My post, “We Regret to Inform You,” prompted several readers to share stories about how they felt mistreated by search committees or hiring authorities. Some told of being invited to a campus when it was obvious that they were not serious candidates and others spoke of being kept in the dark for months (or forever) about the outcome of a search process. Having been on the receiving end of similar behavior during my career, I flinched at each all-too-familiar entry.
Treating candidates with respect is not that challenging, but perhaps a little guidance is in order. I’d like to propose that readers write in to help create a Search-Committee Code of Conduct. I’ll provide a few items to start and invite you add to the list:
- We will notify candidates as soon as they are no longer under consideration and will not use the phrase, “We wish you luck in your future career endeavors” in any correspondence.
- We will not invite to campus candidates who don’t stand a chance of being hired simply to demonstrate our commitment to diversity.
- We will exhibit good manners even if we determine within the first hour that our candidate is not a good fit.
- We will recognize that candidates are judging us as much as we are judging them and commit to representing the best of our institutions.
- We will not contact references beyond those provided by the candidates without informing them of our intentions to do so.
What else should we add to the list?