Category Archives: Administrative Hiring


Who Are You, Really?


Album cover of Who Are You, by The Who

Employment-related screening tools were the focus of conversation last week in the human-resources class I teach. As I expected, there were plenty of questions about how employers use Internet searches to make decisions about applicant suitability and a fair amount of outrage about how completely unfair employers are when it comes to using digital content to make hiring decisions.

While employers may deny they are using Google and other tools to evaluate yo…


Why Management Training Doesn’t Work

I knew when I wrote my last entry on “Management Training vs. Trial By Fire” that it would probably elicit exactly the kinds of responses it did, including comments suggesting that management training is essential to an administrator’s success and that its absence is a significant cause of institutional challenges.

Let me note here that I am not anti-training—I think that there are many areas in which aspiring administrators both need and can make practical use of thoughtfully designed trainin…


Exiting, With Bridges Intact

You have been offered your dream job. You have negotiated your new salary, start date, and relocation package, and are now ready to tell your current employer that you’ve decided to leave.

Then the unexpected happens. In the final reference-check process, you told your current manager about the opportunity and she or he was, in fact, called for a reference. Now she or he has offered to pay you a bonus, change your title, and make other arrangements to keep you on the campus.

The unexpected count…


How to Stand Out From a Crowd

Contrary to popular belief, there is no cohort of monks guarding the secret scroll of candidates on short lists in job searches. In this digital age, however, it can be both harder and easier to get noticed in the search process. Let me suggest a few ways to increase your visibility.

Use online social networks like LinkedIn wisely. Your LinkedIn profile should be complete, consistent with your résumé, and include a robust summary section. Many people don’t realize the full power of the summary i…


Avoiding a Failed Search

Even in a buyer’s market, administrative searches fail more often than you would think. Here are a few tips to keep it from happening to you.

  • Don’t assume that conducting a successful search is just a matter of posting an advertisement far and wide. Advertising in multiple venues is important, but having a well-written job description is critical. Explain what’s unique about your campus and the leadership role you’re seeking to fill. Review similar job postings so you have a benchmark. Nominati…

The Teacher-Administrator

Recently I had a conversation with a search-committee chair who was seeking to fill the need for a strong teacher-administrator for an academic unit. The position was administrative in title, but it carried with it a 50-percent teaching load. Having consulted on such searches in the past, I asked a question I’ve learned to ask in conjunction with this kind of position: What are you doing to vet candidates’ teaching abilities?

I have found that search committees consistently interview candidates …


When a Headhunter Calls

You are minding your own business and not really thinking about the future when the phone rings. A search consultant wants to talk to you about your potential candidacy for a new leadership role.

In all honesty, this call is not completely out of the blue.

You received the e-mail that I sent with the full job description. You regret that you have not yet read the entire message, but you admit that you have not deleted it. From the first read, you were impressed with the posted salary range; and …


The Next Step in the Two-Body Problem

Academic couples know all too well the problem of having two bodies involved in the academic search. Let’s suppose for a moment that a couple has located two very good positions at the same institution, in two different departments. One person, however, has administrative aspirations and moves into departmental leadership with significant success. An opening comes up at the next level of leadership, the deanship or even a vice presidency, but then comes the trailing next step of the two-body pro…


Is Your Name in the Chalice?

Inspiration for career advice can emerge from the most unusual places. This week it comes from Rome, where cardinals from around the world have convened to select the next pope.

The centuries-old selection process begins once the cardinals are locked inside the Sistine Chapel and ends with a plume of white smoke, the signal that a new pope has been chosen. Each cardinal disguises his handwriting as he writes the name of a colleague on a ballot. He folds it, carries it to the altar, and places it…


Lost in Transition

One of the most difficult things about the job search is the monkey wrench that appears out of nowhere, upending what had been a smooth process. There is no bigger monkey wrench than the unexpected resignation of a campus leader.

When I was on the market for the first time, a phone interview turned into an invitation for an on-campus interview. I could not believe my good fortune and was very excited about the opportunity. Three days before the interview, however, the search-committee chair call…