PIM 66: Use of Search Firms for EHRA Recruitments

Use of Search Firms for EHRA Recruitments (Faculty and Non-Faculty)

Dated: August 2, 2021

Category: AVCHR Administration

Contact: AA/EEO Human Resources Consultant – ext. 7-0661


The use of search firms is not required, but when used shall be limited to the following senior level positions: Provost, Vice Chancellors, Deans, Athletic Director, and Associate VCs/Provosts/Deans. Any request to use a search firm for a position at a level lower than described requires an exception from the Vice Chancellor of Business Affairs. The Vice Chancellor of Business Affairs is the final approver and will sign the contract with the search firm.

A search firm may be beneficial when:

  • The search for qualified candidates requires a nationwide search and may be challenging because of unique job requirements, experience, or credentials.
  • The position is at a level of seniority that requires strict confidentiality in the initial stages and requires a level of interaction with potential candidates that current staff cannot appropriately provide.
  • The position requires extensive sourcing and networking due to a highly competitive market.
  • Building a diverse pool of qualified candidates.
  • Potential qualified candidates are in specialized fields outside of higher education.

Before moving forward with a search firm, consult with Human Resources to ensure all policies and AA/EEO requirements will be met.

Role of a Search Firm

A search firm provides a wide range of recruiting services including identifying the core responsibilities and qualifications needed for a given role, writing job advertisements, developing a candidate pool, presenting candidates, assessing candidate’s skills, experience and goals compared to the open position, conducting reference checks, and advising on the negotiation process between the organization and the final candidate.

A search firm will also coordinate interviews and notify unsuccessful applicants, ensure privacy of candidate’s names and personal information, act as an objective participant in the process, and identify issues as they arise.

Search Firms Currently Approved for Use by Materials Management

Academic Search

AGB Search

Korn Ferry

Rent Consulting

Spelman Johnson

Storbeck Search


This linked document contains additional information on how to choose a search firm.

Considerations in the Search Committee Selection Process

Human Resources recommends a manageable size search committee (e.g., four-six people). This will facilitate scheduling meetings and making decisions. One member should be appointed as the search committee chair. The composition of committee members should include:

  • members with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and expertise.
  • members with knowledge of the position and department.
  • appropriate stakeholders, such as divisions, peers, those in similar positions, and campus partners in other departments.

More information about best practices can be found in the Search Committee Quick Reference Guide.

Ensuring Diversity and Equal Employment Opportunity

Whether using a search firm to conduct a search or not, Human Resources requires all EHRA Non-Faculty search committees recruiting at the Director level and above, to meet with the Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources or designee at the beginning of the search process.

Links and Information

PIM Number: 66

PIM Category: Administration