Staff HR Policy D-759.00
Institutional Effectiveness Criterion: Culture

Hiring of Staff Policy

Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) is an equal opportunity employer. All positions shall be filled without discrimination on the basis of age, religion, race, color, creed, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, height, weight, marital or familial status, handicap, disability, service in the military, veteran's status, or any other legally protected status protected under federal, state, or local law. No employee or candidate for employment shall be discriminated against in recruitment, hire, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment solely because of a handicap that is unrelated to the individual's ability to perform the duties of a particular job or position. A handicapper needing accommodations for employment must notify the Director of Human Resources in writing within 182 days after the need is known. For more information on accommodations, please refer to NMC's Policy Against Disability Discrimination - Employment D-761.00 and D-761.01.

The selection of new faculty and staff shall be based on an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates in comparison to the job requirements and description.


The search committee is in a unique position to enhance the reputation and image of Northwestern Michigan College. Search committees should understand that while they are evaluating candidates, candidates are also evaluating the search committees, the academic or service area and ultimately, the College.

Search committees are used to: (1) review and evaluate candidates' credentials for interviews; and (2) recommend candidates to the President, Vice President for Educational Services or area leaders for further consideration. The search process provides the academic or service area, and the College the opportunity to hire the best-qualified candidates to serve our students. NMC's search process supports diversity and assists the College in meeting its equal opportunity obligations through proactive recruitment strategies and selection processes.

The charge to search committees is to:

  • Ideally, recommend three unranked, qualified candidates to the appropriate Vice President, Executive Staff member or academic or service area leader; and
  • Complete all necessary documentation on the search and send it to the Office of Human Resources.

Search committees are required for all full-time positions: faculty, administrative, professional, technical/paraprofessional, and support staff. They may also be required for temporary positions at the discretion of the Director of Human Resources, in collaboration with the Executive Staff member of that area. The size of the committee usually ranges from five to seven persons. The College's Office of Human Resources interacts with other offices, areas, and appropriate sources to build well-representative search committees.

Search committees should include male, female, and if possible, minority group representation. If there are no female or minority members within the academic or service area, it may be necessary to go outside the academic or service area to seek representation.

At its initial meetings, the search committee should assess the issues facing the academic or service area, including considerations involving program review or other strategic planning activities, and discuss the nature and requirements of the position to be filled. Such assessment should include a review of the profile of the academic or service area.

The entire search process will adhere to Northwestern Michigan College's non-discrimination policies as identified in Board Policies.


Search Committee Members' Roles

  • Screen and interview candidates in a nondiscriminatory manner and in accordance with equal opportunity policy and NMC values.
  • Evaluate best qualified and best fit.
  • Ideally, recommend a minimum of three unranked qualified candidates to the executive staff member or area leader for further consideration. Strengths and weaknesses of each candidate relevant to the position may be identified.

Search Committee Chair's Roles

  • Can serve as a voting member of the committee.
  • Serve as liaison between committee members and the Office of Human Resources.
  • Lead committee members through the search process.
  • Assure the search process adheres to NMC's non-discrimination policies.
  • Collect and maintain all written documents from search process.
  • Contact, by phone, unsuccessful candidates that received a personal interview.
  • Send completed Recommendation to Hire file to the Office of Human Resources.  

Academic Chair or Area Leader's Roles

  • Participate in the search committee's orientation session.
  • Screen and interview candidates.
  • Evaluate best qualified and best fit for the academic or service area.
  • Ideally, recommend a minimum of three unranked qualified candidates to the executive staff member for further consideration, in collaboration with Search Committee.
    Strengths and weaknesses of each candidate relevant to the position may be identified.
  • Consult and involve academic or service area leadership.

Executive Staff's Roles

  • Collaborate with the academic or service area leaders regarding successful candidates.
  • Evaluate best qualified and best fit for the institution.
  • After consulting with the academic or service area leader, identify and recommend a successful candidate for hire to the President in collaboration with the Office of Human Resources.

Director of Human Resources' Role

  • Approve search team composition in collaboration with appropriate executive staff member.
  • Participate in the search committee's orientation sessions.
  • Develop recruitment strategies and advertising sources in collaboration with search committees and College Human Resources staff.
  • Determine the diversity of applicant pools, review and sign-off/approve composition of candidate pools.
  • Assist search committees in defining best qualified and best fit.
  • Consult with executive staff member, academic or service area leaders, and President regarding goals for position to be filled.
  • Monitor and review criteria to determine compliance with equal opportunity and nondiscrimination policies.
  • Consult with search teams to develop interview questions and strategies. 
  • Approve any assessments or testing of candidates and ensure they are uniformly applied.
  • Recommend hiring decision to President for all regular Board appointed positions.
  • Approve all non-Board appointed positions.
  • Review final files, overall selection, and hiring process.

Office of Human Resources' Role

  • Serve as a liaison and staff support for the recruitment and selection process.
  • Assist with the process for development of the job vacancy notice.
  • Advertise job vacancies based on identification of appropriate sources.
  • Conduct search committee's orientation sessions as needed.
  • Maintain communication with the Human Resources Director and appropriate executive staff member regarding search committee progress updates.
  • Provide clerical support to search committees and appropriate executive staff member.
  • Receive and review criteria developed by search committees.
  • Collect and hold all documentation from search process within the Office of Human Resources.
  • Consult with the search team chair on the reference check process.
  • Conduct all criminal background checks.
  • Make job offers and handle salary negotiations in collaboration with appropriate executive staff.
  • Assemble hiring binder for review by the President.
  • Provide letters of regret to unsuccessful candidates who were not interviewed.
  • Close research files at the end of search and maintain applications and posting files (as required).  

President's Role

  • Held accountable by the Board of Trustees for ensuring the College's compliance with its policies related to employment.
  • Responsible for making the final recommendation to the Board of Trustees on all Board appointments.

Board of Trustees' Role

  • Responsible for adopting Board policies related to employment, and for final approval of salaried faculty and staff appointments.


  1. Budgeted funds must exist for any position filled.
  2. Faculty Positions: The College recruits nationally for regular full-time NMC faculty positions. All regular position vacancies will be advertised in the appropriate market and internally posted simultaneously. All qualified applicants who are currently NMC adjunct faculty (taught in one of the last three sessions, are currently teaching or are scheduled to teach again) will receive consideration if they apply for the posted position. Staff Positions: All regular position vacancies will be posted internally for seven (7) calendar days. After the search committee has reviewed the applicant pool and determined the number of qualified applicants for further consideration, a decision will be made by Human Resources, in consultation with appropriate executive staff, on the need to expand the applicant pool and advertise the position externally. Qualified applicants who are currently in supplemental or temporary NMC positions will receive consideration along with internal candidates. Temporary and supplemental positions may be posted externally at the discretion of the Director of Human Resources. Employees under retrenchment will be given consideration under the then current Retrenchment of Faculty Policy D-707.01 or Retrenchment of Staff Policy D-707.02.
  3. All applicants must submit the appropriate NMC faculty or staff application form prior to the screening process. Official transcripts are required for all administrative, professional, technical/paraprofessional, and faculty positions, including adjunct faculty, before the appointment can be finalized.
  4. All professional references listed on the application, and all supervisors at current and former employers, must be reference checked and documented by the supervisor (or HR if requested in advance) prior to recommendation and appointment.
  5. Salary, benefits, or other appointment terms may be discussed with candidates; however, it shall be made clear that no commitments can be made without approval of the person(s) authorized to approve the appointment.
  6. The Office of Human Resources will receive all applications and maintain records of applicants, the interview/search process, and reasons for selection. The Office of Human Resources will also assist with timely communication to candidates and scheduling of interview visits.
  7. No testing of candidates may occur without approval of Human Resources. Any assessments are to be utilized on the same basis as other information gathered in the hiring process and shall not be the sole criteria for selection. However, candidates must meet the qualifications established for the position.
  8. Search committees should normally be used for regular professional, administrative, technical/paraprofessional, support staff, and faculty positions. The committee should be composed of individuals from within and outside of the academic or service area and include a demographic cross-section of individuals.
  9. The Director of Human Resources or designee has the authority to make an exception to this policy and procedures, in consultation with the appropriate executive staff member and/or search committee chair.

If any provision(s) of this policy or set of bylaws conflicts with laws applicable to Northwestern Michigan College, including the Community College Act of 1966, the Freedom of Information Act, or the Open Meetings Act, as each may be amended from time to time, such laws shall control and supersede such provision(s).

Authorized on 7/23/04