The Hiring Problem In Higher Education

Hiring the right talent in higher education is far from easy. While the recent report “Labor Intensive or Labor Expensive: Changing Staffing and Compensation Patterns in Higher Education” says administrative positions have grown by 28 percent, the overall economy is still suffering from a skills gap. In fact, a recent Careerbuilder survey found 38 percent of employers have open positions they cannot find the right talent to fill.

The skills gap keeps growing, and according to the same Careerbuilder survey, 60 percent of companies aren’t doing anything to address it. In higher education, the amount of full-time faculty per administrative positions decreased 40 percent between 2000 and 2012. While administrative positions are gaining steam, finding the right faculty talent has become more difficult.

Higher education hiring has plenty of challenges on the way, and one of the most pressing is the greater need for talent in the STEM disciplines. According to UPenn’s Richard Ingersoll, 25,000 STEM teachers are lost per year and only 7,000 are retiring.

The recruitment process needs to be improved and new technology tools are leading the way, from social media to cloud-based applicant tracking systems. One tool being overlooked by education recruitment is the video interview. Currently, six in 10 companies are utilizing video interviews to streamline their hiring process and jump the skills gap.

video interview

Here are some reasons the video interview might be right for your higher education hiring needs:

A Time Saver

There’s been a real shift within the last ten years, as colleges and universities rely on more part-time and adjunct faculty. With less full-time faculty positions on the market, each one you post is likely to be inundated with resumes.

Looking at the corporate world, each open job is flooded with about 250 resumes. It can be impossible to weed out candidates from such a dense pile, and certainly a more personal connection is often out of the question.

The answer is the one-way video interview, where candidates answer an employer’s questions in short video answers, which can be viewed for any duration. If you know a candidate is all wrong for your higher education institution within 90 seconds, you can move on to the next candidate. The one-way video interview allows a personal connection, but it also helps you avoid wasting time on the wrong people.

It’s not surprising that research from the Aberdeen Group discovered you can watch 10 one-way video interviews in the time it takes to perform just one single phone screen. One-way video interviews can help you cut down on the noise and focus in on the top talent. Instead of wasting time weeding out candidates in lengthy phone screens, you can instead redirect this time to use on candidates who have the right credentials and cultural fit for the position.

Jumping the Academic Skills Gap

As mentioned, the skills gap is a big problem in the overall job marketplace and in the academic field, as well. Finding candidates with the right skills can often be difficult, even as more and more candidates find themselves looking for full-time faculty positions. Finding the person with the skills you need can be a struggle, especially since the right person might just reside in a different area code.

Utilizing video interviewing can reduce the physical barriers preventing you from finding and hiring the right person. Now you can connect with the highly skilled and highly qualified candidates you need, whether you’re located a town over or a continent away.

You can still maintain the personal connection you need to evaluate candidates, since live video interviews happen in real-time. You can save the money traditionally used to fly in and house out-of-town talent, while still forming the connection you need to ensure they’re the right fit for the job.

Higher education hiring is a challenge, but thankfully new technology is making it easier to wade through a deep candidate pool and find the best people.

What do you think? What hiring challenges have you encountered? Share in the comments!

1 Comment

  1. Daniël Crompton

    August 11, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    We’ve not encountered many challenges, although people aren’t beating down our doors we get a steady stream of adjunct faculty finding their way to our door.

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