Instructions for Search Committee Chairs

Search Committee Chairs have the same access rights to UTORecruit as Academic Search Administrators (i.e., the staff who manage your search).

The links below provide information about using UTORecruit for academic recruitment and some strategies to ensure a smoother search process with the UTORecruit system.

For instructions on how to post a job/requisition to the system and how to manage candidate applications, please refer to the instructions for Academic Search Administrators.

For instructions on how to view candidate applications, please refer to the instructions for search committees.

If you require technical support or advice about your academic search, please contact us.

What Chairs Must Know About UTORecruit

What is UTORecruit?

UTORecruit is a web-based application designed by Taleo that is used to post faculty and staff positions at UTORecruit facilitates online applications for tenure- and teaching-stream positions and is also a program designed to manage search materials (e.g., CV, application materials, reference letters) online in a secure environment.


  • Automatic email acknowledgment of applications.
  • Batch email correspondence to candidates.
  • Search committees can view candidate materials securely over the Internet at their convenience. Prescreening questions can be asked, which will facilitate an initial review of applications to ensure candidates meet the minimum qualifications.
  • Applicants are asked to indicate their gender and if they are Canadian/Permanent Resident. This information is provided to aid in the search process.
  • The Chair can review applications before sending them to the search committee for review (the online application process attracts a wide pool of applicants, some of whom may not have the minimum qualifications for the position).
  • All application materials are housed on a secure server compliant with University of Toronto privacy policies.

Below are details on how to use the system to manage your academic search process.

Normally, a staff member in your department (referred to as the Academic Search Administrator or ASA) creates your job ad (called a requisition) within the UTORecruit system. It is forwarded to your Dean’s Office (in multi-departmental Faculties) and then the Provost’s Office for approval.

Once approved, the ASA can complete the posting process and the job will appear on the University of Toronto careers site. From there, candidates can submit their applications online. It will also appear in University Affairs and Inside Higher Ed.

As the Search Committee Chair, you have access to the materials created by the ASA. As a first step, please speak to your ASA about your login details or refer to these instructions on accessing UTORecruit.

Two Tips for a Successful Search Using UTORecruit

1. Plan Your Candidate Management Process

  • Decide now whether to accept online applications only.
    • We strongly advise you do not accept applications both online and via other methods (e.g., email, mail). Our experience shows that the combination means your staff will be managing two search processes—one online and one offline—which can be costly in terms of time and in some cases, overtime or temporary staff costs.
    • See the model job posting for wording of the application instructions.
  • Ensure your ASA has been trained to use UTORecruit by either attending a training session or by reading the step-by-step instructions.
  • Candidates can change their application while the position is still open on the University of Toronto website. Therefore:
    • It is best not to access applications until after the closing date.
    • Schedule the first search committee meeting at least 3 to 5 business days after the job closing date. This allows you and your staff to ensure:
      • All candidate materials are received including reference letters.
      • Any materials you wish to upload are added to the applicants’ files.
      • Unsuitable applications are rejected.
      • Any login/password issues are fixed so search committee members can access the materials.
  • Reference letters cannot be submitted through the system. However, if desired, they can be uploaded for view by the search committee.
    • Please note this process can be time consuming; we recommend letters be uploaded only for a “long” short list of applicants or only for those shortlisted.
    • Letters do not need to be kept in UTORecruit but must be collected and maintained as part of the search.
    • See more information about reference letters and UTORecruit.

2. Ensure Everyone Accesses UTORecruit Early to Avoid Delays and Frustration

  • Confirm that you and your search committee members have access to UTORecruit. Please see the instructions for requesting accessNote: It takes 1 business day to set up user access.
  • Ensure that your computer and those of your search committee members meets the technical system requirements.
  • Please encourage all search committee members to try their login/password early in the search process (and well in advance of the first meeting) so that technical support can be provided if required.

Need Help?

If you require technical support or advice about your academic search, please contact us.

Reference Letters

External letters of reference are separate from a candidate’s application and cannot be uploaded directly to UTORecruit by referees. Letters must be sent by email or mail and if desired, they can be uploaded to the candidate’s application within UTORecruit by the Academic Search Administrator (ASA).

It is strongly recommended that search committee chairs determine a procedure for managing reference letters at the beginning of the search based on available resources, disciplinary practices, and expected number of applications.

For example, a search yielding under 20 applicants might make uploading all letters of reference to UTORecruit feasible, while a search with 200 applicants could involve the search committee creating a “long short list” and only uploading letters for those candidates for review. You may also wish to keep reference letters outside the system and only upload the reference letters for shortlisted candidates who will be interviewed.

Uploading letters to UTORecruit is not required. However, be mindful of the confidential nature of reference letters if they are to be distributed outside the UTORecruit system. External cloud-based services such as Google Docs and Dropbox do not meet the University’s Information Security Guidelines. If you require assistance with reference letters, please contact us.

Retention of Inactive Candidate Profiles

The candidate profile is created by applicants on the UTORecruit system. It contains only information created by the candidate (name, address, cover letter, employment equity questionnaire data, resume etc.).

The following candidate retention plan has now been adopted for UTORecruit:

  • Candidate profiles will be deleted if there is no activity on the profile for two years.
  • Profiles will be deleted by the UTORecruit system administrator on an annual set schedule on or near July 1 of each year.
  • If there is a reason not to delete a profile (e.g., a dispute) we can retain that information upon request.
  • Once a candidate profile has been deleted, it will not be available in UTORecruit job requisitions.

Please note that the University file retention plan states that search committee files (including membership of search committee, application letters, CVs, letters of reference from internal and external sources, correspondence, memoranda, accompanying documentation, etc.) be kept until six months after an appointment is made and then destroyed. If you have search committee files kept out of the system, they should follow this retention schedule.