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Faculty Recruiting Guidelines

Virginia Tech's world-class reputation is a result of the dedication and loyalty of more than 13,000 employees who go above and beyond in their daily lives to make the university community, and  communities in which they live, top notch in every way.  The Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) motto reveals Virginia Tech’s deep commitment to building and sustaining a diverse and inclusive culture. In addition to prioritizing diversity and inclusion, Virginia Tech sets high standards for knowledge, innovation, and academic excellence while remaining affordable for current and future students.  In order to achieve these objectives, it is imperative that the university hires the best employees.

Diverse backgrounds and perspectives lead to new ideas and innovations. Ensuring teams include employees from various social and cultural backgrounds and experiences broadens viewpoints, knowledge, and approaches from which decisions are made.

How we recruit at Virginia Tech is not about compliance. While there are certain rules we must comply with in recruiting and hiring, our efforts are centered around a passion for hiring a diverse staff and generating a supportive atmosphere that fosters positive relationships and communications.

By building a reputation for valuing differences, we will attract talented employees who recognize that Virginia Tech appreciates what they bring to the table and can enhance and broaden our community.

Visit our Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Statement for more information.

Many people are involved in hiring at Virginia Tech. From recruiting to onboarding, each person plays a unique and important role in the process. Visit this page for more information on these roles. 

Recruiting Process Stages

NOTE: It is understood and expected that departments will have unique requirements to their recruitments in addition to this foundational process. Departments are encouraged to create departmental specific addendums as needed on your departmental sites. Please refrain from embedding departmental specific information in copies of the process documents as they will be continuously updated/improved using your valuable feedback going forward.

As the HR practitioner prepares the job posting, the hiring manager or official should develop a recruiting plan with them. Hiring managers should use the Recruiting Strategy Guide to begin the hiring process for their role. Below are examples of recruiting efforts to attract diverse candidates:

1.    Members of the department are asked to contact colleagues at other universities or organizations to see if they know of qualified candidates, do not forget about members of under-represented groups who may be qualified for and interested in the position.  

2.    Sending the full position description to professional organizations focusing on members of under-represented groups. Please refer to the Diversity Advertising and Recruiting Resources website.

3.    Engaging local networks of people in related fields at Virginia Tech, area colleges, corporations, and businesses to see if they know potential candidates.

4.    Survey departments at other universities to see which have strong records in awarding PhDs to members of under-represented groups. Contact them for names of potential candidates.

5.    Contact relevant professional organizations for any rosters of members of under-represented groups receiving advanced degrees in the field.

6.    Have a discussion in a search committee meeting and/or with a Talent Acquisition recruiter to brainstorm other recruiting strategies. To do this, please complete the Recruitment Strategy Session Request Form.

Before the role is posted, there is ample opportunity for the hiring manager, search committee chair, and the HR practitioner to have discussion about effective recruitment strategies. These efforts should be documented on the Job Card for the role. Please refer to the bottom of the Recruiting Strategy Guide for good faith effort examples.

If additional sourcing efforts are necessary besides the initial sites where Virginia Tech posts jobs, the hiring manager may choose a few additional places to post the job. These could be industry-specific organizations or diversity based from our Diversity Advertising and Recruiting Resources.

The HR practitioner will gather the data about the Affirmative Action goal for the role and create a Pool Certification Template for the search committee. The diversity advocate should request the Affirmative Action goal and Pool Certification Template for the search committee. This will be used in the pool monitoring phase of the hiring process.

Search Committee Requirements:

The hiring manager should choose their search committee during the recruitment phase. Search committees should be comprised of the supervisor for the position, career-based experts, and people who have consistent interaction with the role and could provide beneficial screening and interviewing guidance.

The search committee will appoint a diversity advocate to work with the HR practitioner and hiring manager as a liaison for monitoring the candidate pool. For information on diversity search advocates for your team, contact the Office for Inclusion and Diversity. The hiring manager must work with the search committee chair to ensure all search committee members have had the appropriate training. The HR practitioner or search committee chair should use these instructions to run the verification report to ensure each committee members training has been completed.

Search committee members are not automatically notified by the applicant tracking system when they are assigned to a search committee. It is the department’s responsibility to communicate to each member their respective role in the search. The chair should set up time on the committee members’ calendars to review the candidates (one to two days after the review date), if this has not already been done by the hiring manager. Additionally, each search committee member, including the chair, is expected to score every candidate in the applicant tracking system prior to beginning interviews. The first round of interviews should be set up within a week of the candidate review.

Once the hiring plan has been decided upon and the HR practitioner has posted and sourced the job, it is the department’s responsibility to advertise the opening with all additional websites decided upon in the Recruiting Strategy Guide and listed on the Job Card for the role. 

During the search process, the search committee chair, diversity advocate, and hiring manager should inspect the composition of the applicant pool weekly to measure the success of the recruitment efforts.

1.    The search committee diversity advocate should contact the assigned HR practitioner (Role 3 or 4) in charge of the role for the identified Affirmative Action goal for the position.

2.    The assigned HR practitioner (PageUp Role 3 or 4) will need to obtain the Affirmative Action availability goals for the role and university goals for disabilities and veterans and add them to the Pool Certification Template. The diversity advocate should share the information with the search committee and hiring manager.

3.    Use the Recruiting Strategy Guide to begin the sourcing efforts. The hiring manager will need to coordinate with the HR practitioner (PageUp Role 3 or 4) to review the pool weekly by requesting the EEO Report from PageUp to compare with the Affirmative Action availability goals. This information should be shared with the diversity advocate.

4.    To ensure the applicant pool includes diverse representation, the sourcing plans should be adjusted weekly if the diversity of the current candidate pool does not follow the trend of the Affirmative Action availability or university goals. The diversity advocate should decide weekly if there is a need for additional recruiting efforts. If needed, any updated sourcing plan should be developed by the hiring manager while consulting with the search committee.

Listed below are some points to consider:

1.    What are the Affirmative Action placement goals for under-represented groups (minorities, women) for this job, if any?

2.    Do the percentages of qualified candidates from under-represented groups meet or exceed the placement goal for this particular position?

3.    For positions that do not reflect the representation of minorities, women, people with disabilities, and veterans at least equal to the placement goals in the Affirmative Action plan or university goals, additional recruitment efforts will be required.

Additionally, this time should be used to work on developing the interview process. For ideas on interview questions, review the interview resource.

Having a diverse pool of applicants means the total number of applicants for a job is representative of the availability outlined on the functional Affirmative Action plan for the particular job classification of your role. Contact your HR practitioner for Affirmative Action availability information. This information can also be found by contacting the Office of Equity and Accessibility.

The objective of certifying the applicant pool is to identify if the pool reflects the representation of minorities, women, people with disabilities, and veterans at a level equal to or exceeding the availability percentages in Virginia Tech’s functional Affirmative Action Plans for your job classification.  

Best practice is that with or without an Affirmative Action goal, every candidate pool should strive to be as diverse is possible. This is particularly important as every candidate pool still has disability and veteran goals that we should strive to achieve as a university.  

At the end of the sourcing period, the HR practitioner will complete the following steps in conjunction with the Pool Certification Template to determine if the applicant pool has met the necessary diversity goals to be certified.

1.    The assigned HR practitioner (PageUp Role 3 or 4) will obtain the EEO Report from PageUp to review the applicant pool. They will complete the Pool Certification Template by comparing the data of the pool with the Affirmative Action availability to determine if the pool is diverse and can be certified.

2.    Upon determining that the applicant pool is diverse, or that good faith efforts were conducted to ensure diversity, then the senior manager will certify the applicant pool.

    a.    If the applicant pool does not meet the Affirmative Action Goals or university goals, yielding in diverse, qualified candidates, then there needs to be evidence of additional recruitment efforts beyond the placement of advertisements. In that instance, the sourcing plans should change to allow for additional candidates or the search period be extended to allow for additional recruitment efforts.

3.    To certify the applicant pool in PageUp, the senior manager will need to put their name, date, and pool status in the Applicant Pool Certification section of the Job Card. They will also upload the completed Pool Certification Template into PageUp under the Job Card documents section. Pool status options are as follows:

    a.    Pool approved: Fully meets or exceeds availability.

    b.    Pool approved – within range: The pool meets the university disability utilization goal and veteran hiring benchmark. If the position has a specific AA placement goal(s), the pool also meets that goal, as well as the university disability goal and veteran hiring benchmark.

    c.    Pool approved – based on recruiting plan: Data points may not reach availability, but based on recruiting efforts and good faith efforts the pool is certified.

    d .    Pool not approved: If not approved, there should be a new review date along with a plan for the extension.

4.   Once the pool has been certified, the senior manager will notify the HR practitioner and the search committee chair. At this point, the search committee may begin the interview process. The HR practitioner should un-source the role in PageUp so it is no longer active on the sites where Virginia Tech posts jobs.

Once the candidate pool has been certified, the search committee can begin to interview candidates. The selection of candidates for interviews should be done within a day or two of the review date. Candidates selected should be notified about interviews and those should be set up within a week of the review date. Selected candidates can then move through additional interviews and candidates not moving forward in the process should be dispositioned (see below).

For resources on interviews and interview questions, review the interview resource.

Communication with candidates is key for a successful recruitment process. When in doubt, more communication is better. The assigned disposition delegate should be kept up to date with the interview process and candidates not moving forward. Best practices for dispositioning candidates are as follows:

1.    Candidate pools should be reviewed weekly during the sourcing process so they are ready to be certified by the time the review date hits. A bulk communication should be sent by the dispositioning delegate to all candidates letting them know the committee is beginning to review candidates and if there is any delay in the review from the review date.

2.    Once initial candidates are selected for the first round of interviews, the other candidates should be notified they have not been selected and dispositioned accordingly. Please have the dispositioning delegate use the disposition guide to select a reason; the system will then send a bulk email those candidates. Please use the email template provided in PageUp to let candidates know they are not moving forward. Additionally, candidates selected for the first round of interviews should also be dispositioned as interviewing.

3.    When the first round of interviews are complete, and the next set of finalists are selected, notify the candidates previously interviewed that they did not make the cut and disposition them accordingly in PageUp. Candidates selected for the second or third round of interviews should be dispositioned as such.

4.     Conduct Reference checks. Questions must be job related. Disregard information that is clearly unrelated to the position requirements. Information obtained in a reference check is completely confidential, but may be subjected to a court order. 

  • View information on conducting a reference check.
  • The applicant tracking system has the capability to run automated reference checks for each candidate. This process will ask references basic questions about the applicant, and give the reference the ability to upload a reference letter to the email when responding. To learn about this feature, refer to the user guide in Canvas.

5.    Once a final candidate is chosen and they have accepted the verbal offer, disposition the remaining candidates from the final interview stage. If the offer is rejected, go back to the interview finalists to select another candidate for an offer.

6.    Once the offer has been formally/electronically accepted, be sure that all candidates have been dispositioned and the candidate that accepted has their new hire form complete. The HR practitioner should close out the job and be sure to un-source it from the website. 

Once the interviews are complete and the final candidate has been chosen, the search committee chair must communicate with the hiring manager and HR practitioner to confirm the offer.

The hiring manager will make a verbal offer, a written offer will be made by the HR practitioner, and a background check will be started on the candidate. 

If the candidate accepts, they will complete the new hire form and move forward into the onboarding portal. The disposition delegate will disposition the remaining candidates and the HR practitioner will close out the role.

If the candidate does not accept, the hiring manager should notify the search committee chair to repeat the process with the next final candidate. If there is not another finalist or the search committee is not interested in proceeding with any of the remaining candidates in the pool, the search committee chair should communicate with the hiring manager and HR practitioner. The hiring manager can decide if the pool is dry; a change in the position description may be needed. If so, they should work with the HR practitioner to close the current posting and re-open a new one with an updated job description. The recruiting and sourcing process would start again. 

Information on Onboarding can be shared with new employees. Upon completion of New Hire Form, they will be prompted to login to their Onboarding portal for additional information

Additional Resources

Next Steps

Inclusion is an ideal that must be sought after across campus and in our hiring and recruiting processes every day. Additional inclusion resources are in progress. In the meantime, check out InclusiveVT for more information.  

A bi-annual review of diversity recruiting statistics is completed by the talent acquisition team in April and October of each year. They will look at diversity trends at the pool certification, interview, and offer phases to see trends across each senior management area. The report will provide totals across all types of positions. It will also provide a breakdown of the trends into teaching and research faculty, administrative and professional faculty, staff, and wage.

Senior management areas will receive copies of the data along with a short overview of trends and insights on ways to improve the data and more closely match the Affirmative Action goals for their area. 

Long- term hiring strategies are the best way to incorporate diversity and inclusion into every day hiring goals. Here are some examples of those strategies:

1.    Outstanding candidates may not apply for advertised positions, and they may have to be approached by a member of the search committee, talent acquisition recruiter, or other university employees.

2.    Communicate to faculty and/or staff attending professional conferences, or visiting other universities or organizations to link recruiting efforts to their visits by encouraging potential candidates to apply for open positions on Virginia Tech’s job website.

3.    Form working relationships with other departments where under-represented individuals are already working as well as with individuals who might be willing to make calls to established networks.

4.    Assess appropriate professional associations to obtain names of individuals who may present opportunities for broadening the applicant pool.

5.    Maintain ongoing relationships with professional organizations, associations, and agencies that have job referral services.

6.    Encourage scholars from other institutions who are members of under-represented groups to participate in department-sponsored seminars and visiting appointments.

7.    Employ a personal approach to contact potential candidates who have been identified or nominated. If potential candidates decline nominations or choose not to respond, contact the individuals by phone to determine if the reason for declining can be resolved. Consider asking them for additional names of candidates that may be interested.

8.    After sending announcements to departments, other universities, or organizations, follow up with a personal contact or make a phone call to ask about potential candidates at those universities or organizations.

9.    Please keep in mind that recruiting never truly stops, teams should always work to build connections and network so candidates are interested in positions before a job is even open.

Sometimes it is also important to consider internal talent. For instance:

1.    What is the department’s current demographic makeup?

2.    Does internal experience play a critical role to the department’s needs at this time? If so, are there well-qualified applicants in the department?

3.    Have department strategies for career development positioned employees within the department for possible promotional opportunities? Does leadership have a comprehensive knowledge of the competencies, skills, and abilities of the current staff?

If the applicant pool is not as large, qualified, or diverse as anticipated, ask the following questions:

1.    Were the announcements and ads timely?

2.    Which of the preferred qualifications were not met by members of under-represented groups who will not be interviewed?

3.    Did the search committee members make individual contacts with potential nominators or candidates?

4.    Were nominees contacted and encouraged to apply?

5.    Did the search committee feel the candidate pool was diverse and qualified enough to be interviewed? If not, what reservations were expressed?

6.    How interested in the position were the potential interviewees?

7.    Did the search proceed fast enough so that candidates did not lose interest?

8.    Were candidates kept informed of the progress of the search?