Regardless of the institution or department, employees want a “say” in who their next staff member, colleague, or supervisor is going to be. All recruiters are going to want to hire someone that is competent, effective, and professional. In student affairs, so much of our work is collaborative that it is often impossible to involve everyone who will interact with the new hire in the interview process. To hire the best individual possible, it is vital that you have a trustworthy recruiting team that understands the mission and vision of the department/university, what it takes to be successful in that role, and a person who will accurately represent your institution while maintaining positive interactions. The following will outline the key players to have on your “dream team.”
The “Point Guard” or Team Leader
Every interview team needs someone who is going to set the overall vision and expectations of the team, and ensure that the institutional culture and values are woven in throughout the process. Hierarchical departments often count on someone to ‘sign-off’ on a process and approve the final candidates. While this person may not always be at the interview table, it is important that they are informed by their team along the way. Develop checkpoints such as lunchtime or end-of-day recaps, candidate summary forms, or a fair and unbiased rating system as you interview many candidates throughout the day. These processes are to make sure that you and your team are in sync, and running a smooth and equitable process every step of the way.
The “Power Forward” or High Energy Individual
This is the teammate that is perhaps your best forward-facing recruiter. They are who you want to give the ball to because they are outgoing, energetic, and can really make your institution stand out in a crowd. They are excellent at getting the candidates from the waiting area, making a solid first impression, or helping your candidates feel at-ease as they begin their interview. However, it is important not to put all the pressure on them, and each member of your team has to step up in an authentic and genuine way to interact with your candidates.
The “Forward” or Consistent & Reliable Teammate
The forward will be under the basket, working hard to keep your team in good scoring position. This is your person to grind through the interviews and help you get through the long days. They are consistent, know their role and place on the team, and will follow an ever-changing schedule without hesitation. This teammate is a quiet presence that can really come through for you in a clutch when you need to seal the deal with a candidate. Since they either will work regularly with this position or host a similar role, they probably have the greatest understanding of the day-to-day tasks and are able to answer more specific position-related questions.
The “Center” or Big Picture Presence
The center is a pillar on the court. With everything circling around them, they are a good hub on your team to talk about mission, partnerships, and everything surrounding your department. This person can be focused on taking all of the information that supports this position and letting your candidates know what makes it so special at the overall institution. While they know the position and requirements/needs, they can be a testament to how a person can grow and develop in the position.
The “Guard” or Administrative Workhorse
Your guard will be working side-by-side with the point guard to ensure that the plays are running smoothly. They are a support, and can read the point-guard throughout the process to know what still needs to be done. This individual helps pay attention to small details with both the team and the candidates, making sure the ball does not get dropped in between plays (interviews). They are best at scheduling, checking the mailbox, writing notes, stepping in to give teammates breaks, and looking ahead to meals or other logistics needed throughout the day. They put in a lot of behind the scenes effort to help keep everyone in step and going forward.
In the end the individuals you choose to represent your institution bring various skill sets and assets to your team. It is a good idea to ensure all teammates can fill each role, but giving each member key tasks or areas of responsibility will allow for ownership in the process. With a unified vision and combined effort, your recruitment process is guaranteed to be a success!
Christie Anglade Associate Director for Residential Education, University of New Haven
Michael Lorenz Director of Residential Life, Creighton University