Human Resources

Preparing your candidate pool

Recruiting talented staff to Reed is one of the most important aspects of a staff member’s job.

Having a candidate pool that’s diverse—in ethnicity and in all aspects of diversity—is the key to a successful search. It’s imperative to build your candidate pool ahead of time, so you’re making contacts and meeting prospective team members year-round. If you wait to start building your candidate pool when you have an opening, it’s already too late. Did you know that most faculty search committees are convened and begin work two years before the job is posted?

Developing a strategy for preparing the field of candidates

During those two years, the search committee and other department members are making contacts in the community and establishing their department’s reputation as a great place to work for people in that discipline. To develop your team’s strategy for preparing the field of candidates, you and your team should meet with a representative from HR. HR will help you to write a plan [link to sample plan] that’s appropriate for your team and your discipline.

Your plan will include outreach to not only potential applicants, but also people who may know potential applicants. It will include specific steps for establishing connections with communities and organizations who serve diverse constituencies. It will also include strategies for keeping in contact with potential applicants once you find them.

Hiring for Potential

Search committees have the tendency to want to hire a person who has already done the same job at another prestigious liberal arts institution. Often times, though, top candidates are unwilling to take a lateral transfer to do the same job that they’re already doing. Some of the very best candidates for our roles are those who are successful in their current jobs and ready to take a step up in responsibility.

In order to get the deepest candidate pool, then, it is imperative that we hire for potential, not identical experience at a different school.

If the preparation phase is executed properly, your searches will progress very quickly and a new team member will be selected and start work within 60-90 days. 

The preparation phase is complete when you have a list of twelve candidates to invite to apply for your opening.