Using a Search Firm: A Guide for Hiring Authorities and Search Chairs

Departments/units anticipating using search firms are encouraged to consult with the Talent Acquisition as the agreement for that search is being developed. This consultation is designed to ensure clarity on the search firm’s responsibilities throughout the search. Some of these responsibilities include:

  • Conducting the search in accordance with University policy and applicable laws and regulations, including the Oregon Equal Pay Act and Oregon Veterans’ Preference in Public Employment law and records retention requirements.
    • Information regarding the application of veterans preference can be found on the Oregon Veterans' Preference in Employment webpage. Alternatively, search chairs should designate an internal individual to monitor and apply the veterans’ preference as needed throughout the search.
    • Due to the passage of the Oregon Equal Pay Act in 2017, search firms acting on behalf of the University should not seek candidates' salary history, screen based on salary history, or rely upon salary history to advise the hiring authority on compensation. However, it is permissible for search firms to inquire about candidates' salary requirements in order to advise the hiring authority.
  • Retaining search records throughout and following the search in accordance with the University’s records retention policy, or delivering all candidate materials to the University at the end of the search.
  • Submitting candidate information to the University’s applicant tracking system and forwarding the system-generated email containing invitation to self-identify to all candidates who have indicated an affirmative interest in the position through provision of materials for consideration.
    • Entry of candidate information and sending the invitation must occur upon receipt of the candidate materials and prior to any evaluation or consideration of candidates by the committee. If continuing to cultivate candidates, the search firm or the internal designate must continue to update candidate profiles and send the invitation on an ongoing basis.
    • Human Resources will compile responses to this request and provide the candidate demographic information to the search chair on or around the initial candidate review date.
    • Candidates eligible for veterans’ preference will be identified in the applicant tracking system, and it is the responsibility of the search firm or their internal designate to ensure these candidates are appropriately identified and preference provided throughout the search.
  • Coordinating with the Division of Global Engagement if any finalists may need employment-based visa sponsorship.
  • At the end of the search, and in collaboration with the search chair or internal administrator, supplying the following information and documentation
    • Identification of all job seekers, including those who expressed interest after candidate review had begun, any who withdrew from consideration after the initial expression of interest, and any who applied who were determined not to meet the minimum requirements for consideration
    • Degree verification of the final hire
    • Materials submitted by the final hire (CV, references, etc.)
    • List of advertisements placed with dates or copies of advertisements
    • Description of the search process, including dates and descriptions of selection events, and identification of individuals who were interviewed
    • Documentation that the invitation to self-identify email was provided to all candidates
    • Statement of job-related reasons for selection of the finalist
    • Identification of any candidates who declined an offer of employment
    • Job-related reasons that remaining candidates did not progress in the search
    • Copies of any evaluation tools and selection criteria used and not already included or documented above
    • Copy of the contingent offer letter

Talent Acquisition will provide support to the search chair or committee throughout the search, including:

  • Delivering a search committee briefing upon request (send email to
  • Advising the internal search coordinator of steps to be completed, including background check requirements and setup of the offer in MyTrack
  • Approving the search steps
  • Providing template for executive-level unofficial offer letters
  • Delivering the final, formal offer via MyTrack

For questions, please contact the team at