Guide to Successful Searches

Temporary hiring freeze in effect

A temporary hiring freeze is in effect through at least June 30, 2024, while FY 2025 budgets are reassessed. Please review the HR Financial Action Plan guidance for complete information and FAQ.

Recruiting and hiring people to work at the University of Arizona is one of our most important shared responsibilities. This web page has a variety of materials to help you conduct complete, competitive and effective searches. The Guide to Successful Searches provides a comprehensive look at the search process and important background information regarding laws, regulations and policies that inform best practices. Appendices A-F provides more detailed resources, such as a checklist you may use to plan a search process, sample letters to candidates, and sample questions for interviews and reference checks. For additional guidance regarding University Staff, please refer to the Recruitment Administration Guidelines.


Nothing strengthens or differentiates an organization more than its people.

Because each new University of Arizona hire represents an opportunity to shape our collective future, exceptional care must be taken each time we seek to add new members to our academic community or to promote individuals from within it.

Search committees play a critical role in shaping the University of Arizona’s future by identifying promising candidates likely to increase the University’s success. To support search committee members in their important and challenging roles, this guide has been developed to:

  • clarify search committee roles and responsibilities;
  • provide strategies for developing diverse and qualified candidate pools;
  • offer guidance about effective screening and selection criteria and methods;
  • describe strategies for effectively communicating with candidates, constituents and the University of Arizona community; and
  • suggest protocols designed to protect the University of Arizona against unnecessary liability.

This guide and the related appendices are designed to support University excellence. Appendix A: A Successful Search Checklist is a comprehensive tool that can guide each committee through the steps in the search process.

The University of Arizona is committed to creating and maintaining an environment that is diverse, inclusive, and free of discrimination. By accessing the full breadth of talent available, the University is best able to build a qualified, dynamic, and competitive workforce, meet the needs of students to engage in a rich, interactive learning environment, more successfully produce high quality graduates, and better serve Arizona and beyond.

Before beginning a search, it is helpful to understand the difference between the concepts of “equal employment opportunity,” “affirmative action,” and “commitment to diversity.”

Equal employment opportunity means that all individuals must be treated equally in all employment decisions, including hiring. Each candidate must be evaluated on the basis of his or her ability to perform the duties of the position without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation and gender identity or genetic information. (See the University’s Nondiscrimination and Anti-harassment Policy) This policy also explains the University’s commitment to applicants and employees with disabilities.

Affirmative action requires that additional efforts be made to increase employment opportunities for women and members of underrepresented groups when there is underutilization in a job classification. Affirmative action also requires an organization to demonstrate a good faith effort to recruit, employ and advance in employment qualified individuals with disabilities and protected veteran status. These efforts may include expanded efforts in outreach and recruitment to increase the pool of qualified women, qualified minorities, individuals with disabilities and protected veterans. More information can be found on the Division of Human Resources Affirmative Action Plan page

Diversity is a broader, more inclusive concept. An organization committed to diversity welcomes, values and engages people heterogeneous in background, perspective and experience. An organization committed to diversity builds a community in which people feel included, understood, and appreciated. An organization committed to diversity recognizes the power of difference and creates opportunities to build on the strengths of a rich and varied community of committed individuals. We recognize there is power in diverse perspectives and experiences and seek to build and sustain an inclusive community. Therefore, a commitment to diversifying our community is imbedded in the strategies described in this guide. We demonstrate this commitment by extending beyond federal equal opportunity and affirmative action requirements.

Hiring processes are subject to federal and state regulations, and Arizona Board of Regents and University policies. Hiring decisions are subject to rules and regulations that govern the hiring process and protect the rights of both applicants and the University. Search committees are charged with developing and maintaining information about the decisions made at the different steps in hiring.

If a hiring decision or hiring process is challenged under one of these requirements, such as a discrimination allegation, the recruitment documentation is key for the University to successfully defend its hiring processes. Records can support that the process focused on job-related requirements, skills, and abilities, and that the process was managed in a professional manner. In addition, high quality search materials may be a foundation for use in future searches.

All members of the search committee must be prepared to retain all search-related documents (search committee notes, evaluation matrices. email correspondence, copies of advertisements and publications, copies of correspondence, email and letters sent to candidates etc.). At the conclusion of the search, the committee chair collects all the documentation and forwards it to the hiring department representative for retention. The department must retain the compiled search file for three years after the calendar year in which the records were created. Upon expiration of the three-year retention period, the materials should be destroyed confidentially, such as confidential shredding.

Human Resources retains online employment application materials and job postings.


The search committee chair acts as the committee's facilitator, official spokesperson, budget manager and liaison to the hiring authority. The committee chair is responsible for leading meetings, candidate review processes and interviews. In this role, the chair must:

  • communicate the committee’s charge;
  • articulate expectations for committee conduct;
  • monitor the committee’s budget;
  • coordinate outreach efforts;
  • manage communication with the University community, press, potential leads, and potential and actual candidates;
  • ensure compliance with state and federal laws and Arizona Board of Regents and University policy; and
  • mediate conflict.

In addition to past search committee experience, a search committee chair should be a person of integrity who is recognized for his or her commitment to diversity and ability to lead under potentially difficult conditions.

Establishing an effective and credible search committee is essential for a successful search process. Search committees must consist of at least three members unless there is an extenuating circumstance approved by Human Resources. Search committee members must be respected within the University community and their respective disciplines or professions. When possible, a majority of the members should have experience participating in successful searches and should be open-minded, committed to diversity and fair process, able to negotiate conflict to achieve group results, and knowledgeable in the area/field/responsibilities of the advertised position.

A diverse committee is more likely to withstand public scrutiny and to generate diverse candidate pools and finalist lists. Individuals from outside a hiring department or the University may be invited to serve on a search committee to share insights, challenge assumptions and bring lessons of experience from other perspectives, disciplines and organizations.

Effective search committee members are well-connected, available to participate fully and consistently, and comfortable engaging in rigorous debate in order to affect the best outcome. The most effective search committee members share the following characteristics:

  • protect confidentiality of candidates and the decision-making process;
  • draw upon connections to support recruitment efforts;
  • participate fully and consistently;
  • challenge conventional assumptions;
  • treat all candidates in a thoughtful and respectful manner;
  • set aside biases and preconceptions in order to fully consider all those who may be qualified to assume University roles;
  • give fair consideration to all candidates; and
  • act promptly to ensure that top candidates are not lost to organizations who move quickly to hire top talent.

Once the preliminary interviews have been completed, the search committee should meet to evaluate the candidates' interview responses to determine their continued candidacy for the role and to discuss the next steps in the recruitment process (e.g., the hiring authority has requested the top three candidates in ranked order with comments about strengths and weaknesses).

The search committee can decide to continue to a second interview after narrowing down the options. For example, they might also add other staff members to help in the next round of interviews. There is no one right way to make decisions but all committees should ensure they are evaluating all candidates against the same set of established criteria.

Quantifying candidate qualifications through a scoring matrix is the most defensible approach. It's important to ensure all scoring committee members apply the same scoring scale and understand the established criteria. It's advisable to have broader conversations with other committee members when there are large disparities in the scores applied (e.g., “I ranked her a 5, but you gave her a 1. Why is that?”). A sample scoring matrix can be found on the Talent resource hub page

Confidentiality is the foundation of a credible search committee and trustworthy search process. The importance of maintaining strict confidence throughout the process cannot be overestimated. A breach of confidentiality threatens a successful outcome in three ways. First, it may result in the immediate termination of the search, a serious loss of time and money and potentially viable candidates. Second, it may cause the most qualified candidates to withdraw from the search, fearing that a premature disclosure of their candidacy will jeopardize their current positions. Third, a breach in confidentiality, by its very nature, is bound to become more widely known, and may undermine the University’s ability to attract candidates in the future. In short, confidentiality is an absolute requirement to be understood and honored by everyone on the search team, from the first meeting until the conclusion of the search. (Also see Confidentiality of Candidate Names)

An external communication plan should be discussed early in the search process. In general, it is best to designate one individual (usually the chair) to communicate with candidates, constituents, the press, and others who may inquire about a search process.

A committee communication plan should also be developed. Because written documents may be subject to public records requests, judicious use of written and email communication is recommended to protect candidate confidentiality and the integrity of the search process.

If a unit has concerns or needs guidance, the Recruitment team can assist in crafting a message. 


Each hiring opportunity presents a department with the opportunity to position itself for the present and the future. The position description is a comprehensive document that outlines responsibilities, essential functions, expected outcomes, reporting relationships, and required and desired qualifications. Rather than updating existing position descriptions, the search committee should partner with the hiring authority to develop a list of responsibilities and qualifications likely to meet department and University needs and to attract the broadest possible candidate pool. To ensure that all who are qualified feel eligible to apply, care should be taken to describe expected outcomes rather than ways in which work should be accomplished, e.g., “disseminate information” rather than “deliver speeches” if verbal ability is not absolutely required or “travel to offsite locations” rather than “drive to remote sites” if sight and the ability to drive are not required for position success.

As the job description is developed, consider what methods will be used to assess a candidate’s qualifications. Sometimes, these discussions also help to develop related interview questions. (See Appendix B: Library of Interviewing Questions)

The stated requirements, both preferred and required, must accurately match the needs of the position. Expectations must be clearly stated. Everything that will be used as criteria in the selection process should be accounted for somewhere in the qualification requirements.

Beware of overly narrow or indefensible requirements. The content must be measurable and relevant to the position's responsibilities. Candidates who don't meet minimum qualifications will be disqualified. Qualifications should represent the minimum experience, education, and/or certification required for the position. Be specific to your needs (e.g., PhD in Physics attained by time of hire.) Knowledge, skill and abilities (KSAs) should be listed separately from qualifications. KSAs are qualities that make candidates more likely to be successful within the listed position. Although important to the incumbent's long-term success, they are not easily gleaned during the applicant-screening process and should not be listed within the Minimum or Preferred Qualifications, but rather within the Position Description or Position Highlights in Talent. Committee members should challenge each other about the merits and necessity of each qualification statement to attract the broadest pool of qualified candidates.

Here are some sample qualification requirement statements that support the University’s mission and vision:

  • Experience using a variety of teaching methods and/or curricular perspectives to respond to the needs of a diverse student body.
  • Previous experience engaging diverse communities in college outreach efforts. 
  • Proven accomplishment in diversifying a department or college.

When evaluating applicants to move forward in the recruitment process. All members of the search committee should use the same evaluative criteria during the applicant review stage. 

Rigid selection criteria limit search committee flexibility and may unintentionally eliminate excellent candidates. When developing a list of selection criteria, the search committee should differentiate between “must haves” and “should haves.”

The committee should also develop operational definitions for each required qualification and be prepared to determine whether and when these criteria can be evaluated. Here are some examples.

An earned doctorate from an accredited university Evaluated by statement on CV and later verification through University admissions office. (Evaluating the “quality” of a University -- e.g., “ivy” vs. state school, etc., may unintentionally eliminate qualified candidates)
Record of scholarly achievement Evaluated by CV review; defined as a minimum of 10 peer-reviewed articles in the last 3 years
Prior experience with presenting in large groups Evaluated by Resume/CV review; can be reviewed in prior work experience statements
Record of successfully recruiting undergraduate students, publication and experience working with first generation college students Evaluated by reviewing CV; statement in previous courses taught, stats on class numbers and listed publications

The position highlights section in Talent is used to promote the opening. Drawn from the more comprehensive position description, it's a short summary aimed to capture the job seeker's attention. Some ideas that could be used in this section; opening with an attention-grabbing statement, sharing unique and motivating facts about the team and the work the department supports, keeping it brief and referring candidates to your website for more information. Careful attention to tone and content will make the difference between an intriguing position highlights and an uninspiring one. 

The University is required to provide public notice of its status as an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer on all recruitment materials, including bulletins, announcements, publications, and application forms. In those cases where advertising costs are a critical consideration, external advertisements must minimally include the following statement:

Equal Opportunity Employer Minorities/Women/Vets/Disabled

The comprehensive language below is embedded in every Talent posting and is recommended for external advertisements:

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. As a Hispanic-serving institution, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we provide equal employment opportunities to applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.

When asking for application materials, search committees must ask for enough information to evaluate candidate viability, but should guard against overburdening candidates with complex application requirements. Attracting the broadest possible pool requires that we make applying for employment as painless as possible. Outstanding individuals are actively sought by multiple institutions. We will have greater success in attracting them by making the application process relatively straightforward. Letters of reference and expanded dossiers can be requested once a search committee determines an individual is a serious and viable candidate. At some point during the search process, candidates may be asked to provide additional application-related materials:

  • Descriptions of scholarship, teaching and work experience, and disciplinary background desired in the position
  • A letter of application, curriculum vitae, and other pertinent materials, such as copies of articles, samples of course syllabi, and letters of reference


Generating a diverse and qualified pool of candidates requires significant energy because we want to reach those looking for new opportunities in addition to capturing the attention of outstanding individuals who are not “on the market." The sourcing plan should be completed during the initial search committee meetings. You will also need to consider where you will be placing advertisements. For information on advertising vendors organized by type, please visit our Advertising for a Position webpage

  • Ask current department members to identify potential candidates.
  • Network with people in the field (who may be called upon nominate individuals.
  • Identify journals, websites and professional associations read by people in the discipline/profession.
  • Identify the relevant professional or community organizations, caucuses, etc. that respond to the needs of women, minority groups, people with disabilities, and veterans.
  • Identify where people in this discipline/profession congregate (professional meetings, concerts, lecture series, etc.). Explore how to recruit at these venues.
  • Identify where the experts in this discipline/profession work (strong departments at other universities, etc.).
  • Consider placing the announcement on the hiring department’s website. (Ensure that the website is accessible to all who may try to access it).
  • Identify student programs, affinity groups and placement offices at other universities and institutions and the best way to share the recruitment with them.
  • Identify ways we obtain nominations from alumni, and members of the University and Tucson communities.


The Search committee is a group of three or more individuals who convene to identify, evaluate and recommend qualified candidates for the position. All materials should be reviewed equally by the members of the committee. Only applicants that meet the minimum qualifications of the position can be considered. 

Search committee members are held accountable for the committee’s selection decisions. As such, they are expected to actively participate in each step of the review process.

The first step of the screening process is called the “paper review.” During this process, committee members review all application materials, including resumes, CVs, cover letters and any required documents to assess whether candidates have the minimum qualifications required for the position. Documenting the reason why a candidate has been screened out during this process is essential. Comments such as “lacks Ph.D.” or “teaching experience is in pathology rather than toxicology” will be valuable if the search process is challenged and an investigation is conducted. The Talent applicant tracking system has several pre-defined codes used to document the committee’s reason for screening each candidate. (See Appendix D: Talent Disposition Codes) Once a candidate is determined to meet the minimum qualifications, committee members can rank candidates based on preferred qualifications or the strength of their experiences. 

Once the paper review is complete, search committee members must narrow the field of potential candidates. Asking each committee member to propose and defend their top candidates is one way to assess candidate viability. Often, committee members will agree on several candidates and can debate the merits of candidates selected by fewer committee members. As in the paper review, documenting why a candidate has been eliminated from further consideration is essential.

A well-developed interview process can reveal a great deal about a candidate's experience and qualifications. Before the candidate interview, committees are advised to develop a basic set of interview questions in advance.

Use the position description as the guide when developing the basic set of interview questions. Questions should be related to the work described in the position description and the qualifications and competencies required to be effective in the role. Remember that past performance is often the best predictor of future success.

Appendix B: The Library of Interview Questions is structured to help identify job-related questions in key areas. Appendix C: Questions to Avoid - Don’t Risk It! identifies topics that should be avoided.

Ask all candidates the same baseline questions, not only to ensure fairness, but to give you a consistent basis for evaluating and comparing the candidates’ qualifications. A consistent process enables a committee to evaluate one candidate against another effectively. Using the same set of questions for each candidate also makes it easier to defend hiring decisions, should there be a challenge to the results.

In addition to baseline questions, the committee can prepare personalized questions for each candidate, based on particular experiences or information identified in each application package. Ask for clarification about gaps in employment, particular jobs or experience, or candidate materials that are unclear. During the interview, it’s recommended to ask broad follow-up questions if the initial response is unclear. (“Please tell us more about that.”) Make notes of additional questions you may want to add to the personalized questions.

Determine how the committee members will pose the questions, e.g. if sections/topics will be assigned to each member, or if members will rotate asking questions. When the committee has asked all their questions, allow some time for the candidate to ask questions about the position; decide in advance who will answer the candidate’s questions. The interview process must be standardized for all candidates for a position. 

Off-site Candidates

Telephone or internet-based conferencing technology interviews are an inexpensive way to assess the qualifications of several candidates and to narrow the field to a shorter list of individuals for on-site visits. Provide candidates with login information, passwords, names and positions of those who will be at the interview, the job description, a point of contact at your office if they have questions and/or are running late for their interview. Provide the opportunity for candidates to request disability-related accommodations. If you need technical assistance, we recommend connecting with the 24/7 IT Support Center.

On-site Candidates

Provide candidates with interview information such as directions to your office, names and positions of those who will be at the interview, the job description, and a point of contact at your office if they have questions and/or are running late for their interview. Provide the opportunity for candidates to request disability-related accommodations.

All Candidates

The interview should be free from interruptions and distractions. Forward your phone calls, turn off your cell phone, and close the door. Establish rapport by welcoming the candidate, introducing yourself, and describing your position and what you do. Introduce the other members of the search team in the same way or have them introduce themselves. If available, offer the interviewee a drink of water, or a cup of coffee or tea.

Explain that the purposes of the interview are:

  • to acquaint the interviewers and candidate with each other;
  • to learn more about the candidate's background and experience; and
  • to help the candidate understand the position and organization.

Give a brief overview of your department, college/division, and the UA. Provide a brief description of the job responsibilities. (If you speak too much about the job at the start of the interview, before you have gathered the information you are looking for, the candidate might slant responses to match your description.)

Committee members are encouraged to make notes on the answers to all questions and to submit them to the committee chair for inclusion in the search file. Brief notes that capture the essence of each response can be especially helpful if a search process is challenged. Investigators may not have to involve committee members in an investigation if search-related documents are comprehensive and explain the rationale behind selection decisions.

Sometimes candidates volunteer information about themselves that, by law, should not be considered in making an employment decision. For example, a candidate might mention dropping a child off at day care. While you can be polite and understanding, this information is not relevant to the candidate's qualifications. You don't need to make a note of this information or ask follow up quesitons. Move the focus back to the position and assessing job related skills and qualifications. 

In addition, many states and cities have laws that prohibit asking candidates about their salary in their current or most recent job. Because basing current salary on past earnings serves to perpetuate salary inequities against women and protected minorities, do not ask this question. Instead ask the candidate, "If you are offered this position, what are your salary expectations?"

While it may be interesting to learn about a candidate’s hobbies, country of origin, age, or family life, if it’s not directly related to a position’s requirements, it’s better not to ask. And remember, presentations, community forums, meals and social events are considered part of the interviewing process and should be managed in the same professional manner. Personal information questions are no more appropriate over dinner than they are in a more formal interview setting. Inappropriate questions can run the risk of a claim filed against the University. (see Appendix C: Questions to Avoid - Don’t Risk It!)

Interviews yield the best results when everyone on the search team understands the job competencies and capabilities needed, arrive with prepared questions, and stick to the agenda. By the end of a well-executed interview, the interview team will have assessed the candidate's level of knowledge and skills, interest in the position, and likelihood of success. Also, bear in mind that while you are assessing the candidate, they are assessing the position, the department and the University. Ideally, the candidate will walk away feeling fairly treated, adequately informed about the job, clear about the next steps in the hiring process and holding a positive impression of the University. Here are some other interviewing tips:

  • Paraphrase what the speaker said to make sure you understand correctly what you are hearing.
  • Take notes on a sheet of paper separate from the candidate's CV/resume. Write down the key points.
  • Record the candidate's statements that reflect qualifications for the job, and those that evidence past accomplishments and experiences.
  • Observe and listen to candidate responses.
  • Ask probing questions if the answer is vague or seems questionable. To probe more, you may want to ask:
    • “Can you tell us what you mean by that?”
    • “Please give us another example.”
    • “Please tell us more.”

Close the interview by explaining the next steps in the hiring process, including when and how the candidate will hear from you. (Later on, when the hiring decision has been made, be sure that you follow the communication process you described during the interview.) Thank the candidate for taking the time to meet with you.


Each search presents an opportunity to tell the University’s “story.” A well-managed search will reflect well on the University, while a poorly managed search has the potential to damage the University’s reputation and hamper the success of future searches. Applicants who feel that they were treated in a courteous and respectful manner during the search process are less likely to be angry if not selected and less likely to file a complaint about the decision or process. Providing a contact and/or an alternative contact who will reply in a timely manner to applicants is essential to a successful recruitment and hire.

In recognition of the time and effort required to pursue University employment, search committees must treat all candidates in a respectful manner. Communicating efficiently and effectively is essential. As such, the search committee chair must ensure that candidates:

  • are informed as soon as they are removed from consideration (though be cautious about notifying “second tier” candidates who may eventually move to the “first tier” of consideration); and
  • are informed of delays in the search process.

(See Appendix E: Sample Letters to Applicants and Candidates)

When a candidate interviews but is not advanced to the next stage, a phone call rather than a letter sends an important message about our appreciation for the candidate’s time and effort. If a candidate inquires about why he or she was not selected, the inquiry should be forwarded to the committee chair. A detailed explanation of why the candidate was not selected is neither required nor advised, though a telephone conversation during which you provide specific guidance about the search committee's impressions about the individual's strengths and weaknesses may be appreciated. For help in preparing for these conversations, the Provost’s office and the Recruitment team may be of assistance to the search committee chair.

It is important to maintain ongoing communication to the University community regarding the status of key searches. Key searches may include, but are not limited to, administrative and student leadership positions. Such “progress reports” may be distributed through the normal channels used to communicate to campus constituents such as UAnnounce and listservs. Progress reports should be drafted by the chairperson at the following key points in the search:

  • after semi-finalists have been identified and selected for pre-interview (not to include actual names of candidates);
  • after the finalist list has been identified, notify the candidates who are no longer being considered;
  • prior to the on-site visits of final candidates, including the schedule of on-site meetings or open forums; and
  • when a candidate has been selected and has accepted an offer.

Engaging the University community in the search process to fill a key position can provide the search committee with valuable feedback about candidate viability and give the candidate an opportunity to assess the University’s climate. Key searches may include, but are not limited to, administrative and student leadership positions. To engage the broader University community, search committees are encouraged to announce the schedule of open forums and invite a wide range of constituent groups to attend including students, staff, faculty and interested members of the Tucson community. After the finalist list has been made public, the curriculum vitae of each candidate should be made available for public review. Evaluation forms should be provided to all parties involved and responses should be included in search committee discussions. Open forums should be held at an accessible location.


Reference checks are employers’ principle means of securing information about potential hires from sources other than the candidates themselves. A reference check generally involves contacting candidates’ former employers, supervisors, co-workers and/or educators to verify previous employment and to obtain information about the individuals’ knowledge, skills, abilities and character.

Conducting reference checks are important in creating a safe and secure educational institution and workplace. By doing so we are confirming University employees are qualified to perform the jobs for which they are hired, retaining high-quality employees, and ensuring compliance with ABOR Policy 6-709 and UA Policy HR-401.

For more information on reference check guiding principles and examples of reference check questions, please view the below documents.

Like the interview process, reference inquiries should be related to the position description and consistent for all candidates. The reference check interview should not be done in haste. It is very important that a member of the search committee takes the time to check references thoroughly. Each reference should be asked the same set of questions.


The onsite visit is an extremely important part of selecting the ideal candidate. Communication and interaction with the candidate should represent the University in the most positive and favorable light possible. Just as search committee members will be evaluating the candidate, the candidate will be evaluating the University of Arizona to determine if the position and the organization are a good “fit” for him or her. The candidate’s early impressions of the University will play a major role in the decision-making process.

Some positions will require an on-campus visit as part of the recruitment process. In those circumstances, making sure the processes listed below are considered is important. Not all positions will require these steps. 

Schedule the on-site visit so that the majority of the search committee, potential key colleagues and the hiring authority are all available to meet the candidate. Coordinate all travel and lodging arrangements with the candidate. When possible, pay for travel arrangements rather than reimbursing the candidate after the trip. Arrange for someone to greet the candidate at the airport and take him/her to the hotel. Allow the candidate the opportunity to request disability-related accommodations (lodging and meetings at locations with elevators) and dietary preferences (vegetarian, vegan, etc.). Assure that all locations the candidate will visit are accessible for all attendees, including the committee, key colleagues, and the University and Tucson communities.

Interviews can be conducted via Zoom or any other live video mediums. Below are highly recommended actions to take in the remote interview process.

  • Communicate to the search committee and the candidate(s) on how to access the platform.
  • Ensure everyone understands how long the duration of the interview is and expectations for camera use (on/off).
  • The point of contact will need to notify the candidate(s) if they are going to be utilizing the chat feature before the interview process.
  • It is recommended to reach out to the candidate(s) to ensure they are able to attend and can access the zoom or other live video medium prior to the scheduled interview.
  • Before the interview is started, ensure everyone can hear and all microphones/cameras are working properly.
  • Committee members should take turns speaking in the interview.
  • Plan to ensure the candidate(s) has access to the interview and if they need accommodations or additional resources, they should be able to reach out to the point of contact.
  • We recommend utilizing the waiting room feature that can be used in most live video mediums (ex. Zoom, Teams, etc.).
  • The Talent system contains an Interview Scheduling Tool that can be found in the Talent Applicant Management guide. When utilizing the Interview Scheduling Tool in Talent,  give instructions about utilizing Zoom or other live video mediums via this tool for the interview.

Note: Recorded interviews are not typical practice. If you are interested in discussing the administration of recorded interviews, please contact the Recruitment team.

Taking the time to prepare a candidate for their interview sends an important message about the University of Arizona as a potential employer. This is true of on-campus and remote positions. These items should be sent to each finalist candidate prior to the interview:

  • Letter of welcome confirming the day and time of the visit, travel and lodging arrangements, list of expenses that are reimbursable and contact information. (Not all of these considerations will be involved in each recruitment process.)
  • For those that are traveling to the University for an in-person interview, the itinerary for the visit should include a complete schedule of events and the names and titles of individuals the candidate will meet. The candidate should also have the opportunity to request disability-related accommodations and dietary preferences.
  • Brochures and information about the department, the University, benefits of employment, diversity efforts,the University's relocation services provider and ComPsych Relocation. The Talent website is a useful resource to share.
  • Confer with the candidate about technology needs for presentations, i.e. handouts, hardware/software, microphone, etc. and arrange for equipment to be in place and operating.
  • Departmental mission and goals.

The following suggestions may not apply to every recruitment process.

  • Arrange for the finalist candidates to visit the University on different days.
  • Arrange for someone to meet and greet the candidate at the airport and take the candidate to the hotel. Arrange for someone take the candidate to the airport after the visit.
  • Allow time for the candidate to recover from travel before beginning the on-site visit, interviews and forum.
  • Arrange for a host to give the candidate a tour of the campus and to accompany the candidate to and from all scheduled events, including interview, open forums, meals, receptions, and University events.
  • Schedule open forums within an accessible location and invite students, staff, faculty and interested members of the Tucson community.
  • Prior to the on-site visit, confer with the candidate about technology needs for presentations, i.e. handouts, hardware/software, microphone, etc. and arrange for equipment to be in place and operating.
  • Pace the events over the period of the visit to allow for the candidate to eat meals and take restroom breaks. Provide the candidate with adequate water to stay hydrated in our desert climate.
  • Provide bios of the search committee and name tents during meetings so the candidate has a sense of his/her audience.
  • Arrange for the candidate to attend campus events during the visit, if possible.
  • Consider scheduling a meeting with Human Resources to discuss benefits, life and work resources, relocation services and dual career employment assistance for a spouse/partner.


In the course of conducting a search, the issue of public disclosure of search-related information or documentation may arise. The University of Arizona’s release of public records policy is to be as open as possible while protecting legitimate privacy or confidentiality issues.

Much of our work as a public institution requires public transparency. Job descriptions, job advertising, job announcements, and the search committee membership are public information. Interview and reference check questions, and candidate names and their related information are not public information, and must be kept confidential in order to maintain the integrity of the search process.

The names, titles, academic degrees and facts of past or present University employment information of search committee members are public information under ABOR Policy 6-912.

It is the intention of the University to maintain the integrity of search processes by protecting candidate confidentiality. For select positions and to encourage applications from those reluctant to “go public” with their interest in University of Arizona employment, the names of candidates should only be released to the University community or to the general public when a candidate becomes a finalist and confirms their intention to proceed with the selection process.

When inviting the finalist to interview on-site, be sure to inform the candidate that his or her name will be made public and that his or her curriculum vitae shall be open for review. If a candidate has reservations about going public, allow the candidate a short, but reasonable, time to decide to withdraw from consideration.

(Note: Under Arizona State law, names and other information concerning those interviewed may be subject to disclosure to third parties upon request. For assistance in how to deal with a specific request, the search chair should contact the University’s Office of the General Counsel at 520-621-3175.)

Documents prepared by University employees while performing work-related duties are, with some exception, public records. Search-related reports or records produced during the search process such as screening matrices, interview questions and committee notes should remain confidential among search committee members and other key individuals on a need-to-know basis. Under no circumstances, should members of the committee, or other departmental personnel, release search-related information or documentation to unauthorized individuals. Requests for documentation or reports under the State’s “Release of Public Records” statute should be forwarded to the Office of the General Counsel.


Compiling and Retaining the Completed Search File

At the conclusion of the search, the committee chair collects all the documentation and forwards it to the hiring department representative for retention. The department must retain the compiled search file for three years after the calendar year in which the records were created. Upon expiration of the three-year retention period, the materials should be destroyed confidentially, such as confidential shredding. Human Resources retains online employment application materials, and job postings.

It is recommended that search committees hold a final “post-search” meeting to share lessons learned. When appropriate, these lessons may be shared with the cognizant hiring authority, dean or vice president and/or with the Office of the Provost and the Division of Human Resources. Strategies to improve the University’s search process are welcome and the Office of the Provost and the Division of Human Resources appreciate opportunities to streamline processes and increase resources for future search committees.