Making the Hiring Decision/Completing the Search and Selection Summary

  1. Best Practices:
  • Each search committee member should provide his/her input on each candidate interviewed.
  • Think broadly rather than narrowly about the types of experiences and/or skills the candidates might bring to the University of Iowa.
  • Recommend the best-qualified candidate to the department head based on advertised position requirements and substantive qualifications, including diversity objectives.
  1. Preparing the Search and Selection Summary

When the search committee is ready to recommend a candidate for hire, the search committee chair or administrative support person prepares the form requesting permission to extend an offer of employment. The Search and Selection Summary is the final documentation of the search process. Examples of screen shots on how to prepare the Search and Selection form may be found on page 11 of the Search Committee for P&S and Faculty Positions manual. (Login to Self-Service. Click on the Administration Tab.  Click on the Jobs@UIOWA link.  Under Help Documents on the right side under either the P&S or Faculty subheadings you should have a Search Committee Training Manual link.)

Veteran Preference Candidate If a veteran candidate was interviewed, justification on this candidate will be required in the final Hiring Justification document that is submitted through workflow. The veteran retains the right under Iowa Code 35C.3 to request notification of the refusal or specific grounds for refusal.

The following attachments are required:

  • Hiring Justification Summary- memorandum that discusses all interviewed candidates relative to required and desirable qualifications.  Include any other criteria that distinguish the recommended candidates from other finalist candidates interviewed, such as years of related experience, references, publications, record or honors received.
  • Draft Offer Letter- The draft offer letter must be attached for all hires. Salary Justification, if required (P&S Only).  If the hiring department has indicated that this form needs to be routed to Compensation and Classification for salary review, include a memorandum that explains the rationale for the proposed salary.
  • If the proposed salary exceeds the top of the median zone or if it is a lateral transfer with greater than a 5% increase. Salary approval must be obtained from the Compensation and Classification Unit of Human Resources prior to making the offer to the candidate.

The office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity may contact the search committee chair and/or the hiring department to obtain additional information on how the search committee came to their decisions. This could include requesting further information on why certain candidates were not selected.

  1. Common Errors when Completing the Search and Selection Summary
  • The Hiring Justification Summary is missing.
  • The Hiring Justification lacks specific examples to support how the recommended candidates and how the other finalist candidates interviewed met or did not meet the advertised position qualifications.
  • Biased language exists in the Hiring Justification Summary.
  • Candidate ratings are changed for candidates interviewed without a written explanation to support the reason for the change.
  • Salary Justification contains different content and does not coincide with information listed in the Hiring Justification Summary.
  • Search and Selection Summaries are sent to the Compensation and Classification Department that do not require salary reviews.
  • Search and Selection Summaries requiring salary reviews and approvals are not sent to the Compensation and Classification Department.
  • The candidate offer letter is needed.
  1. Hiring Justification Form Sample

The Hiring Justification form is a required document provided by the hiring department to summarize the reasons for selection/non selection of finalist candidates interviewed.

This document should be attached to the Search and Selection Summary.

  1. Extending the Offer of Employment

Before a position that requires a search is offered to a candidate, the Search and Selection Summary form must be completed, signed by the departmental executive officer and dean or vice president, and approved by the office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity.

After extending the offer, mail the candidate two copies of the offer letter and a postage-paid return envelope addressed to the hiring department. Request that the candidate sign one copy of the letter and return it in the enclosed envelope to the department.

As a recipient of federal funds, the university is covered by regulations of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). The OFCCP has modified its regulations implementing Section 503 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act in light of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under the revised OFCCP regulations, job applicants for the university’s professional and scientific positions can only be asked to self-identify disability and veteran status once an employment offer has been extended.

The University of Iowa is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.  As required by federal regulations, information is requested from applicants to monitor and report on equal employment opportunity/affirmative action programs.  The submission of this information from applicants is voluntary and is not shared with the hiring department/unit or used in making employment decisions.

NOTE: If entering an applicant through the manual process, an online credential/criminal background check will not be available.  This process will have to be completed using paper forms

  1. Faculty/P&S Offer Letter Sample

A draft of the offer letter is necessary to attach to the Search and Selection Summary.

  1. Completing the Appointment/Transfer Form

In order to appoint the final candidate, one of several Human Resources appointment or transfer forms must be completed in the Human Resources Transaction System. Detailed instructions for completing the various appointment and transfer forms are provided in the Transaction Initiator Training Manual in the Human Resources Transaction Systems website. To access the Human Resources Transaction System, log in to the Employee Self-Service Website using your HawkID and password.

If you need additional assistance, send an e-mail to

  1. Notification of Search Closure to Non-Selected Applicants

It is the responsibility of the hiring department to communicate in a timely manner with all interviewed candidates who were not selected for the position. Upon request of an applicant, it may be necessary to provide pertinent information to the applicant regarding the reason he/she was not selected for the position.

  1. Retention of Search Materials

Per the university’s program for management of recruitment records, departments are required to retain the official recruitment records for a period of 5 (five) years following the closure of the search. Official recruitment records are defined as the position postings/requisitions, resumes or CVs, applications, reference letters, letters of recommendation and all recruitment/search documents for applicants of positions within a department, including any materials sent by applicants directly to the department (e.g. writing samples, portfolios, etc.) for all position types (merit, student, faculty, P&S, etc.). Departments conducting the hiring process are required to retain the resumes and all search documents for all applicants. The electronic applications and resumes/CVs of all applicants who apply via Jobs@UIOWA are stored on the central server; therefore, departments need not keep paper copies of the resumes unless their Org unit or college requests they do so. Only applications for university employment received from outside Iowa state government shall be maintained as confidential.

Additional details about the university’s Records Management Program and Records Retention Schedule are available online.

  1. Confidentiality of Applicants

Pursuant to Iowa Code 22.7, the university has determined the following:

  • Otherwise qualified outside candidates would be discouraged from applying for university positions if the applications and search committee materials were available for general public examination;
  • Persons from outside the university would be deterred from submitting the names of nominees for university positions or comments on candidates for university employment if those nominations or comments were available for general public examination;
  • Nominees and applicants from outside the University of Iowa state government may suffer needless and irreparable injury to their reputation if their applications and search committee materials were available for general public examination; and
  • Nominees and applicants from outside the University or Iowa state government would seek to have discussion and deliberation on their candidacy closed and confidential.
  • Accordingly, the university hereby resolves that nominations, recommendations, and applications for university employment received from outside Iowa state government shall be maintained as confidential in accordance with the terms of the Iowa open records law.
  • Job applicants who presently work at the University of Iowa, at another Regents institution in this state, or elsewhere within Iowa state government are advised that their names and application materials may be public under the Iowa open records law.
  1. Exceptions to Standard UI Search Procedures: Requesting a Waiver

The University of Iowa’s search procedures for faculty and professional and scientific (P&S) positions are designed to meet applicable federal/state laws, regulations, and university policies regarding equal employment opportunity and affirmative action. Deviations from these standard search procedures are therefore strongly discouraged.

With appropriate justification, a waiver of the search process may be granted for a faculty or P&S position. Exceptions to these procedures will be made only upon recommendation from the employing unit and its senior human resources leader or associate dean, with review by the Compensation and Classification Unit of Human Resources (for P&S positions), review by the Office of the Provost (for faculty positions), and review and approval of the Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity (EOD).

Examples of instances under which a waiver may be considered are noted below:

  • A current P&S staff member’s position was eliminated due to a reduction in force. Such a request must be coordinated with the Compensation and Classification Unit of Human Resources.
  • A current UI P&S staff member develops a disability that makes her/his current position no longer feasible. Such a waiver request must be coordinated with the Faculty and Staff Disability Services Office in University Human Resources or with Leave and Disability Management in UI Health Care Human Resources.
  • As part of recruitment for a faculty or P&S staff position in another department, the applicant is a qualified “dual career” spouse or partner. This type of waiver request is typically coordinated with the Dual Career Services Office.
  • The terms of a federal/state grant or contract require the appointment of this particular individual.
  • The position will exist only if this individual (with unique education, training, and experience) is available and interested in the position.
  • The applicant’s unique qualifications and expertise are such that no other applicant would be expected to surpass this individual’s qualifications for the position. Typically, the applicant would need to be nationally or internationally renowned in his/her field to meet this criterion.

To request a waiver of the affirmative action search process, the hiring department must complete the request for waiver form and submit the requested documentation.

P&S Search Waivers:

The search waiver request form for P&S positions is an electronic form that routes via Universal Workflow. To access the form, log into Self Service, click the Administration tab; under Systems click the HR Transaction System link. The P&S Search Waiver Request is listed under Employment Action Forms and replaces the P&S Search Waiver form that was formerly available in E-Forms.

This form opens in a new window in the Universal Workflow system. When the form is complete, it will redirect the initiator back to the Transaction System menu.

These forms were built using the Form Builder and are not part of the “Transaction Reports”. Once initiated, forms are available to initiators and approvers at in the “My Initiated Packages” or “My History” sections, respectively.

Routing of the P&S Search Waiver Request forms follows normal Workflow routing paths for your dept./org unless modified by your Workflow administrator. Instructions for Universal Workflow administrators are available in Workflow Help at: Post-org review and approval will be performed by HR-Compensation & Classification and EOD. Salary approval from the HR-Compensation and Classification is required if the proposed salary exceeds the top of the median zone (P&S) positions.

Faculty Search Waivers:

To request a waiver of the affirmative action search process for a faculty position, the hiring department must complete the Request for Waiver of a Faculty Search form in E-Forms and submit a letter to the director of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (EOD). This letter must include:

  • The waiver justification
  • The proposed appointment type and faculty code
  • Proposed appointee's current CV
  • Draft offer letter
  • If tenured position:
    • Record of departmental and collegiate vote
    • Signed DEO letter to the dean

The hiring department must include all required documents listed on the waiver form and attach them to the letter sent to the director of EOD. Standard signature approvals from the department and college are required.

The Request for Waiver of a Faculty Search form is found on the E-Forms website (Listed under Equal Opportunity and Diversity) and can be accessed by clicking on the following link:
Request for Waiver of a Faculty Search