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From: Fernanda Zamudio-Suarez
Subject: Weekly Briefing: Can't Fill Open Jobs? You're Not Alone
Refilling jobs feels harder than ever. Why?
Are you having trouble filling open positions on your campus \? You’re not alone. Nearly 80 percent of 720 survey respondents said that their campus has more open positions this year compared to last year, according to a recent
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Refilling jobs feels harder than ever. Why?
Are you having trouble filling open positions on your campus? You’re not alone. Nearly 80 percent of 720 survey respondents said that their campus had more open positions this year than last year, according to a recent Chronicle poll of college leaders, hiring managers, and administrators conducted with support from the Huron Consulting Group.
About 84 percent of the respondents said that hiring for administrative and staff jobs had been more difficult in the last year. Applications aren’t pouring in as they used to. About 78 percent of leaders said that their campus had received fewer applications for open jobs in the last year and 82 percent said that they’d seen fewer qualified applicants.
What gives? It’s complicated to parse out exactly why recruiting has gotten tougher. But there’s one telling figure: Seventy-seven percent of respondents said that higher education was a less-appealing place to work than it was a year ago. Hiring managers and leaders must now make the case for the sector and their institutions, despite acknowledging that conditions aren’t what they used to be.
The struggle to recruit and hire candidates isn’t unique to higher education. In a July report, McKinsey Quarterly found that 40 percent of 13,382 workers surveyed across the globe said they were thinking about quitting their jobs in the next three to six months. The global consulting firm also found that 65 percent of those who quit their jobs changed industries or did not return to the work force. That leaves plenty of gaps.
Half of the respondents to the Chronicle survey said that they’d lowered their requirements for open positions to draw more candidates. Nearly 60 percent of that subset reduced the minimum educational experience and relevant work experience. Still, applicant pools are small. At Central Washington University, administrators recently posted a job ad for an administrative assistant, a post that used to get 40 or 50 applicants. This go-around, said Staci Sleigh-Layman, the university’s executive director of human resources, drew fewer than 10. She said she had interviewed six or seven applicants, but none made the cut.
Others colleges are getting more aggressive. Saint Anselm College, in New Hampshire, has seen peer institutions poach skilled workers in information technology, financial aid, enrollment, and advancement with offers tens of thousands of dollars higher than their current salaries, said Joseph A. Favazza, Saint Anselm’s president.
There’s no simple solution for colleges. Some are casting a wider net for open positions, while others are changing their job ads. Our Megan Zahneis, who wrote about the Chronicle survey, isn’t done reporting. Next she’s digging into other ways hiring managers and administrators have changed their recruiting and retention tactics.
Meanwhile, read Megan’s full story. Late this week she also reported on the grim findings of a survey by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. Among other things, the results indicated that more than half of campus staff members are considering leaving their jobs in the next year.
Talk to us: Hiring managers and leaders, get in touch with Megan. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Learn. What does a stream in the Wacoyo Indigenous Reserve, in Colombia, sound like? What about a rain forest in Bale Mountain National Park, in Ethiopia? Listen for yourself on the website Earth.fm, which records nature’s sounds around the world. (Earth.fm)
- Read. An adjunct professor is on trial for alleged serial arson in connection to the 2021 Dixie Fire, in California. This is how he got here. (New York)
- Listen. Another compilation coming your way: Brazilian Beats 8 (Mr Bongo Presents). The album is filled with upbeat tracks, perfect for a summer party or listening alone tapping your toes in front of the AC. (Spotify)
Chronicle Top Reads
Campus CrunchRising off-campus rents and a desire to get back to normal may supercharge the demand for college housing. At some institutions, dorms are already full.