Search Strategy

The search is a cooperative effort between the client and Academic Search. Our consultants interact extensively with the search committee, providing continual guidance, insight, and perspective as the search moves toward a successful hiring decision. Ready access to our staff at all stages of the search process is a hallmark of Academic Search.

The Academic Search process is built upon years of experience and is comprised of the following six steps:

Organization of the Search

A key determinant of a successful search is the thoughtful organization of the search process. Academic Search works side-by-side with the client to set specific goals and develop operating guidelines to help structure the overall process.

Analysis of Institutional Needs

Each search begins with an analysis of the institution during which the consultant(s) spends extensive time researching the distinctive history, culture, strengths, and challenges of that institution. The senior consultant(s) meets with key stakeholders, including trustees, faculty, students, staff, alumni, and community leaders, listening carefully to their wants and needs.

Recruitment of Strong and Inclusive Candidate Pool

The third step is to build a candidate pool crafted for the specific search and preferred qualifications of the position. We cast a wide net to find the very best candidates, locally, nationally, and globally, and activate extensive networks to identify a broad and diverse group of candidates with the desired attributes and experience. Applications are sent directly to Academic Search and stored on a secure website, for which only the search committee and the consultant(s) have access.

Candidate Evaluation and Selection

The pace of the search escalates as the committee identifies semifinalists. The senior consultant(s) will evaluate all applications to assist the search committee in narrowing down the applicant pool to those most qualified for first-round interviews, referred to as Neutral Site Interviews (NSI).

Interviews and Vetting of Candidates

Once the semifinalists have been chosen, reference calls are made prior to NSI. The search committee chair will determine who should conduct the "on-list" references supplied by the applicants: Academic Search, search committee members, or a combination of both.

Neutral Site Interviews can be conducted in person, or through videoconferencing, according to the wishes of the search committee. In the event the committee selects a medium such as Skype or BlueJeans, Academic Search staff will provide logistical support. In the event of in-person NSI, the host institution will make hotel arrangements while the Academic Search staff schedules the interviews. The senior consultant(s) will be present during these interviews. Academic Search can also assist in finalists' interviews, if requested.

Following the first-round interviews and the selection of finalists, the senior consultant(s) will conduct deeper background checks ("off-list references") on the finalists, as well as degree verifications and other background checks. All arrangements for visits by finalists are made by the client, with assistance from Academic Search.

Facilitation of the Appointment

Upon the selection of the finalists, the work of the senior consultant changes to that of a facilitator and advisor, assisting the search committee in developing recommendations to the hiring authority and helping to publicly announce the appointment, as well as assisting in transition activities for the designated appointee.