Remember, the goal of a faculty search is to find someone who not only can do the job well, but who also wants the job.

To get the best candidate to say yes to the job offer, Chair/Directors and search committee members should remember that they are selling the unit and the UW to the candidate as well.

A few suggestions for showing the unit’s best side to applicants and finalists

For applicants:

  • Have a system for acknowledging applications and sending them the required Affirmative Action Information Request link.
  • Communicate professionally with applicants throughout the process.
    • Inform those applicants that were not selected for an interview.
    • For those going through the interview process keep them apprised of the hiring decision timeline.
    • In both cases, promptly notify those not selected, expressing appreciation for their time and application.
  • Treat all applicants fairly, respectfully, and inclusively, following the Guidelines for Pre-Employment Inquiries.

For finalists:

  • Develop an in-person interview schedule that exposes finalists to the best UW has to offer them. Academic HR has a few tips for Candidate Campus Visits on its web site. Additional tips include setting up meetings with potential collaborators, showing candidates around campus and buildings or lab space if that is an extra selling point, and taking them out to a restaurant for a nice meal (noting per diem amounts).
  • Arrange for finalists to talk casually with other relatively new faculty (inside or outside the unit) about what it’s like to work at UW as a faculty at that rank, and what it’s like to live in Seattle.
  • Make sure finalists know about the employment benefits afforded to UW faculty, and the other resources available to help them develop and succeed as scholars, researchers, and teachers such as the Faculty Fellows Program, Junior Faculty Development Program, and Center for Teaching and Learning.

Carefully Select the Best Candidate

When the in-person interviews are done, that’s when the hard work often begins: narrowing down and selecting the best candidate for the job. This is when the search committee and the faculty have to carefully articulate why one person over all the others is the most suited for the job.

To aid this process, consider asking the following suggested questions about each finalist (adapted from

  • What did the search committee conclude about the candidate?
  • How did the other constituents (staff, students, and faculty) evaluate them?
  • Does the candidate have the relevant experience to do the job well?
  • What’s their potential to grow in the job and their field?
  • Will the candidate succeed in the unit as a workplace?
  • Will they add value to the unit?
  • This discussion likely won’t be easy, but it’s important to talk through the merits and demerits of each candidate.

Procedural steps to follow:

  • Following Faculty Code 24-52 Subsection C, the procedure for actually making this decision boils down to a majority vote by the voting members of the unit’s faculty (or the elected committee with delegated authority) after they have been provided “all available information concerning candidates.”
  • This majority vote recommendation is communicated to the Dean, along with the Chair/Director’s concurrence, for the Dean to make the final decision. For more information about what to do in exceptional cases when the Chair/Director does not concur, please see the Faculty Code 24-52 Subsection C-1.
  • Once the Dean has approved of the appointment, the Chair/Director can proceed to developing the job offer.

Next: Making the Job Offer