Before You Start: Hiring Q&A

What is the difference between Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity?

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) requires the university to provide equal access to employment opportunities for all applicants and employees regardless of race, sex, color, creed, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, political affiliation, disability, genetic information and veteran status. Affirmative Action (AA) requires the university to act affirmatively to examine its employment policies and practices to ensure that there are no barriers to equal employment opportunity. Affirmative Action also places responsibility on search committees to develop comprehensive recruitment plans to attract applications from qualified individuals who are from populations that are underrepresented at Appalachian.

Does Affirmative Action require search committees to give preference to individuals from underrepresented groups when making hiring decisions?

No, search committees should not give preferential treatment to individuals from underrepresented groups. The principles of AA require that all applicants be evaluated equally without regard to their protected class status. The heart of AA involves aggressive outreach and recruitment efforts by search committees and hiring units. When making a hiring decision, the search committee must choose the best candidate based on his or her skills, experience, and education. Positive consideration may be given to individuals who have experience working with diverse populations and/or have life experiences that will support the university's goal of preparing students to thrive in a diverse and global society.

Where does the university post job announcements?

EDC posts all EHRA job announcements in five (5) online locations: Appalachian HRS site, The Chronicle of Higher Education, HigherEd jobs, Inside Higher Ed, and HERC (Higher Education Recruitment Consortium). The university pays for these advertisements; all other advertising costs must be covered by the unit, department or college that is conducting the search.

How many people should be on a search committee?

The hiring official should appoint at least three people to a search committee.

Can spouses serve on a search committee together?

No. It is best that spouses do not serve on search committees together.

When may search committees begin looking at applications?

Search committees may begin looking at applications on the date listed in the job announcement. For example, "Review of applications will begin on October 3, 2015, and will continue until the position is filled." The committee must continue to review all applications and give them full consideration until the position is filled.  If you put in the advertisement that, "review of applications will begin immediately," you can start reviewing applications from the time they start coming in.

What happens if someone resigns from the search committee or is no longer able to serve?

If the search committee has at least 3 people, then there isn't an issue. If someone resigns early in the search leaving only 2 people on the search committee, it would be appropriate to add another member or reconstitute the committee. If it happens later in the search process, please contact EDC.

Can a search committee member "Skype in?"

Yes. It's perfectly allowable to have a committee member "Skype in" if they can't make the meeting.

When should reference checks take place?

Reference checks (both indicated and non-indicated) can be done at anytime during the search process, as long as it is pre-offer. The chair of the search committee must obtain written permission from the candidate before reference checks are done.

How do you treat internal and external candidates the same?

You don't have to get hotel rooms for internal candidates, however they should be treated fairly as far as dinner arrangements go, campus tours etc. They can decline a campus tour, but you can offer it.

If there is an internal candidate, can that candidate attend other candidates presentations?

No, they cannot attend other candidates presentations.

When may search committees share application materials with others in the department/unit?

Search committees must obtain written permission from applicants before sharing application materials with others who are not on the search committee. Written permission may be obtained by e-mail.

Why are search committees prohibited from seeing the Affirmative Action Data Request Forms that are completed by applicants?

The Affirmative Action Data Request Form (AADRF) requests information about an applicant's race, ethnicity and sex. The information is used to comply with federal reporting requirements as well as to assess the effectiveness of the university's recruitment efforts to attract diverse applicants. Applicants are informed that the information will be kept separate from their application materials. In order to protect the integrity of the application process and ensure that the AADRF information does not influence hiring decisions, the information is kept confidential in EDC. However, a summary of the information regarding the applicant pool may be shared with the search committee.

When are criminal background checks done?

A criminal background check is done once an employee has been hired. Employment is conditioned upon the university's receipt of a satisfactory criminal background report.

When should applicants be notified that they are no longer under consideration?

Applicants may be notified in writing after the search committee has voted to eliminate them from further consideration. The notification may occur in stages throughout the selection process. However, applicants or candidates who are being held in reserve for consideration if the top finalists are unsuccessful should not be notified until a final selection has been made by the committee.

Whom do I contact to have a job announcement removed from the HRS web site after a position has been filled?

After a search is concluded, the chair of a search committee should contact Amy Carson (carsonap@appstate.edu or 262-2144) in EDC to report whether the position has been filled or the search has failed, and to request that the job announcement be removed from the HRS web site.