My name is Daniel Roselli and I lead the Residence Director Hiring Committee at Belmont University located in Nashville Tennessee. Hiring and recruitment, as we all know is a complicated process that involves a lot of time and energy as well as resources from your department in order for the search to be prosperous. There is however a way in which we mitigate this process at Belmont to ensure that the efforts made during the hiring season are best utilized. This plan is composed of two simple strategies: early aggression and understanding factors for your institution
There is an old saying that you strike while the iron is hot, this is also true when it comes to hiring and recruitment. In recruitment drives some of the best candidates are hired early, which is why it is important to start your process early and be aggressive early on. Although TPE and other large recruitment sites are not until February or March there are some schools who will wait and see who they will need to hire long after those exchanges. Part of starting recruitment early for us relies on having our current staff give us their plans for the following year before January. This way we understand the amount and types of positions we will need to fill. In addition to that, there are some strategies for hiring that a department will wait on moving ahead with candidates until they see the rest of the candidates. This is not a strategy that we incorporate however, when we see a candidate we like we will go ahead and continue the process with them by inviting them on campus or which ever step is next in their process. By moving forward early with candidates that we like, we ensure we are more competitive with candidates with better qualifications.
Trying to find a fit at your institution with hiring is sometimes a challenge, college campuses and even residence halls are all unique and different. To overcome this challenge here at Belmont we constructed 6 competencies that we believe make up a successful Belmont Residence Director. These competencies include: accepting the tilt, happy people that don’t need others to be happy, people with a strong support network, RDs that can be more than just an employee, they supervise the way we supervise and they are able to articulate their faith. Accepting the tilt is the most important because it incorporates the view of work life balance. Many people believe that a work life balance is a level measure, when in reality as a Residence Director you will always tilt slightly towards your work rather than personal life. Successful RD candidates are able to accept this tilt and learn to be successful within that tilt. Residence life is a job, but it is a fun job and having an RD that is happy is a key component to working well within a staff. There are however days in residence life that will challenge all of us and we sometimes can not look to our co workers for happiness. It is days such as those that it is important to have a staff comprised of RDs that are naturally happy and do not need other people to make them happy. In congruence with being naturally happy, successful RDs will also have a strong support network outside of their institution. By having a network disconnected from the job RDs can always have people to rely on when they need comfort. Some offices like to say that their office is a family and treated as such, we have a different opinion at Belmont where we consider ourselves good neighbors rather than family. We still consider everyone that works in the office more than just an employee, as a way to incorporate a sense of togetherness within the staff, but we understand there are healthy limitations. Supervision is a key component of development at Belmont and we try and look for RDs that will incorporate the same leadership development style supervision as we incorporate. By ensuring this type of supervision style, we know that our Resident Assistants will be developed into quality leaders for their years after college. The final piece is unique to Belmont because we are a Christian based university, and that is hiring RDs that can articulate their faith. We say that you may not have a conversation about your faith every day, but at least be prepared to do so. This helps with the identity of our students and encourages relationships to be developed between RDs and residents.