University of Oregon

Developing Selection Criteria

Turning Qualifications Into Selection Criteria

The selection criteria reflect the refined understanding of the minimum and preferred qualifications and any additional job related criteria outlined in the position announcement.  They result from search committee discussion and clarification prior to the screening of applications.

The selection criteria are used by search committees as the main reference point for the application screening process and provide the framework through which to consistently evaluate candidates.  Selection criteria must be directly related to the needs of the position as reflected in the position announcement.

Recommended Practice Associated Challenges
Prior to the review of applications, the search committee should refine their understanding of the criteria to assure common interpretation and application Without a refined and common interpretation of the criteria, there are likely to be inconsistent strategies for evaluating candidates. These inconsistencies make unconscious bias in the evaluation process more likely.
Search committees should establish consistency regarding the weight or importance of each criteria. Without such agreement, an individual committee member may be inconsistent in their screening of multiple applicants, and/or search committee members may screen applicants inconsistently from one another. As stated above, these inconsistencies make unconscious bias more likely.


Minimum Qualification/Criteria Question to Identify Selection Criteria
An excellent research record What are the indicators of “an excellent research record”?
PhD in X or related field What is considered a “related field”?
Ability to work effectively with students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds How will this ability be measured?


Isaac, C., B. Lee and M. Carnes. 2009.  Interventions that affect gender bias in hiring:  A systematic review.  Academic Medicine.  84 (10): 1440-1446. [PDF]

Moody, J. 2010.  Rising above cognitive errors: guidelines to improve faculty searches, evaluations and decision-making.  Information about Dr. Moody’s publications can be found at

Oregon State University Affirmative Action Search Advocate Handbook (2010).

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