Making the Final Recommendation

Implicit bias has the greatest potential to materialize when decisions are being made under stress and time constraints11, both of which can occur during final deliberations on the candidates. Recommendations should be given based on objective information and evidence obtained through official documentation and interviews in a manner that allows others to discuss the evidence upon which the recommendation is based.

Inform all members of the unit/department how evaluations of all interviewed candidates will be gathered. Aim to create a process in which the hiring recommendation will be discussed and where all appropriate search committee, department, or unit members can have input. To solicit consistent feedback, it is recommended that all interviewers complete a standardized candidate evaluation that is created and reviewed by the search committee. Structure the questions in a way that avoids generalities and speculation. Decide if evaluators should add their names to the evaluations, as both attributed and anonymous feedback have benefits and challenges. Attributed input may facilitate context, while anonymous input may facilitate statements from disenfranchised or vulnerable community members. Determine as a search committee what kind of feedback will be solicited and implement a consistent process for all candidates. Review previous discussion of the concept of “fit” in candidate assessment. If feedback is given regarding fit, then the evaluator must explain and define the meaning behind their argument; otherwise, fit should be avoided throughout the discussion of candidate recommendations.

11 Ross, H. J. (2014). Everyday bias. Maryland: Rowan & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc.