As a recruiter and potential employer, it can be measurably frustrating when a candidate does not appear to have done a certain level of research on the position, department, or institution. What is too little or just myopic? And, how readily available is that information to potential candidates?
To avoid a potential misstep by the applicant or to help address the veritable anchor of an archaic and yawn-inducing webpage that you haven’t been able to address, make sure your candidates are equipped. You can’t give them the initiative to research, but you can provide some important information that both spurs on their interest and shows the importance of the search.
Is it possible to set up a separate link/webpage on your departmental website that details the position and provides insights and links to important information for any future professional on your team? Most applicants are young, technically savvy “millennials,” who can navigate websites pretty well. However, it can be surprising (or maybe not) how limiting and esoteric departmental websites can be to the un-initiated.
If you have access and the acumen, produce a dynamic web document or PDF that can be sent following a completed application. It can include photos, testimonials, biographies of current staff and students, exciting developments, etc. This is a great project for a student or other young professional who has the time, desire, and ability to produce a piece potential candidates would eagerly receive.