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Hiring the Best Talent

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Everyone wants to fill their leadership roles with the best, most talented candidate. But how do you find them?

The department chair is a critical position and the person you choose must have the skills, personality, and competencies to win over faculty, students, residents, and peers. A good search process can be key in finding the most qualified individual for the role. By identifying best practices and pitfalls to avoid in advance, you can find the best possible fit.

Use the resources below to kickstart your recruiting process. 

This toolkit was developed in conjunction with Recruiting

Key Search Components

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The 10 Characteristics of a Good Search

Ensure your organization has attended to all 10 components found in a positive search.

Download the Booklet

State of the Department Analysis

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Environmental Analysis

Use this tool to assess the status of the department and to complete a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) analysis.

Download the Tool

Selecting the Search Committee

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Choosing the Search Committee

Use this tool to define the desired competencies and roles of committee members and to analyze the strength of your committee.

Download the Tool

Preparing the Search Committee

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Dean’s Charge for the Search Committee: Preparation Guide

Use this guide to organize the points to be covered with the search committee before the committee begins its recruitment and selection work.

Download the Guide

A Model Search Committee Code of Conduct

Adapt this model to write your own code of conduct.

Download the Template

Interview Questions

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Candidate Attributes and Skill Sets

Use this guide to select interview questions that will help you assess the attributes and skills of candidates.

Download the Guide

Unconscious Bias Materials

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Unconscious Bias Resources

Use these resources to help your search committee become aware of and mitigate the effects of their own unconscious biases.

Download the Resources

Conducting the Search

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Recommended Steps for a Successful Search

Use this checklist as a good practice guide for conducting a search. You can adapt any of these steps to your unique needs.

Download the Checklist

A Model Search Committee Code of Conduct

Adapt this model to write your own code of conduct.

Download the Template

Collecting Feedback

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Phone Interview Evaluation Tool

Adapt this tool to evaluate phone interviews with candidates (Medical College of Georgia).

Download the Tool

Leadership Candidate Meeting Feedback Form

Adapt this form to capture interview feedback from reviewers (Indiana University School of Medicine).

Download the Form

First-Round Interview Evaluation Tool

Adapt this form to capture interview feedback from reviewers (Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University).

Download the Tool

Checking References

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360-Degree (Multisource) Reference Checking

Use the best practices outlined in this tool to improve the information you gain from your reference checks.

Download the Tool

Ensuring a High-Quality Experience for All Candidates

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Concierge-Level Service

Use this checklist as a good practice guide for providing concierge-level service to your candidates. You can adapt any of these steps to your unique needs.

Download the Checklist

Setting the New Chair Up for Success

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Department Chair Onboarding

Use this checklist as a guide for successful department chair onboarding. You can adapt any of these steps to your unique needs.

Download the Checklist

Refining Your Search Process

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Candidate Feedback Questionnaire Template

Adapt this template to collect candidate feedback on the recruitment process.

Download the Template

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Publication covers for Leading, Recruiting, and Surviving and Thriving as an Interim or Acting Leader.

Want to know more?

Our publication Recruiting is a part of the AAMC Successful Department Chair Series. To purchase, visit the AAMC store