I Love Recruitment

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    Dr. Rebecca Sawyer
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I love recruitment season. The candidates bring new energy, ideas, and passion for the positions they're seeking. In addition, the campus recruitment teams present the best our institutions have to offer by sharing what they love about their positions, their institution, and the Student Affairs profession as a whole. The recruitment team sets the tone for your search process and provides the first impression candidates receive about what it would be like to work at your institution. Therefore, paying close attention to whom is selected, the roles they will play, how you help them balance their time, and the support they receive are of critical importance throughout your recruitment process.

Please see three tips below for a successful recruitment team experience:

Be intentional about who is selected for your recruitment team. It's important to build your team based on the position for which you are recruiting and the representation of your campus. Most institutions include others serving in a similar position or the supervisor or subordinate of the position. But think through who else on campus interacts with this position and what role they should play in the selection process. Even if you can’t bring a large team to TPE Onsite, having a diverse, university-wide team discuss the qualities and characteristics you're seeking builds consensus from the beginning and helps to educate others about the position and goals for your recruitment process. When you bring your finalists to campus, this step helps to ensure no one is asking why or how this candidate emerged as your finalist. In addition, you can involve the larger recruitment team to look through resumes, help make decisions about whom to interview at TPE Onsite, and participate in the on-campus interview process.

Set clear expectations for the recruitment team. Whether they're a part of the TPE Onsite interview team or the overall recruitment committee, staff members have full-time job responsibilities separate from their position on the recruitment team. Talk specifically about managing their time throughout the recruitment process and what days they'll be expected to participate in resume reviews, interviews, etc. For the TPE Onsite interview team, it's helpful to set a schedule prior to leaving campus that outlines interview times, lunch breaks, team meetings, administrative time to finish evaluations and write thank-you notes, time for communication with candidates, and needed downtime for the team. One of the greatest parts of participating on the TPE Onsite interview team is the opportunity to network and connect with colleagues across the nation. TPE Onsite is busy so it's easy to schedule every moment with recruitment tasks. However, be intentional in giving your recruitment team the time to take advantage of the opportunity to meet and learn from others.

Don’t forget about administrative support needs. There are a lot of candidates and a lot of communication needed between the institution and the candidates prior to interviewing at TPE Onsite, during the on-site recruitment, and afterward. It is important to remember to include someone who can serve as administrative support for the recruitment team. This “behind-the-scenes” staff member serves a vital role helping everyone stay organized, on-time, and in communication with candidates. We utilized this person to create folders for each candidate, schedule interviews, check the TPE Onsite employer mailboxes, remind staff to write thank-you notes and turn in evaluations, and schedule second-round interviews. In addition, they led the end-of-the-day wrap-up meetings at TPE Onsite where we discussed the candidates we interviewed, who we wanted to invite for second-round interviews, and strategy for the next day.

The recruitment process can be a time of renewal and provide excitement for the year ahead. Being intentional about the recruitment team that's selected, how you help balance their time, and the support you provide to the team will not only ensure a successful recruitment process but will allow everyone involved to enjoy the joys of the recruitment season.

Dr. Rebecca Sawyer 
Vice President, AACU
November Executive in Residence

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