Selectus Feature Focus: Decision Tool
In our Feature Focus series, we’ll be reporting periodically on interesting features and functionalities in Selectus that facilitate the work of the selection committee and administration.
In this article we present the Decision Tool, which can be used to support the committee meeting. The Decision Tool is used to evaluate selected candidates based on specific criteria. The committee is jointly responsible for this evaluation. This is in contrast to the review tool, which is used by each committee member individually.
Let us imagine the following situation: The work of the commission for the appointment of an assistant professor is entering the last round. Six candidates have made it to this final round. For some, despite the Corona pandemic, a campus visit was possible with a presentation in the research seminar and personal conversations with the committee and student representatives. Others gave their presentation in the virtual clas room and were able to hold the interview with the committee and other discussions in online meetings. Now, the committee meets to process the impressions that the candidates have made to the different parties involved. The goal: to compile an appointment list at the end of the meeting.
Preparation of the Decision Tool
At this stage of the process, the Decision Tool can help to channel the discussion of the committee members, to focus on objective criteria and to systematically process the different impressions. The evaluation criteria can be prepared by the administration or the chair of the committee prior to the meeting and entered into the Decision Tool. Alternatively, the committee may define the criteria directly during the meeting. For each rubric, different evaluation options are available, for example a scale of ten or a star rating. It is also possible to assign different weights to the criteria and combine them into a weighted sum. Additionally, it is possible to add text fields for comments.
Use of the Decision Tool during the committee meeting
When it is time to evaluate the candidates, the chair or secretary can project the decision tool in the meeting room or share it with all meeting participants in an online meeting. This way, the result of the discussions can be recorded right away and is visible to everyone. Especially in online meetings, this can be helpful to prevent misunderstandings that can occur more often when discussions do not take place in person. Based on the weighted sum, the application list can be sorted directly, so that the most promising applications appear at the top.
Advantages of the Decision Tool
Such a criteria-based assessment may sound somewhat mechanical, but it can have various advantages. By assessing all candidates on identical criteria, implicit biases towards stereotypical assessment are discouraged (see also our article on equal opportunities in appointment procedures). Comparing single aspects of the candidates one after the other also leads to a more objective assessment than evaluating each candidate as a whole. With the Decision Tool, such cross-comparisons are relatively easy: First, the committee can discuss the first criterion for all candidates and record the assessment immediately in the tool, then the committee can assess all candidates on the basis of the second criterion, and so on.
Using the Decision Tool during a committee meeting can thus support a more objective, fair and efficient evaluation. This helps the committee to find the best candidates. Why don’t you give the Decision Tool a try in an upcoming committee meeting? We are eager to hear about your experience!
Selectus is software that provides dedicated support for commission-based selection processes at universities. Originally developed to support faculty recruiting at ETH Zurich, Selectus is now used at several universities for a variety of selection processes (faculty recruiting, project evaluations, PhD applications, summer school applications, etc.). Selectus is a product of the company frentix GmbH.