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Large group of students celebrating graduation, Winter 2018

Welcome Package

Develop an information packet to share with candidates including a list of resources they can use to meet their needs.

These references and resources can include:

Remember that Interviews are a two-way street. Candidates are interviewing us as we are interviewing them, and evaluating us on key aspects such as:

  • Is this a positive environment for me to work?
  • What would working here look like?
  • Can I be successful here?
  • Is there room for me to grow here personally and professionally?

  • Complete room reservations for interviews and presentations, including a/v and table setups
  • Provide rating sheets or online forms, resume/ portfolio/ vitae, and suggested questions to interviewers
  • Remind interviewers and students to treat each candidate as a potential colleague or advisor and stress that in addition to determining the candidates’ qualifications for the position, you want every candidate to conclude their visit with a good impression of UNC Charlotte. Candidates who are treated well are more likely to consider taking our offer, sharing their positive experiences with others and considering us in the future even if they do not accept the current position if offered.  Candidates who are not treated well are less likely to accept an offer if made and will share their experiences with others.
  • Remind interviewers of good techniques:
    • Warmly greet each candidate. Handshakes are a usual part of an interview, though cultural differences may impact a candidate’s response to the offer of a handshake.
    • Introduce themselves
    • Be engaged and focused on the interview
    • Refrain from using personal devices (phone, laptop, etc.)
    • Take brief notes that will serve as reminders so that you may keep your focus on the candidate
  • Remind interviewers of the importance of interview questions:
    • Keep questions short, direct, and phrased so that the candidate will do most of the talking
    • Ask questions that go beyond answering with a simple “yes” or “no”
    • Do not ask leading questions that telegraph the answer you want (ex. “We have a team approach here…how to you feel about working in teams?)
    • Eliminate inappropriate and illegal questions both for formal interviews and at meals, social events, and other informal gatherings
  • It is critical to treat all candidates fairly and with respect, including diffusing any inappropriate questions or situations that may arise.
  • Internal candidates should be treated in the same manner as external candidates.
  • Be considerate of the location of the interviews if there is an internal candidate.
  • If multiple interviews are held on the same day, ensure candidates do not run into each other.
  • All discussions of candidates and potential interviews should occur in private places.

  • Reference checks are required for all positions at UNC Charlotte
  • We are required to speak with a current supervisor unless there is no current supervisor. In that case, contact a recent past supervisor.
  • Candidates typically will not want you to call references unless they are a finalist or a selected candidate. It is common courtesy to inform the candidate(s) that you are going to call their references.
  • Much like an interview, we typically will ask references similar set questions. Be sure to ask . 
  • check two references per candidate. If a candidate is internal and does not work directly for you, one reference check is required. If the candidate works directly for you, you should contact a previous supervisor.
  • If you are unable to get previous salary or dates of employment from a reference, that is okay. Please try to obtain the reference name, organization, contact information and a summary of relevant details about the candidate and their previous employment often like to hear how they reacted with supervision, quality of work, quantity of work, attendance and if the reference would hire them again or for a position similar to the one with us that they have applied. 
  • Reference checks can be completed once you have selected a candidate. Exceptions to this can occur, and references may be checked earlier under certain circumstances.
  • Keep up with these, as they will be needed for the hiring proposal.

What can Bias sound like?

Bias in a search process is not usually direct and obvious.

I am fully in favor of diversity, but I don’t want to sacrifice quality for diversity”

  • The search committee is responsible for finding and including highly qualified minority or women candidates and ensuring the candidates were all selected on the basis of merit. 

“We have to focus on hiring the ‘best.’”

  • What does the best mean? If we are not actively recruiting diverse candidates to apply how do we know we have attracted the best candidate? Also, consider the benefits of hiring diverse candidates such as enhances the educational experiences of all students/staff and attracting and retaining students from diverse backgrounds. 

“Minority candidates would not want to come to our campus”

  • The search committee should not determine this, the candidate should determine if they feel they are a good match for the campus/community. The search committee can provide the candidate with university and community resources and help them make connections to individuals with shared interests and backgrounds. The search committee should not assume interests based on identity, but rather ask about interests of each individual.

“This candidate is over-qualified for this position”

  • This is for the candidate to decide, if the candidate is truly overqualified, they will be able to make an educated decision if this position is truly right for them. Individuals have different needs throughout their lifetime and are searching for different meaning in their work. Some may have had a high burnout career, and are fiscally settled in their lives, but may be looking for a position that will provide them more balance, more stable benefits, or several other advantages University Employment may have over a corporate career. 

“This candidate has employment gaps”

  • Employment gaps can come from a myriad of reasons, including things that candidates should not be required to discuss or asked about in an interview, some possibilities include medical emergency, preparing to go back to school or taking care of a family member.
  • In addition, many candidates lost jobs during the recession and the years that followed with unemployment reaching 10% in 2009. That means that 1 in 10 folks actively looking for work were unemployed. This statistic does not include those who have given up or removed themselves from actively searching for work. Structural unemployment is estimated to have been as high as 17.1% during the same period. Different industries and geographic areas have experienced high structural unemployment, along with domino effects of industries pulling out of some areas. 

Bias in Evaluation of Candidates

  • Recognize that even if we are committed to egalitarian principles, unconscious biases, attitudes, and outside influences not related to a candidate’s actual qualifications could impact evaluation of candidates. 
    • Discuss with search committee potential unconscious biases that could affect how candidates are rated. 
    • Remind search committee to take the time to evaluate candidates fairly and accurately, including committing the appropriate amount of time and focused attention on each application.
    • If your committee rejects a candidate that has not followed the traditional path, be sure to apply the same criteria across the pool. 
  • Potential influence of unconscious assumptions and biases on your search:
    • Women and people of color may be subject to higher expectations.
      • Evaluators often attributed success to skill for males and luck for females even though males and females performed equally (Deaux & Emswiller, 1974).
      • Evaluators, who were busy, distracted, or under time pressure, gave women lower ratings than men. This disparity decreased when more time was spent on task (Martell, 1991).
      • Female gender roles and leadership roles often create disadvantages for women: women are perceived to have less leadership ability than men and women receive less desirable evaluations than men (Eagly & Karau, 2002; Ridgeway, 2001). 
      • Vocabulary is often rated lower for African Americans than for white people (Biernat & Manis, 1991).
      • Results from a study including 300 recommendation letters showed that recommendation letters for females were often shorter and used phrases such as “student” and “teacher” whereas recommendations for men were longer and used stronger phrases such as “researcher” and “professionals” (Trix & Psenka, 2002).
      • Results from a study based on gender and resumes showed that both male and female participants gave males a higher rating (Steinpreis et al, 1999).
    • Candidates from institutions or professional affiliations other than major research universities may be undervalued.
    • Develop evaluation criteria and apply consistently.
    • Evaluate a candidate’s application in its entirety. 
    • Be able to defend your reasons for rejection.
    • Periodically evaluate your decision and see if women, people of color, and other underrepresented groups are equally represented. If not, consider whether biases or assumptions had any influence over your evaluation decisions. 
  • Expand your evaluation criteria to include aspects of diversity including experience(s) and transferrable skills, types of institution, jobs outside of student affairs, etc. 

UNCC Examples of Diversity Related Questions

UNCC Faculty Recruitment Research Articles around Diversity

Diversity on the Job: The Importance of Diversity and the Changing Workplace

The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies

Promising Practices for Faculty Search and Recruitment. Diversity Initiatives, University of Chicago

Interrupting Bias in the Faculty Search Process. University of Washington

We Just Can’t Handle Diversity.

How Search Committees Can See Bias in Themselves. Chronicle of Higher Education.

Resources on Unconscious Bias. Northwestern University

Diversity & Bias in the Search Committee Process. Eastern Michigan University

Project Implicit. Harvard University 

Searching for Excellence & Diversity

Glass Ceiling Facing Non-Native English Speakers

Promising Practices for Faculty Search and Recruitment. Diversity Initiatives, University of Chicago

Handbook for Faculty Searches and Hiring. University