do search committee notify their top choice a week after last candidate?
I presume this is for an offer? If so, it varies. At some institutions, there are extensive procedures that must be followed to include the search committee choice for a hire going through administrators or perhaps even a board of trustees designee. While an offer will come to the top candidate first, there's no telling when this might occur. However, usually it happens within 1 to 3 weeks of the last candidate's site interview in my experiences.
In my experience as a candidate and on a committee (n=7), the first choice candidate was actually always notified within a few days after the final candidate was interviewed. In the case of bureaucracy, the candidate was always told, "we're going to give you an offer" or "the dept voted on you for the position" even if the final stage was not yet reached. The formal offer letter sometimes took weeks.
So I guess a follow up question on that. If you want to negotiate something, can you do so without the formal offer, just when the unofficial one occurred? I have read that the strongest negotiating point one has when the offer was extended. So, can we view the unofficial offer as that offer or does it need to be the official letter or whatnot?
A lot of times they want your negotiations to happen before they write a formal letter, so that the letter can include the final negotiated points. So yeah, they might want you to start negotiating right away. But it depends on just how unofficial the offer is at first. It might be that they say "we're going to offer you the position" but you need to wait on the dean. And not until the dean calls do you even find out anything about the salary or initial startup offer, etc. So you can't negotiate until they tell you SOMETHING. But you can (and they usually want you to) negotiate after a verbal offer that has some specifics. Then the offer letter will have your finally "agreed upon" (usually over e-mail) negotiated points.
The only thing I guess maybe you could start trying to negotiate immediately before you know the basics like salary is a spousal offer. In other words, you could tell them that is something they should start working on / thinking about as soon as you get the "you will be getting an offer" call.
If the department unofficially tells the candidate that they recommended the candidate, and asked for the startup request to be forwarded to the dean, does that mean we just wait for the dean to contact us at this point after sending in the startup request? If there anything else we should do?