Principal and Alternate Candidates
When the Search Committee is satisfied with the quality and composition of the applicant pool, it should devise a list of Principal Candidates. All Principal Candidates must be invited to interview (although a candidate may turn down an invitation to interview). Since each search is different and will yield a different applicant pool, it would be difficult to set numerical limits (minimum or maximum) on the number of candidates that should be placed in the principal pool. Such direction will normally be provided by the Department Head/Director or Dean. The Search Committee must identify, in the Narrative Summary Form, each Principal Candidate’s relative strengths and weaknesses and attach a copy of each candidate’s resume/vitae.
Alternate Candidates are those candidates who are under consideration in the event that none of the Principal Candidates are selected for the position. Alternate Candidates must meet the minimum qualifications of the position. The search committee may or may not elect to have an Alternate Candidate Pool. If there is an Alternate Pool, the search committee may or may not elect to interview candidates from the Alternate Pool. If interviewed, candidates in the Alternate Pool may be interviewed one-by-one, in no particular order. As with the Principal Pool, strength and weakness statements must be provided for each Alternate Candidate in the Narrative Summary Form along with a copy of each candidate’s resume/vitae.
The Search Committee will recommend which applicant will be selected as principal and/or Alternate Candidates as well as those eliminated from further consideration. This recommendation is a very serious one and should not be taken lightly. Therefore, the Search Committee should gather as much information as possible about the applicants prior to the submission of the narrative summary (or selection of principal and alternate candidates). Such information will include the applicant’s detailed resume/vitae, contacts to the applicant (if necessary) to clarify information provided on the resume/vitae, and most importantly, information gathered from conducting reference checks, if reference checks will be used to narrow the pool.
Note for Reference Checks
Reference checks must be completed before hiring. Search committees should document all reference checks made in the department’s search file. Committees are strongly encouraged to use a common set of questions posed to all references. Questions posed should be objective and designed to yield information that will demonstrate the applicant’s ability to perform the responsibilities associated with the pending position.