Novel Practices for Diverse Faculty Recruitment

Hiring the right people is important—this is perhaps even more true for higher education institutions than it is for government agencies or Fortune 500 companies. Colleges and universities, like any large employers, often use a campuswide human resources information system (HRIS) to keep hiring information in one place and facilitate efficient, transparent processes. However, these systems fall short when it comes to the faculty hiring process. 

Recruiting a single faculty member involves extensive review, usually via committee. Applicants share a variety of documents—from CVs to research statements to writing samples—that multiple people will review. The process can take months of coordination, and the stakes are high: a tenure track hire, for example, can represent a 30-year commitment and a multimillion-dollar decision for the institution. This kind of decision is easier to get right when institutions have the best tools for the process. 

Here are a few key attributes that set a solution designed specifically for faculty recruitment apart from a traditional HRIS. 

Improved Committee Experience 

Serving on hiring and review committees is an important part of higher education’s shared governance structure, but these commitments can add to a faculty member’s already high workload. Committee members must review dense academic texts, supporting documents, and letters of recommendations—sometimes 10 or more for a single candidate—and coordinate their review with other members. A typical HRIS is not developed with this level of review in mind, and as a result, committees may have to cobble a process together from inadequate file-sharing services, email, or even physical printouts. Not only can this result in unnecessary work, but it can also increase the risk of error. Someone may review the wrong document, or materials may simply get lost in the shuffle. 

As faculty report heavier workloads, it’s increasingly important to make sure hiring committee processes are as efficient and painless as possible. With Interfolio Faculty Search, purpose-built technology makes it easy for faculty to review application materials, communicate among committee members, and focus on what matters: hiring the best fit for their department.

Smoother Review Workflows  

Committee review is just one step in the process. There are dozens of steps between a university listing an open faculty position and a new scholar joining the institution—from initial department chair recommendations and candidate interviews to final approval from the board of trustees. 

Example hiring diagram: 

Without purpose-built tools, each of these steps represents an opportunity for confusion or frustration. A file may not be shared with the necessary reviewers; a reviewer may not be certain which materials they must look through; someone may be responsible for sending manual email reminders at every step to keep the process on schedule. 

Interfolio’s Faculty Search is designed with these specific problems in mind—and presents a solution to each one. Document permissions are clear and easy to assign, automated messages help keep reviewers on track, and the entire review pathway is transparent from start to finish.

Faculty-Specific Data 

A powerful faculty hiring tool can also help your institution recruit new scholars strategically and effectively. To hire the best candidates, you have to find them: a traditional HRIS may not have the specialized tools required to get the job done. But Faculty Search, designed specifically for faculty, helps committees hire as efficiently as possible—while following the institution’s documented processes. Plus, Interfolio’s Faculty Search enables you to publicly post your openings, with visibility to the millions of academics who use Interfolio’s Dossier. With 40% of academic hiring powered by Interfolio, you’ll get access to top talent across academia. 

Built-in reporting tools can also help hiring committees understand their applicant pools and stay on target for academic diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. With granular data about who your applicants are and what they offer to students and colleagues, your institution can make smarter decisions leading to a stronger, healthier workplace. 

Making Faculty Hiring Consistent and Seamless 

At some institutions, different schools and departments may follow different approaches to faculty hiring, creating a process that’s slow and inefficient. Georgetown University was struggling with this issue and decided to replace its patchwork of approaches to faculty hiring by adopting Faculty Search across the University. “Across our 10 schools, we had multiple processes for faculty recruitment: we had people using shared drives and email, people using Interfolio Faculty Search, others using competitors to Interfolio, and still others using mail only,” explained Charlie Leonhardt, Georgetown University’s Director of Online Initiatives and Innovation. 

Not only would this shift to Interfolio create consistency, but it would also enable Georgetown University to connect Workday to faculty recruitment. That’s because Faculty Search comes with application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable it to connect to and communicate with other software, including third-party ERP software. The API integration between Faculty Search and Workday at Georgetown University has made the faculty hiring process much easier for departments, candidates, and administrators.  

“Interfolio Faculty Search provides a consistent experience for all applicants,” Leonhardt said. “In addition, the integration between our ERP and Interfolio significantly reduces data entry. All of the applicant data is keyed into Interfolio by the applicant, and the data flows electronically to our Workday human resources system, so there’s no re-keying of data.” Interfolio can work alongside your ERP or HRIS to benefit the specific needs of faculty hiring. 

Interfolio for Faculty Hiring 

The right platform for faculty hiring decisions can do more than bring in top talent: it can re-energize faculty and staff and maximize the impact of their work. See how the Harvard Graduate School of Education has experienced this firsthand

Interfolio Faculty Search helps keep the essential work of higher education—teaching, research, and service—moving. With faculty-centered tools that make the academic recruitment process seamless and transparent from start to finish, Faculty Search frees up time for faculty to do the work that matters most to them. To find out what Interfolio can do for your institution, schedule a demo today

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