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College hiring

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  • 1. Effective Strategies for Hiring the Best New College Faculty Dr. Mary C. Clement Berry College, Georgia [email_address]
  • 2. Topics for this seminar <ul><li>How to </li></ul><ul><li>- write an accurate job description </li></ul><ul><li>- create evaluations for applications </li></ul><ul><li>- use behavior-based interviewing </li></ul><ul><li>- get the most from preliminary interviews. </li></ul>
  • 3. Additional skills <ul><li>Learn how to </li></ul><ul><li>- prepare for on-site interviews </li></ul><ul><li>- evaluate candidate answers </li></ul><ul><li>- make strong final recommendations regarding hires </li></ul>
  • 4. High Stakes College Hiring <ul><li>New faculty must teach, publish, and serve the institution. </li></ul><ul><li>A weak new hire hurts the department’s reputation and costs time and money. </li></ul>
  • 5. A strong new hire <ul><li>can actually raise the morale of colleagues. </li></ul><ul><li>re-invigorates the program and attracts students. </li></ul>
  • 6. When we interview, we tend to give more consideration to a candidate’s <ul><li>A. previous publications and research </li></ul><ul><li>B. teaching expertise </li></ul><ul><li>C. past service to an institution </li></ul><ul><li>D. We consider each of the three areas listed above equally. </li></ul>
  • 7. A blueprint for hiring the best <ul><li>Effective hiring practices may not just happen. </li></ul><ul><li>Search committees can be productive and democratic. </li></ul>
  • 8. Everyone involved in hiring needs training <ul><li>Faculty and department chairs are subject matter specialists, not human relations or personnel specialists. </li></ul><ul><li>Legal issues exist. </li></ul>
  • 9. 1. Write an accurate job description <ul><li>Envision the new position </li></ul><ul><li>Information rich description </li></ul><ul><li>Truth in advertising </li></ul>
  • 10. What to include? <ul><li>All duties </li></ul><ul><li>Tenure track or not </li></ul><ul><li>Any criteria that will be used to sort the candidates </li></ul>
  • 11. Polling question <ul><li>The college seeks “an accomplished, motivated, enthusiastic, and energetic candidate.” </li></ul><ul><li>Which of the following would best replace the phrase in quotes? </li></ul>
  • 12. <ul><li>A. a qualified candidate </li></ul><ul><li>B. a candidate with an earned terminal degree in (specify subject area) </li></ul><ul><li>C. a candidate with three to five years of teaching experience </li></ul><ul><li>D. a candidate with research experience </li></ul>
  • 13. 2. Create an evaluation for the paperwork <ul><li>Checklist for criteria listed in job description </li></ul><ul><li>Rating scale for cover letter and letters of recommendation </li></ul>
  • 14. Why sort applications carefully? <ul><li>Expenses of bringing candidates to campus </li></ul><ul><li>Past behavior is a predictor of future performance. </li></ul>
  • 15. 3. Use behavior-based interviewing (BBI) strategies <ul><li>BBI is based on the premise that past behavior is the best predictor of future performance. </li></ul><ul><li>This premise is useful for sorting applications and all aspects of the interview process. </li></ul>
  • 16. Examples of the BBI premise <ul><li>Will a candidate who has held four different jobs in the last five years stay at your institution very long? </li></ul><ul><li>Will a candidate who has been in three separate tenure-track positions without earning tenure be able to get tenure? </li></ul>
  • 17. What are red flags? <ul><li>“unaccounted for” gaps in education or employment </li></ul><ul><li>a series of short-term employments </li></ul>
  • 18. 4. Preliminary interviews <ul><li>take place over the phone, or via the Internet. </li></ul><ul><li>are short interviews at professional conferences. </li></ul><ul><li>can be critical to narrowing candidate pools. </li></ul>
  • 19. Create BBI-style questions for preliminary interviews <ul><li>The committee needs to create five to eight questions to be used with every candidate and the evaluation instrument for evaluating answers. </li></ul>
  • 20. Sample questions <ul><li>Describe your past teaching experiences as specifically as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>Describe an individual lesson that you have taught and why it went well. </li></ul>
  • 21. Ask about research and writing <ul><li>Tell us about your past research. </li></ul><ul><li>How have you shared your research professionally? </li></ul>
  • 22. Ask about service/professionalism <ul><li>How have you served an institution or the profession in the past? </li></ul><ul><li>Tell us about committee work you have completed. </li></ul>
  • 23. Do’s and do not’s <ul><li>Do not ask vague questions, such as “tell us about yourself.” </li></ul><ul><li>Do ask the candidate about their interest in the institution. </li></ul>
  • 24. Do not ask questions that can’t be evaluated <ul><li>Create the evaluation instrument before the very first preliminary interview. </li></ul><ul><li>Use the same questions and the same instrument with each candidate. </li></ul>
  • 25. Information rich questions <ul><li>An information rich question tells the interviewer about the institution, and the job, and then elicits a response. </li></ul><ul><li>These questions help to recruit and retain hires. </li></ul>
  • 26. 5. Prepare for on-site interviews <ul><li>Prepare all who are involved with on-site interviews about interview protocol. </li></ul><ul><li>Illegal questions </li></ul>
  • 27. Which is not an illegal question? <ul><li>A. We have a great elementary lab school. Do you have children? </li></ul><ul><li>B. You look familiar. Haven’t I seen you at my church? </li></ul><ul><li>C. What a pretty piece of jewelry. Tell me about it. </li></ul><ul><li>D. All are illegal questions. </li></ul>
  • 28. No one can ask about <ul><li>age, gender, race, or national origin. </li></ul><ul><li>religion, family, or disabilities </li></ul>
  • 29. Small talk is not small talk <ul><li>Interviewers may not ask a follow-up question even when a candidate volunteers information about family, religion, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Support staff and students involved in interviews need to know about illegal questions and “small talk.” </li></ul>
  • 30. Keep open interviews on track <ul><li>Create and provide a handout about protocol and illegal questions. </li></ul><ul><li>Make an announcement before any open interview about protocol. </li></ul>
  • 31. Formal on-site interviews <ul><li>The search committee prepares a list of questions in advance. </li></ul><ul><li>The questions and evaluation instrument are in front of interviewers for each candidate. </li></ul>
  • 32. Structure the questions <ul><li>Use BBI-style prompts. </li></ul><ul><li> Tell about a time when… </li></ul><ul><li>How have you… </li></ul><ul><li>Describe how you have… </li></ul>
  • 33. Questions need to be specific <ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>Much has been written about teaching a foreign language with the total immersion approach. What has been your experience with this approach? </li></ul>
  • 34. To discuss with your group now <ul><li>What is an effective question that you have used, or hope to use? </li></ul>
  • 35. Allow candidates to ask questions <ul><li>Candidates’ questions can be insightful. </li></ul><ul><li>They may show how much the candidate knows about the institution. </li></ul><ul><li>Has the candidate done his/her homework? </li></ul>
  • 36. How much consideration do you give to the question, “Why do you want to work here?” <ul><li>A. very much consideration </li></ul><ul><li>B. average consideration </li></ul><ul><li>C. very little consideration </li></ul><ul><li>D. We would not ask this question of a candidate. </li></ul>
  • 37. 6. Prepare for evaluation of answers <ul><li>Consider PAR </li></ul><ul><li>Problem </li></ul><ul><li>Action </li></ul><ul><li>Result </li></ul>
  • 38. Example <ul><li>What experience have you had teaching unprepared college students to be successful? </li></ul>
  • 39. Answer <ul><li>Problem: As a teaching assistant, I… </li></ul><ul><li>Action: I always used rubrics to explain grading and gave examples in class. </li></ul><ul><li>Result: I learned to teach students the expectations for college work. </li></ul>
  • 40. STAR is similar <ul><li>Situation </li></ul><ul><li>Task </li></ul><ul><li>Action </li></ul><ul><li>Result </li></ul>
  • 41. Discuss answers needed by candidates <ul><li>Committee members may have very different opinions regarding criteria of a “good” answer. </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss these issues in advance. </li></ul>
  • 42. Rate these answers <ul><li>You will hear a candidate’s answer to the question, “Describe how you have typically taught a lesson.” Rate the answer on a scale of unacceptable to excellent answer. </li></ul>
  • 43. <ul><li>A. unacceptable answer / no experience with topic </li></ul><ul><li>B. acceptable answer / limited experience </li></ul><ul><li>C. strong answer / some experience </li></ul><ul><li>D. excellent answer / much experience </li></ul>
  • 44. 7. Making final recommendations <ul><li>Hiring must be more than a gut feeling </li></ul><ul><li>Use the evaluations to make a more objective decision. </li></ul>
  • 45. Questions for discussion <ul><li>Many committee members tend to evaluate candidates on non-measurable criteria. </li></ul><ul><li>Is the candidate nice/pleasant? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the candidate a happy person? </li></ul>
  • 46. Be careful with “touchy feely” <ul><li>Should the candidate demonstrate “life satisfaction?” </li></ul><ul><li>Do you want this person teaching your child as a college professor? </li></ul>
  • 47. Offering the position <ul><li>Make the offer a true “invitation.” </li></ul><ul><li>People like to feel recruited and “wooed.” </li></ul>
  • 48. Good hiring practice can lead to retention <ul><li>What do candidates really want? </li></ul><ul><li>They want their expectations met (or exceeded). </li></ul>
  • 49. When the position is offered <ul><li>Clarify the job description. </li></ul><ul><li>Specify any additional or non-traditional duties. </li></ul><ul><li>Make salary and benefit issues clear. </li></ul>
  • 50. Retention is important <ul><li>Departments and programs need continuity. </li></ul><ul><li>Students want professors who are available throughout their years on campus. </li></ul>
  • 51. Key points <ul><li>All who participate in hiring need training in how to evaluate paperwork, write questions, and make decisions. </li></ul><ul><li>All need training with regard to legal issues. </li></ul>
  • 52. What works <ul><li>The creation of structure for the hiring process, combined with training, will create a fair process that identifies and recruits the best new faculty members. </li></ul>

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