Recruiting for an Open Position

Hiring the right candidate for higher education positions can be a difficult, time consuming process, involving not just time and money, but human capital too.  It is a process and as such, consists of several important steps.  Perhaps the most important of these is developing the advertisement (job description).

When a vacancy occurs, it’s obviously important to review the job description—I have found it beneficial to review the job description prior to the individual vacating the position.  A review of the job responsibilities with the person who has performed those enables a more accurate analysis of the academic position, which may have changed over time, i.e., new responsibilities may have been added; other tasks may have been changed, or removed.

Typically, there are specific requirements for posting an open academic position.  Many institutions of higher education are governed by specific policies and procedures, so collaboration with the institutions’ human resource division is highly recommended.  These requirements usually fall into the following categories:

  1. A brief description about the higher education institution;
  2. A description of the vacant academic position, which should include position title, (target) start date, required academic qualifications, and detailed account of the position responsibilities;
  3. Contact person and contact information, along with required documents which each applicant should include in order to receive full consideration for the academic position;
  4. Preferred method (correspondence mode, i.e., email, US mail) for submitting credentials;
  5. Any required Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity statements as needed.

Further, typically academic position announcements do not include such detail as time schedule, that is daily work hours’ schedule, nor do they include salary information, except to provide a statement which indicates that the institution is competitive.  Finally, the position announcement does not include detail around why this position is vacant.

John McCarthy is Associate Dean for the College of Education at Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA.

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