Using Interfolio for Faculty Searches

Running Searches with Interfolio ByCommittee

What is Interfolio:

Since the summer of 2012, Brown has used Interfolio ByCommittee for most faculty searches.  This online applicant tracking and recruitment system allows you to collect, view, and discuss application materials securely from anywhere that you can reach the internet.  The first time your unit runs a search through Interfolio, a member of your administrative staff should meet with a representative of the Dean of the Faculty's office to walk through the application.  Administrative staff will then be relied upon to train faculty members in the basic functionality of Interfolio.

Getting Started:

After you have received training in Interfolio you can start setting up your search.  To get started all that you'll need is an Interfolio account, which the DOF can set up for you.

Start by sending an email requesting a search to faculy-personnel@brown.edu.  The Dean's office will set up a basic search template for you and send you an email with the link to the search page as well as links to fill out your diversity, interim pool, and compliance reports.  Using the link  provided, you can work your way through the position creation process, consulting the Interfolio help page if you have any problems.  Some Brown-specific requests:

• We recommend leaving the "Closing Date" field blank.  If you do need to include a closing date, make sure that it is at least a month after the published due date for applications
• Plan to post a due date for applications at least two days before the committee wants to discuss applications.  Interfolio takes one business day to process applications, so expect applications to trickle in for a day or two after your closing date.

Using the system for candidate review:

Faculty can review applications by clicking the check boxes next to the candidate's name and then clicking the "read" button.  They will be taken to a PDF viewer that will allow them to read all of each applicant's materials sequentially and to comment on or rate each candidate.

Once the committee has decided on a first cut, it is important that you mark every candidate with a status - either long list or not long list.  With each successive stage in the search, reduce the pool by moving some applicnants from the long list to the "(near) shortlist", and from there to the "final round interview" stage. 

If you do not use the applicant statuses correctly you will not be able to generate a pool report or make a hire.

Troubleshooting:

The first stop for questions about Interfolio is the Interfolio help page.  If you are still having trouble setting up your search or viewing applications, please contact the office of the Dean of the Faculty.  

A few things to be careful of as you work through the process:

• Remember that comments made on a computerized system are on the record forever; while the administration will not read your comments, they are nonetheless a permanent record of search practices.
• It is worth reminding search committee members that they can view application materials online by selecting any relevant applicants and clicking the "read" button.  This will reduce the number of sensitive documents downloaded to faculty computers.
• You are requested to regularly update applicants' statuses.  These can be set so that applicants are not aware of status changes, but a log of status changes is an important part of Brown's federal diversity reporting requirements.

Interfolio  FAQ:

I set up my search, and now it's lost!  How do I find it?

Switch the "filter" box in the "positions" page to "view closed positions" and your search should appear.

How do I find the url to which candidates should apply?

Go to the "applications list" page, and click the three vertical dots next to the edit button on the top right of the page.  Choose "view details" and you will see the URL.

How do I know what roles to assign members of my department?

 - All staff should be assigned a "committee manager" role.  Faculty should be assigned either an "evaluator" role or a "committee manager role."  The committee manager will have a more complicated interface and some abilities irrelevant to faculty members, but will also be able to send bulk messages and run reports, which some faculty members may wish to do.  If you would like to control permissions so that the search committee chair has additional access to comments and evaluations, use the "set evaluators" section of the setup page.

I am running a search with committee members from a different department, how do I add them as evaluators?

- You should be able to add any Brown faculty members to your search committee as evaluators, regardless of their home department.

My committee wants to collect additional documents from the short-list candidates, is this feasible?

- Yes.  This is now easily accomplished with the "additional materials requested" status.  Simply select an applicant and set their status to "additional materials requested."  Once they have uploaded their materials, move them forward to the next status, or back to the prior status if they do not advance.

I am running a senior-rank search, how do I collect letters usable by TPAC?

- Since all potential referees for TPAC cases must be vetted by the Dean of the Faculty, it is easiest to request a list of at least five prospective referees (with institutional affiliation and contact information) as a supporting document for senior-rank searches.  (Use the "other" document type, and in the notes field define it as "contact information for five referees").  Be sure to state clearly in your advertising and in Interfolio that candidates should not have letters submitted to the department.

You can then solicit letters by email or post, scan them, and upload them to Interfolio so that they will become part of the candidate's dossier.  Be sure to upload such letters as the "confidential letter of recommendation" document type, and name them in a way that does not display who they are from (e.g. "letter 1," "letter 2") as any other document type may make them visible to the applicant.  

I am running an open rank search, how do I collect letters from Assistant-level candidates and lists of recommenders from Associate- and Full-Professor level candidates?

- There are a number of ways to proceed with open rank searches.  The easiest is to clearly identify how to apply as a junior and a senior candidate in the "application instructions" section of your landing page, including specific instructions that junior rank candidates should submit three letters of reference and senior candidates should submit a list of five referees.  

When you choose your required documents, choose "confidential letter of reference," but set the required number to zero, then click "allow applicants to upload additional material."  This will allow junior candidates to upload their three letters without requiring any letters of senior candidates.

For senior rank candidates, follow the process detailed above under "I am running a senior-rank search," but set the required number of other documents (references) to zero.

Will the administration be able to see comments or ratings that evaluators attach to applications?

The Dean of the Faculty's office and the office of the Associate Provost for Academic Development and Diversity are committed to maintaining the autonomy and confidentiality that departments currently expect during the search process.  Both offices have agreed that they will not read the comments or the rankings that evaluators attach to applications, that rankings and comments will be treated as confidential departmental discussions, and that the administration will not use these the rankings or comments in any way during the search process.  

Do I still need to maintain paper files from my unit's searches?

- No. You should not maintain paper files for any searches run through Interfolio.  Search records will be archived by Interfolio for the five-year records retention period required by Brown.  In addition, you should download all search related data once the search has closed, and save it.  

Do I still need to submit Pool and Hiring reports?

- Sort of.  Pool, compliance and diversity reports can now all be auto-generated in Google forms by using the links you will be provided with when you set up a search.

You still haven't answered my question.  What now?

- First, look through the Interfolio ByCommittee help page.  If you still can't find the answer to your question, contact the Dean of the Faculty's office.