over again.
Could the above situation have been avoided? Maybe not entirely, but the likelihood of it happening could have been greatly reduced if Steve had utilized a search committee in his recruiting efforts.
What is a search committee?
A search committee is a group of individuals gathered together for the purpose of assisting an administrator or hiring manager in recruiting and screening candidates for a vacant position.
Why would I use a search committee?
By forming a search committee, the hiring manager is able to harness the large amount of work that comes with reviewing resumes, conducting initial interviews, and doing on-site interviews. In addition, a search committee provides consistency in reviewing each candidate and the entire hiring process benefits from having multiple perspectives.
When should I use a search committee?
It is best to utilize a search committee when hiring for senior level administrative positions and positions that will have a high public relations impact on your organization.
Who should be a part of a search committee?
Search committee's should be formed with the idea of having a diversity of ideas, opinions, and perceptions. Members of a search committee should include:
- People who have valued knowledge about the vacant position
- People who are respected
- Representatives from areas that the new hire will impact
- Representative from both genders
- People of different races and cultural backgrounds
How many members should be on the search committee?
The size of the search committee should reflect the importance of the vacant position. With that being said, a search committee should not exceed 11 members nor have no fewer than three members. Keep in mind that the larger the search committee is, the more time it takes to complete the hiring process.
What are the duties of the search committee?
Search committee's should be active in:
- Determining a timeline for the hiring process
- Identifying where to advertise for the vacant position
- Conduct initial interviews
- Participate in on-site interviews
- Help determine which candidates will advance to each stage of the hiring process
- Help determine the final candidate selected to fill the vacant position
When utilizing a search committee to become part of the hiring process for a vacant position, you are opening a door to new ideas and perspectives. These different and sometimes new thoughts should be encouraged and discussed. It is the objective of the search committee to find and hire the candidate who no only can do the job, but would be the best fit for the organization and the culture within.