Guidelines for Exempt and Nonexempt Staff Recruitment and Hiring

The Role of the Guidelines

Kenyon College is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity, and these guidelines are designed to assist the College in honoring that commitment. When an exempt or non-exempt staff vacancy occurs at Kenyon, whether as a consequence of the departure of an incumbent or by virtue of being newly created, the position can be filled either by conducting a search to identify the new appointee or by promoting a current employee of the College. Ordinarily positions will be filled by searches, and the highest level positions will normally be filled by national searches. In this manner the College can be assured that it is drawing on the most qualified individuals. The College must, however, be responsive to the obligation to provide advancement opportunities for its own employees; so there will be occasions when the President, the Director of Human Resources and the relevant Division Head may conclude that an internal promotion is in the best interests of the College.

The Search Authorization Process

After the authorization to fill a vacant position or create a new position has been granted by the Position Review Committee, requests to begin a search are submitted through the online recruitment system (PageUp.)

  • Requests should include a job description and a draft of the position advertisement with a list of the proposed membership of the search committee and any other information required by the system.
  • After the position has been entered in the online recruitment system and approved by the EEO and the Division Head, Human Resources will publish the position to the Kenyon College recruitment website and approve it for distribution.

The Recruitment of Candidates

Placing the Advertisement

  • Openings for all full-time positions of more than one year's duration will normally be advertised.
  • The ad will include a description of the position, special qualifications and competencies desired, and the initial date for evaluating applications (normally up to thirty days from the initial appearance of the ad).
  • Ad placement may include professional journals or newsletters, electronic listservers, Inside Higher Education, Higher Ed Jobs, The Chronicle of Higher Education; local newspapers and where applicable, listed with graduate schools. Ads should, wherever practical, be placed in publications directed at underrepresented persons to support Kenyon’s commitment to supporting diversity, equity and inclusion. It is appropriate to seek the advice of the Assistant Director of Human Resources when ad placement decisions are being made.

Other Recruiting Sources

  • Recruitment of candidates need not be limited to the running of advertisements. Written inquiries can be directed to institutions comparable to Kenyon, colleagues, and members of relevant professions outside of the academy. Phone contacts are also appropriate.

Part-Time or Temporary Positions

Part-time openings and openings for a duration of no more than a year should, in most cases, be advertised. However, advertising for these positions may be limited to Kenyon's employment web site and/or local publications, and the application deadline may be more immediate.

The Search Committee

  • The Search Chair will appoint a committee to assist in the recruitment and assessment processes. Faculty members should be included in this advisory group when the position in question includes academic or student life responsibilities. Examples of this group's responsibilities include participation in the ranking of resumes/applications and the interviewing and assessment of candidates.
  • When applications are directed to the search chair/committee or to the Office of Human Resources rather than submitted through the online recruitment system, the search chair will contact the applicant and request that the application be submitted online.
  • Whenever possible, recruitment and preliminary screening interviews should be conducted by telephone or in person at professional meetings.
  • Prior to their campus visits, candidates should be asked by the search chair if there are any individuals or groups of people with whom they would like to meet. Whenever practicable, the search chair should arrange these meetings. 

Protocol for Searches with Internal Candidates

Because they are conducted with members of the Kenyon community, searches in which there are internal candidates deserve particular attention and consideration. As a general principle, internal candidates should undergo the same procedures (presentations, interviews, etc.) as external candidates. However, to ensure the equitable treatment of all candidates (including internal candidates) during the search process, it is suggested that search committees adhere to the following recommendations:

  • Internal candidates should be advised (particularly if they become a serious candidate for a position in a different department within the College) that the search committee will have access to his/her personnel file and that the candidate's current supervisor will be contacted as a reference.
  • Communications sent in writing to external candidates should, if possible, be made in writing to internal candidates. In any case, all communications should be clear, unambiguous, and agreed upon by the department or search committee.
  • The internal candidate should receive the same consideration and courtesy during the interview process as do the other candidates.
  • An internal candidate should not be informed that they have not been selected for an interview until all confirmations are received from those who were selected. However, if the internal candidate is no longer being considered, it is only thoughtful and courteous to inform them of that decision.
  • When a decision is made to offer a position to an external candidate, the internal candidate should not be informed until the offer has been made and accepted.
  • A successful internal candidate should be given the same time frame in which to accept or reject the offer as an external candidate.
  • No candidate, internal or external, should be given any details concerning the search committee's final decision.

Protocol for Searches Involving Spouses, Partners or members of the immediate family

In order to eliminate any potential for conflicts of interest, a person who is the spouse, partner or immediate family member of a candidate for a position may not serve as a member of the search committee.

The Assessment of Candidates

The Screening and Interview Process

  • When the preliminary screening is complete, the Chair will consult with members of the search committee and identify the top 10 candidates in the online recruitment system for equal opportunity purposes. This includes indicating the names of the ten best candidates ranked from first to tenth and providing the reasons for the ranking order. If the EEO wishes to discuss the equal opportunity implications of the list with the Search Chair, such discussion will be initiated promptly.
  • Normally, the top ten candidates are interviewed by phone and the top three candidates will be invited to campus or scheduled for a Skype interview. Although the candidates invited will always be those having the best credentials, there may be cases in which two or more candidates are equally well qualified. In such cases the College's commitment to building a diverse workforce should not be overlooked. No decision will be reached concerning any one of the candidates until all have been interviewed.
  • When making travel arrangements for out of town candidates during the interview process, the most economical methods should be chosen and when possible, a Skype interview should be substituted for an on-campus interview.
  • When making housing arrangements for out of town candidates during the interview process, the College prefers that the Kenyon Inn be selected as the committee's first choice. However, should the Inn be booked, committees may make other arrangements that are suitable and convenient for candidates.
  • At the completion of the campus/Skype interviews, the Search Chair will consult with the committee and identify the top 3 candidates in the online recruitment system, indicating they have been interviewed and stating reasons in support of the ranking order. This will ordinarily result in the tendering of an offer to a candidate which shall be discussed with the appropriate Division Head and the Director of Human Resources.

Record Keeping

Accurate records must be kept throughout the hiring process. The online recruiting system database will archive search records including all dossiers submitted by applicants as well as information entered regarding the ranking and assessment of candidates. The chair of the search committee should keep copies of any records outside of information submitted through the online recruiting system for four years immediately following the search. These items may include notes or records kept by search committee members.

Presidential Discretion

The President has the authority to waive any of these procedures if it is concluded that the interests of the College are best served by such action.

  • For example, a waiving of the procedures for assessing candidates might be appropriate if the testing of the external applicant pool through reliance on the recruitment procedures suggests that no external candidate is likely to be preferred to a known internal candidate.
  • If it is determined that a vacant position must be promptly filled or in cases of sudden or last-minute openings a temporary appointment may be made. In most cases, a regular search will be conducted at the earliest appropriate time and the temporary appointee may choose to be a candidate in the regular search.
  • In very rare occasions, an appointment may be made without conducting a search.

Checklist for Search

  • Enter the job description, draft of position announcement and proposed search committee members in the online recruitment system for approval by the EEO, Division Head and Human Resources.
  • Discuss with the Assistant Director of Human Resources the appropriate venues for advertising the position.
  • Search committee to screen resumes/applications received; conduct preliminary screening interviews if desired.
  • Identify the top ten candidates in the online recruitment system for approval by the EEO.
  • Decide on top three candidates, invite to Kenyon or Skype for personal interviews.
  • Submit the ranking of the final candidates in the online recruitment system.
  • Contact the Division Head and the Director of Human Resources to discuss salary negotiations and offer to top candidate.
  • Indicate recommended for hire status in the online recruitment system and contact Assistant Director of Human Resources to close search.