Higher education administrative positions such as chief executive, dean and provost are instrumental in shaping an institution’s policies, culture and standards of excellence, making the recruitment of high-caliber candidates absolutely critical. Unfortunately, mistakes are often made during the recruiting and interviewing process. A recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education discussed the most common of these mistakes. Using a higher education recruitment firm can help ensure only the best candidates are recruited and that these costly mistakes are avoided:
1. Not understanding the job. Recruiting committee members often have no real idea of the day-to-day specifics and particulars of a given position. Because high level positions have continually evolved, committees aren’t aware of the exact qualifications a candidate needs to do the job effectively.
2. Not being prepared. This is a problem, particularly with group interviews. A committee may not review the applicants’ resumes until right before the interview begins. Recruiting committees rely heavily on group interviews which too often aren’t properly structured for a successful exchange between the committee and the candidates.
3. Being too formal. While having a structure in place for interviews is necessary, sticking to it to the exclusion of anything else can be extremely limiting. Often an interview will flow in such a way that a question not necessarily on the list will need to be asked. In that case, breaking form and asking that question is much better than sticking to a script for formality’s sake.
4. Not understanding leadership. Leadership is about making difficult decisions that are in the best interest of a group over the long run – not making decisions that are popular. It’s tempting for recruiting committees to hire the candidate who sounds good over one who will make the right choices.
These mistakes may happen every day, but recruiting firms specializing in higher education have the experience, knowledge and expertise to avoid them and find the right candidate for your institution.