At the time a search is initiated, the Office of Human Resources is to be contacted.  Generally, there are several steps to be taken with the Office of Human Resources once a position is formally vacated (signed letter of resignation in hand) and a new opening approved.  These steps include:

  • Contact HR to begin official paperwork for the hire.
  • Create a Position Description for approval by HR and subsequent internal use.
  • Create Job Announcement for HR.
  • Advertise the position.
  • Designate that (for full-time positions) applications materials be sent to Gail Leiby Ulrich, Director of Human Resources

Position Description

A position description is an official internal document that describes, in detail, the work of the position.  The position description is the official internal document that will guide the search process.  It should contain the following:

  • Position Title
  • Reporting line information
  • Specific duties (bulleted)

Job Announcement

The Job Announcement is the public document that is used to advertise and generate applicants for the position.   The purpose of the Job announcement is simply that – to “announce” the position – and should not be confused with the Position Description (though the Job Announcement should contain an abbreviated description of the position).  The Job Announcement should contain the following:

  • Position Title
  • Brief background of the College and Conference
  • General listing of duties (with very little detail).
  • Qualifications for the position.
  • Materials and credentials required for consideration.
  • Name, title and address of person to whom application should be sent (usually, Gail Leiby Ulrich)
  • Telephone number of person to call with any questions.
  • Salary (sometimes…especially if we want to discourage overqualified applicants).
  • Date by which position will be filled.
  • Statement regarding affirmative action/EEO.

Typically, we will want to advertise in some, many or all the following locations:

  • The NCAA Website
  • The NCAA News
  • The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • The NAIA Website
  • The NACWAA Website
  • The BCA (Black Coaches Association) Website.
  • Website of the sport in question (volleyball would be, etc)
  • The Altoona Mirror, Huntingdon Daily News, Centre Daily Times and selected other regional metropolitan papers depending on the position.
  • Sourcing (direct mail) to Athletics Department at selected schools where we might want to more aggressively rifle shoot for desirable applicants. 

The Hiring Official

The hiring official (usually will be: Lawrence R. Bock. AD when a head coach or staff position is being advertised; the head coach for any assistant coach positions) is the person to whom the eventual successful candidate will eventually report.  The hiring official is responsible for:

  • Establishing a search committee (a formal search committee is optional depending on circumstances, timing, and direction from higher administration).  
  • Determining selection criteria, along with establishing a general “profile of an ideal candidate” and his/her credentials for use by the search committee in screening applications. 
  • Delivering direction or a formal “charge” (primary purpose) to the search committee.
  • Selecting the Chair of the search committee.
  • Being part of the interviewing process.
  • Gathering input from the search committee and all interviewing parties to make a final decision.
  • Depending on circumstances, attending the 1st meeting of the search committee and issuing the charge to the committee in person (but the hiring official should not attend any additional search committee meetings unless clarification is needed on some matter…this should allow the search committee to function independently of the hiring official).
  • If a formal search committee is convened, the hiring official should not serve as the chair of a search committee or as a member of a search committee.

Chair of the Search Committee

The Chair of the Search Committee should be selected by the hiring official as early in the process as possible.  The duties of the Chair will vary depending on the position and the charge to the committee but will generally include the following:

  • Serve as the point of contact between the search committee and the candidate.
  • Serve as the point of contact between the search committee and the hiring official (usually will be the AD).
  • Manage the work and schedule of the committee.
  • Chair all meetings of the search committee.
  • Supervise an administrative assistant (if used) of the search committee.
  • See that the search committee members have a clear understanding of what their duties and responsibilities as members of the committee will be.
  • Predict for the committee members the time commitment that is likely to be involved in the search process.

The Search Committee

A search committee generally includes from 5-9 members and represent various constituencies from around campus, including both internal (Enrollment, Faculty, Administration, Coaching Staff, Student Athletes) and external representatives (such as alumni, J-Club members, etc).  The committee should reflect appropriate gender representation.  The duties of the search committee should include the following:

  • Attend all committee meetings.
  • Review all application materials as they are made available
  • Participate in discussions about the candidates and offer feedback.
  • Participate in any preliminary (conference call or one-on-one phone calls) interviews with semi-finalists.
  • Participate in on-campus interviews with finalists.
  • Participate in reference and background checking of candidates.
  • Maintain confidentiality in all aspects of the search.
  • Contribute input in the final recommendations from the search committee to the hiring official.

Administrative Assistant (optional)

The Administrative Assistant to the Search Committee should support the work of the committee members and chair including:

  • Building the Job Description and Job Announcement for HR
  • Advising HR on all advertising and direct involvement with all sourcing to selected institutions.
  • Handling mail flow between HR and the Chair.
  • Arranging Search Committee Meetings
  • In conjunction with HR, preparing letters to and communication with all applicants and candidates.
  • Making all arrangements for conference calls to semi-finalists
  • Making all arrangements and establishing schedules, venues, etc for the on-campus interviews for finalists.

The Administrative Assistant should not be involved in the deliberations regarding the actual search though he/she should be present at the search committee meetings.

Application Review and Selection of Semifinalists.

  • Once the application deadline has been reached, the search committee (or a subgroup of the committee selected by the chair) should review the application materials and credentials of all the candidates to initially determine:
    • Those applicants who meet the selection criteria and fit the “general profile of an ideal candidate” for the position.
    • Those who do not meet these criteria and/or do not fit this profile. The application packets for those candidates not meeting the criteria for the position should be returned to HR where those applicants would be informed that they are no longer being considered for the position.  (We would want to extend every courtesy to all applicants and send clear messages that Juniata College is a highly professional organization).
  • At this time, a full review of the remaining qualified candidates should be undertaken by the search committee.  The purpose of this review is to get to a short list of (no more than 6-12) “semi-finalists”.  Again, applications that are no longer being considered should be returned to HR so they can notify those candidates.

Preliminary Interviews of Semi-finalists and Selection of Finalists.

Once the semi-finalists are identified, the search committee should interview each remaining candidate in a preliminary or pre-screening fashion, either by telephone conference call or in one-on-one calls by selected members of the committee.  The purpose of preliminary interviews is to further reduce the list of candidates under consideration and to isolate those semi-finalists who may not have a realistic interest in the position.  The ideal number of finalists we would like to eventually select for on-campus interviews is 3-4.

The preliminary, pre-screening interview should include a prescribed set of identical questions asked of each candidate.  Individual members of the search committee should ask the same or reasonably similar questions in each interview.  After the conclusion of preliminary interviews, (ideally) 3-4 finalists should be selected by the search committee.  Those semi-finalists not advancing to finalist status should be notified by phone that they are no longer being considered for the position.  These calls should be made by the chair of the search committee.

Campus interviews

The chair of the search committee will contact the finalists and invite them to the campus for an interview.  Arrangements (transportation, hotel accommodations, meals, interview schedule, expenses, etc.) for each trip will be made by the chair, committee member or by an administrative assistant in consultation with the Chair and HR.  The candidate should not have to spend any of his or her money during their trip except for incidentals (gratuities, etc).  The chair or administrative assistant should collect expense information from each candidate during the course of their interview day so that they may be reimbursed promptly.

While on campus, the candidate should meet with:

  • The AD (plus the Head Coach if this is an Assistant Coach position)
  • Any coaches or staff that this position would directly supervise.
  • Coaching staff and general athletics staff (including SID).
  • Student Athletes (information session only).
  • Dean and/or Provost.
  • The President at his request.
  • Facilities Services representatives (with some positions).

Each group or individual who meets with the respective finalist candidates should have an opportunity to provide feedback to the committee via a questionnaire.

Due Diligence

During the time the candidate is on campus or shortly before/thereafter the chair of the search committee, the chair should manage the due diligence portion of the search process.  Either personally, through the Administrative Assistant or committee members, all the following should be collected and researched:

  • All given and non-given references
  • Degree verifications.
  • Google search.
  • NCAA Office of Infractions
  • Background check through HR (required)

Making a Recommendation and hire.

After completion of all interviews (and possibly follow-up second interviews), the search committee should rank the finalists and make a recommendation to the hiring official (AD or Coach).   The hiring official then assumes responsibility for obtaining authorizations from the Dean and/or Provost, making an offer, arranging for negotiating a contract and working with the Sports Information Director.  All unsuccessful candidates should be notified at the time a contract has been negotiated.  Press releases may be done only after a contract has been signed and the required background check has cleared HR.