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Division of Human Resources

Search Committees

Search committees are not required for the hiring process, but are encouraged because of the benefits an interview team can offer.

Roles and Responsibilities 

The following roles play an important part in the search committee process.

Hiring Manager

  • Identifies hiring need, develops the position description, recruitment plan, organizational chart and other recruitment related documents.
  • Identifies search committee members.
  • Collaborates with the Diversity Advocate to ensure recruitment strategies align with affirmative action goals.
  • Ensures that there are no conflicts of interest regarding the committee members and the applicant (Please see attestation form [pdf])
  • Sets clear expectations for search committee.
  • Informs search committee members of how candidates will be evaluated and reviewed based on the requirements listed in the position description.

Search Committee Member

  • Possesses knowledge of the substantive area and the technical expertise to effectively evaluate candidates' qualifications.
  • Embodies a diverse representation of the university population, including members with a demonstrated commitment to diversity.
  • Responsible for reviewing applicants as directed by the hiring manager and provide comments on the qualifications of applicants.
  • Participates in the entire interview process and recommends final applicant.
  • Maintains a strict level of confidentiality to protect the privacy and integrity of the search process.

Diversity Advocate

  • Asks essential questions and actively monitors the process regarding affirmative action goals.
  • Creates a judgment free culture of pointing out bias or the potential for bias.
  • Certifies effective recruitment strategies are established to identify qualified candidates of underrepresented groups.
  • Monitors the demographic composition of the applicant pool to ensure diversity at all stages of the process.

Office of Talent Acquisition 

  • Provides departments with written notification of underutilization data as verified by the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs.
  • Advertises positions on USC Jobs and Inside HigherEd.
  • Provides consultation and customizable recruitment plans as needed.
  • Ensures accurate and complete recruitment and selection guidelines and procedures.

Best Practice 

Search committee members can be added to the posting in the PeopleAdmin system to allow members to review applicant documents as well as evaluate applicants based on evaluative criteria if desired.

If you are interested in using a search committee, but aren't sure where to get started, please contact the Talent Acquisition Office at or refer to the Search Committee Quick Guide [pdf] and toolkit [pdf].

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