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K-State Today

September 10, 2012



Advertising open positions: Pros and cons of application deadlines, screening dates

By Pam Foster

When beginning a search it is important to consider whether you will use an application deadline or a screening begins and continues until the position is filled date. Either method of application dates has pros and cons.

Application deadline
Pros:

  • This provides the search committee with a firm deadline so the committee can begin screening and there is not a question of when they can stop accepting applications.
  • Applicants tend to respond faster and searches do not drag out.

Con:

  • Applications received after this date are not considered applicants for the search 

Screening begins and continues:
Pro:

  • Some applicants are late responding and they can still be considered after the screening begins date provided there is a clearly established procedure for how screening committee will ensure a fair and equitable opportunity for consideration.

Cons:

  • It is confusing as to when the committee can stop screening applications because they are interviewing and still receiving applications.
  • If there is not a clearly established procedure for handling applications once the screening committee begins screening it is confusing as to what to do with the applications received after the committee begins screening the applications.
  • Often after all applications have been screened and the qualified applicants have been interviewed, and offers have been extended; the committee still does not have a hire for the search and the position needs to be re-advertised to attempt to elicit additional applicants.

Screening begins procedure:

In order to stop screening applications that are received after certain points in the search process — such as when the screening committee has begun screening applications or candidates have been invited to interview — the office of affirmative action recommends the following procedure:

  1. Instruct applicants to submit their applications to a designated person who is not on the search or screening committee.
  2. The search or screening committee should decide at what point they will stop reviewing applications that arrive after the posted screening begins date.
  3. When the person designated to receive the applications receives applications, he or she should date stamp the applications, send out the invitations to self identify race and gender, and maintain them in a file until the search or screening committee is ready to begin reviewing the applications.
  4. Applications that are received after the designated date set by the search or screening committee to stop reviewing applications should be date stamped by the individual designated to receive the applications and maintained in a confidential file.
  5. After the screening or search committee has reviewed the applications a decision should be made as to whether there are applicants suitable to invite for an interview. If so, then an Appendix 11 should be submitted to the office of affirmative action with section 5 applicant pool and disposition completed for each applicant. If there are not applicants deemed qualified for an interview, this should be noted on the Appendix 11, section 5; and the search or screening committee should contact the individual designated to receive applications to inquire as to whether there are additional applications that can be screened. If so the screen process begins again.
  6. If there are not additional applications after all applications have been reviewed and the search or screening committee did not deem any of the applicants qualified to successfully perform the job as advertised, the search can be re-advertised or closed.  Contact the office of affirmative action to discuss the next steps.  Generally speaking if a search is beyond 30 days of the screening begins and continues, it is unlikely that additional applications will be received without taking affirmative action and either re-advertising the search reaching to personal contacts.