Appendix IV: Rubric for Evaluating Candidates

A rubric should be used to ensure the evaluation of every candidate is systematic and consistent across applicants. A rubric is simply a list of criteria and measurable metrics used to evaluate the extent to which a candidate has met the particular criteria.

Rubrics used to evaluate the candidates should only have criteria explicitly stated in the job description and expectations. Otherwise, candidates may not provide information to the search committee that could have been relevant. A well-crafted rubric must include descriptions of what attributes determine the various levels of achievement under each criterion. Simply indicating years of experience, education, or knowledge of specific processes is insufficient because evaluators might use different standards or terms and definitions to move a candidate from one level of achievement to another.

A. Inefficient Rubrics:
Avoid rubrics that lack detail. For example:

Evidence of promise for publication Criterion 3 = good 2 = fair 1 = inadequate

B. Efficient Rubrics:
Define the levels of achievement clearly, such as in the following example:

Criterion Criterion 3= good;
hold in reserve
1= inadequate;
does not meet minimum criteria
Evidence of promise for publication Evidence of a strong publication record (e.g., peer reviewed journal articles, books) Evidence that demonstrates promise in generating a strong publication record. (working papers, conference presentations) Limited or no evidence to demonstrate the candidate's promise in generating a strong publication record

C. Rubric Construction and Use:

  • Take each requirement listed in the job description and use it as a criterion in your rubric.
  • For each job requirement, list a set of measurable achievements that would result in the candidate being classified as “good; consider," "fair; hold," or "inadequate; does not meet criteria".
  • The search committee should agree on what defines each level of achievement and what terms to look for as evidence of experience. Other areas of the job’s requirement- like what evidences “excellent communication”- may warrant discussion and consensus from the committee before it is added to a hiring rubric.
  • The search committee should define the level of agreement among raters required to eliminate a candidate from further consideration. For example, is a vote of two out of five raters sufficient to eliminate a candidate from further consideration for a position, or is a majority necessary? If someone is eliminated due to lack of votes, the reasons must be documented.
  • A clear statement of why the candidate was eliminated from consideration (or progressed) must be included in the evaluation.
  • Everyone that will evaluate the candidate must receive a copy of the evaluation rubric.
See for IEC processes for submission and approval of applicant log and short list.

D. Below is an example of a Qualification Matrix that demonstrates a desire to strive for greater inclusive excellence in the realm of hiring practices.

Qualification Required Relationship to the job Evaluation Criteria When to Assess
Is this required or preferred? What is the relative importance? What aspects of the job might they not be able to do/do well without this? What are you looking for to know if they have met this criterion? Is it possible for someone to qualify on this criterion in a nontraditional way? If so, what are the different ways someone might demonstrate it? When and where can reasonably expect to be able to assess this criterion?

  • CV
  • Letter
  • Other
Preliminary Interview
Site Interview
Reference Checks

*Adapted from Oregon State University
To achieve maximum benefit, the matrix should be completed in conversation with the committee as a whole prior to examining any applications and knowing the identity of the applicants.

When talking through the qualifications, ask: Are there any other criteria (or preferences) not explicitly stated that you, as committee members, are looking for? (e.g., while a Ph.D. meets the minimum requirement, a Ph. D. from a non-R1 university is not as desirable as a Ph.D. from an R1 university). The Qualification Matrix is designed to help get at the nuances of what committee members are looking for in assessing stated and unstated qualifications