assured in public ads and announcements that all materials can be submitted in
confidence subject to state law and policies. The following advice is offered.
- Take special care to safeguard
all candidate or nominee data. This includes being especially careful of
materials when using a photocopying machine or information which might be
visible in your office, car, or home. Treat all information as you would
if you had access to or were in possession of someone’s personnel file.
- In all cases, avoid discussing
confidential matters concerning the search process, candidates, or
nominees where you might be overheard. It can become easy to begin
discussion in halls or elevators.
- Avoid statements about the
exact number of candidates or the exact search schedule. The unexpected
often happens, making changes to a search schedule inevitable. The search
committee chair will make all public statements and let committee members
know what can be publicly shared. Leaks are damaging to the credibility of
the search process and can result in the loss of stellar candidates who
run a high professional risk through participation in a search.
- You may be contacted by someone
who offers data on a candidate. Do not acknowledge whether the individual
is or is not a candidate. Refer the person to the search committee chair.
- You may be asked if there are
internal candidates. In some cases, there would be a single or several
plausible internal candidates. Internal candidates are due the same confidentiality
as external candidates. Simply say: “I cannot acknowledge whether there
are or are not internal candidates as they are due the same degree of
confidentiality as external candidates, but I can acknowledge that this is
an open search for both external and internal candidates.”
- In the active recruitment of
candidates, it should be recognized that special initiatives may need to
be taken to stimulate the interest of some individuals who would be highly
desirable for the institution to have in the candidate pool.
- The committee has an obligation
to provide full and accurate information about the status of the
- Take care when taking notes in
interviews or filling out evaluation forms. Federal, state, and
institutional discrimination laws and policies are to be adhered to at all
times. Consider only information that is relevant to the search process,
e.g., whether the candidate has the necessary experience, education, and
skills for the position in question.
Article 7 of
GS 126, the State Personnel Act (governing personnel records) and cases
interpreting that provision protect the names of applicants for positions as
confidential. However, applicants own the confidentiality privilege and may
agree to waive it.