Source Newsletter for Business and Operations Header Image
Source Newsletter for Business and Operations Header Image

Business and Operations//

December 9, 2009

Q: We're working with a very limited budget. What is the most effective way to recruit new faculty/staff during the current hiring season?

A: The "good news" is that effective hiring costs very little in the way of cash outlays—but it does require a lot of planning and diligence. In a phrase, "thoughtful preparation" is the key. We recommend a mission-based recruiting process that is outlined in our book, Safe and Effective Faculty Recruitment, Retention, and Dismissal Practices.

In a nutshell, this process starts with the reflection on your school's mission, culture, and values—leading to determination of the Characteristics of Professional Excellence. These are the most important traits to for faculty success in your school (such as "effective engagement of students," "active support for colleagues," and the like). These characteristics, in combination with the skills and experience required to carry out the job duties, form the basis of the rest of the recruiting process. Thus, if the hard work of discerning these characteristics is done up front, the process—though intensive—should result most often in a new faculty hire who will excel in your culture.

The rest of the process is as follows:

  • Write and place the ad (including the required characteristics)
  • Screen resumes received (against the characteristic/skill requirements)
  • Create and ask “behavioral” interview questions (based on the required characteristics and skills)
  • Assess the candidates on how closely they match the required skills/characteristics (including results from guest teaching and reference checks)
  • Hire the best match for your stated needs

Other than placing an ad (which can be very small and direct candidates to your Web site for a full description), no costs other than management time, effort, and reflection are incurred.


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