To See Greater Student Success, First Focus on your Faculty Hiring Plan

To See Greater Student Success, First Focus on your Faculty Hiring Plan

3 faculty hiring steps to improve academic outcomes

As a human resources professional in Higher Education, you know that effective staff and faculty are critical to student success.

You might not be surprised to learn that others in your position struggle to find quality hires. And, recent research indicates, this struggle might be related to a lack of a formal faculty hiring plan and process.

In some cases, HR departments have faculty hiring plans and processes in place, but their technology does not support them adequately. The nuances of adjunct hiring and the necessity for varying system permissions are addressed only in software purpose-built for higher education.

“We’re able to recruit for all of our employment needs, including staff and full- and part-time faculty, with multiple position types that act differently from beginning to end,” said Danny Linton of the University of Memphis, who uses PeopleAdmin’s HigherEd platform.

Danny knows that now, more than ever, efficient and effective hiring plans and processes are critical.

Below are steps to improve your staff and faculty hiring:

Formalize everything

Most involvement in faculty hiring is informal and based in private conversation, which reduces consistency and the trust that comes from collaboration and visibility. Here’s how to change that:

  • Set aside time to develop formal plans and processes for your hiring. Consider your objectives, who you will want involved, major milestones, when and how the process begins, etc.
  • Get buy-in from all major stakeholders.
  • Write it down! By defining your plans and processes, writing them down, and making them easily available, you create a single source of truth every stakeholder can refer to and rely on.

Once plans and processes are formalized, use technology that helps you continue to further streamline your activities, which will free HR to spend more time on strategizing or other important tasks.

“By streamlining the approval process and collection of applications, our recruiters can perform additional duties within the recruitment office,” said Kathy Musselman of Middle Tennessee State University, who also uses PeopleAdmin.

Include non-tenured-track faculty in your plan

As your team strategizes, don’t ignore the possibility that you will need to hire non-tenure-track faculty and, at times, you may need to do so quickly. Currently, non-tenure-track faculty comprises 77 percent of the total faculty workforce, yet 80 percent of institutions do not include them in hiring plans. By including non-tenure-track faculty in your hiring plans, you are demonstrating a planned, proactive commitment to their inclusion into your culture, which will ultimately reinforce your learning environment. Provide better training and onboarding for your non-tenure-track faculty by equipping them with tools your institution has in place to help improve the classroom experience. This will inevitably deliver better student outcomes.

Make decisions that support student success

A recent study showed that a more engaged instructor leads to up to 200 percent better student performance. And a more engaged adjunct, in particular, leads to a more persistent course load on part of a student. So when you’re considering your hiring process, and the tools you use, think about how it will tie back to student success. Ask yourself questions like:

  • How will this change in required competencies effect the student experience?
  • Is there another important evaluative criterion that will more reliably bring the best candidates to the top of the ranking?
  • Who in our process will evaluate a candidate for student impact?