Recruiting is a Year Round Commitment: Tips on How to Create the Experience

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    Evan Saperstein and Rachel Hopper
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The recruitment season is quickly approaching, and while it’s a time for candidates to prepare for their next step, it’s also a season for institutions to sell their experience. While some institutions may be attractive to candidates due to location, size, pay, or athletic teams, those factors may not be what seals the deal for the ideal candidate.

The mission of the TCU Housing and Residence Life Recruitment Team is to acquire the right talent to thrive and innovate within a world-class, relationship-driven student housing experience. These are the basic tenants we follow when recruiting for our Housing and Residence Life office.

Sell the Experience

At TCU, our recruitment season is year round. This doesn’t mean we always have a vacancy. It means that we are always selling. We connect with potential candidates through a variety of means whether it is our dedicated TCU_TPE Instagram account, conference attendance or even through the ACUHO-I/NODA internship process. By interacting with us in a variety of ways, candidates can observe the experience we have within our department, relationships, and institution. Another key component to selling the experience is to establish a committee dedicated to making an impact before, during and after TPE Onsite. By having a representation of first-year staff to seasoned professionals, a candidate can gain breadth and depth information about the experience at your university.

Reflection: What makes your department, institution and position unique? How can you communicate that with candidates?

Build a Personal Relationship

Relationships are a core value within our department. We want each candidate to feel important. This means we personalize every step of the interview process. From the first point of contact to the final notification about their status in our process, we value the individual connection. As an example, we personalize interview offer emails and identify connecting points with candidates. This helps us show the candidate we value their experiences and helps us see something more than just their current position and institution. We even continue to build relationships with former candidates, and some will even stop by at TPE Onsite to say hello. By making personal connections, we are demonstrating our care for each person and their interview experience.

Reflection: How can you build personal relationships with your candidates?

Provide a Great On-Campus Interview Experience

At TPE Onsite, you may spend 1-2 hours total with a candidate. There’s hustle and bustle around the interview hall, mailboxes and reception spaces, which leaves the on-campus interview experience to truly find a fit with a candidate. The on-campus interview experience is not just about the candidate and racing them from one interview to the next. Yes, that is important, but it’s also about us- the employers. Candidates want to know where they would live, who are the students they would serve, how they can make a town their home, if they can see themselves as part of the team and could they find a friend group or other valued necessity in a new place. Our process incorporates each of these areas and more. We tailor each on-campus interview schedule with some of the candidate’s priorities, time with students, tours of the university and city, and connect them with potential collaborators within our division.

Reflection: How can you tailor your on-campus interview schedules for each candidate? What’s something unique about your institution or location that you can share with candidates?

Be Mission-Driven

One of the biggest factors in the hiring decision is fit. We know our candidates are qualified but do they fit? Our Housing and Residence Life motto is Knowing, Connecting, Empowering. We hire people who desire to build relationships in order to know their students and peers. We hire people who connect students with other students, faculty/staff, and campus resources. We hire people that will immerse themselves in the campus culture and intentional dialogue so that students are empowered. Knowing, Connecting, Empowering flows through everything we do. Our candidates will see our staff, get to know them, connect them with our university and city, and empower them to be Horned Frogs.

Reflection: What do you live? How can you better align your recruitment process with your mission, vision, and motto?

Evan Saperstein
Hall Director, Texas Christian University

Rachel Hopper
Associate Director for Housing & Residence Life, Texas Christian University

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