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chron and vitaeThe Chronicle of Higher Education is HERC's newest Trustee Level Partner. For more than 50 years, The Chronicle has been the No.1 source of news, information and jobs for faculty and administrative professionals in higher ed.  The Chronicle created Vitae (, an online community that brings together higher ed professionals to network and exchange ideas with peers across institutions, showcase their work, access free career resources, and seek professional opportunities.Learn about member discounts with The Chronicle here.


1. If you had one word to describe what your company is all about, what is it?

​Empowerment: we are the go to source for news, insights and career management in higher ed

2. What makes your service stand out in the higher education recruitment and retention field?

Attracting the world’s brightest and most talented candidates is only a fraction of what’s required for an institution to meet its goals. Retaining a successful and committed workforce requires understanding the significance of fostering an engaged and connected environment, particularly in higher ed.

This is why The Chronicle created Vitae, an online platform, allowing both administrative staff and faculty across the globe access to tools and resources they need to collaborate, exchange ideas, manage their career paths, and network with like-minded professionals.  Our Vitae community continues to grow and has over 600,000+ higher ed professionals across more than 4,000 institutions.

3. What is the tool or resource you provide to clients that wins you the most accolades?

Vitae members, from both faculty and administrative staff, rave about having the ability to successfully manage their career paths on Vitae, while being able to use the Vitae job board to attract qualified and engaged candidates.  

4. What is a trend you see in your field that affects higher education recruitment?

The world of recruitment has evolved in noticeable ways; particularly with where and how top qualified candidates are found in higher ed. Institutions are starting to understand the importance of developing a successful proactive recruitment strategy to compete in a highly competitive talent market.

5. Does your company have any new initiatives or products that would be of interest to HERC members?

The Chronicle of Higher Education now offers Vitae Recruiter, the only candidate search tool built for higher ed that enables institutions to find and recruit both active and passive candidates. This solution offers recruiters and hiring managers the ability to conduct deep searches for faculty and administrative professionals, while connecting them with candidates that best match specific hiring needs.

6. Why is partnering with HERC important to your company?

Partnering with HERC is important to The Chronicle of Higher Education because we support HERC’s vision to promote equity and excellence in higher ed recruitment worldwide. The Chronicle of Higher Education has served the higher ed community for nearly 50 years and is honored to be a Trustee Partner of HERC.

The THE logoThe THE is HERC's newest Trustee Level Partner.  Times Higher Education is; the trusted global source of higher education news and insight, the place to go for career planning, networking and job seeking, the founder of prestigious awards, celebrating excellence in higher education and the authoritative voice on global university rankings. Learn about member discounts with The THE here.


1. If you had one word to describe what your company is all about, what is it?


2. What makes your service stand out in the higher education recruitment and retention field?

Over 40 years of experience, a keen understanding of international higher education, a presence in over 200 countries around the world and a passion for people. These attributes make us the most comprehensive higher education recruitment service in the world.

3. What is the tool or resource you provide to clients that wins you the most accolades?

The exposure offered by our sector leading print publication in combination with our brand new online recruitment platform offers our clients exceptional exposure. It is this exposure that gains us praise from candidates, clients and industry institutions alike.

4. What is a trend you see in your field that affects higher education recruitment?

We have recognized a growing mobility amongst academics and professional staff alike. With more and more HE professionals willing to consider opportunities in every corner of the world, the chance to attract the best research, teaching and strategic talent from abroad has never been so prevalent. The ability to produce world class research, attract top quality students and climb those ever important rankings all revolve around establishing a culturally diverse and internationally experienced faculty and staff base.

5. Does your company have any new initiatives or products that would be of interest to HERC members?

We have broadened our product base drastically over the past year, introducing a series of premium products that have provided stellar results already. Over the next three months we will be introducing innovative ways of reaching passive jobseekers including online widgets; which will help drive traffic from partnering websites through to our client’s vacancies. We are also expanding our reach with our search and selection function, which will help match your vacancy with the perfect candidates from around the globe; this function is supported by Reed Elsevier, the world’s largest jobseeker database.

6. Why is partnering with HERC important to your company?

HERC’s vision “to promote equity and excellence in higher education recruitment worldwide” closely reflects our own core values, to create a global platform for higher education institutions to recruit the best quality faculty and staff regardless of geographic location. HERC’s mission “to advance the ability of member institutions to recruit and retain the most diverse and talented workforce and to assist dual-career couples” has been an ethos that we have followed for our customers around the world for over 40 years and we cannot wait to start working with all of HERC’s amazing members.

Part II – This post is part of a blog series on “Challenges in Higher Ed Hiring”

Creating an inclusive and diverse community is one of higher education’s greatest responsibilities and gifts. To truly feel welcome and thrive on a campus, students of all walks need to see themselves reflected in the people around them. And that diversity should be pervasive – from the front line recruitment and admissions staff to faculty in the classrooms and administrators. According to the U.S. Department of Education, diversity in college populations will increase over the next decade, elevating the importance of fostering an inclusive learning environment.


Additionally, institutions need to demonstrate that they are both fair and consistent in their hiring practices. Organizations that fail to prove their compliance with state or federal rules and guidelines can spend millions of dollars settling lawsuits.

While your institution might have good intentions, your hiring processes may fall short of treating everyone equally. Let’s do a check of common pitfalls that are likely keeping you up at night:

  • Do you worry about conversations being compliant?Hiring managers and selection committees communicate with candidates and their references. Inappropriate questions asked during an interview or on a reference call can be cause for alarm.
  • Are your assessment tools free of bias and adverse impact? Gender, age, race, ethnicity, and Americans with disabilities are all protected classes. Can you demonstrate that your processes meet EEOC standards and support OFCCP compliance?
  • Is your candidate data stored electronically and easily accessible? Are you able to access and run historical reports on all candidates in the case of an audit or legal inquiry?

Accounting for the human factor

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reported that, like it or not, just about everyone harbors unconscious prejudice that can come in to play during the hiring process. You need to be sure your hiring managers and selection committees are overcoming any hidden biases. Providing them with structured tools for interviewing, reference checking, and selecting candidates can help with compliance.

The possibility of selection committee members asking inappropriate questions was a concern at Waukesha County Technical College. Laquitha Terry, manager of talent relations and recruitment at the college, also recalls that although reference checking was required, the guidelines were not being followed consistently, and some selection committees were not conducting reference checks at all. This lack of consistency in the process left the college without reference data on some candidates.

Ace compliance

Questions asked of candidates and their references must be appropriate, with evidence that what’s being asked is related to job success. General questions and assessments can make your process vulnerable. Institutions intent on “acing” compliance rely instead on job-specific questions developed by professional industrial and organizational psychologists that meet industry standards for reliability, validity, and compliance.

Additionally, each reference for a particular candidate should be asked the same questions and in the same manner. Online reference checking tools provide this needed level of consistency. Equally important, the quantifiable feedback provided from multiple references lets you make your hiring decision based on objective measurements of a candidate’s past performance. This reduces the potential for bias with respect to gender, age, and race/ethnicity.

An article published in the International Journal of Selection and Assessment cites a study that tracked and observed 34,054 new hires over a 21-month period after they were hired. Information captured pre-hire using an online reference checking tool was compared to the candidates’ on-the-job performance. The results substantiate that web-based, multi-source reference checking is proven not only to predict turnover, but also to be compliant, as there are no statistical differences in results based on race, gender, or age. Powerful scientific studies like this give institutions confidence that their hiring processes are compliant.

Additionally, the feedback you receive about your candidates’ past behaviors sheds light on which candidates share your values for inclusion. For example, a candidate’s former co-workers and supervisors can give you insight into whether a candidate has important soft skills like treating people with different backgrounds, beliefs, and genders with fairness and respect.

Score high with staff and auditors, too

When every department has its own way of conducting reference checks, there are doubts about whether compliance standards are being consistently met. Add to that a lack of a central repository of reference information, and your institution is at a greater risk of being challenged legally. The absence of centralized processes and documentation also makes audits and accreditations slow and frustrating.

Clemson University, South Carolina’s highest ranked national university, was concerned whether HR compliance standards were being met during the reference checking process because there was not a consistent method of checking references, and there was no central repository of reference information. Relying on Pre-Hire 360® has put these concerns to rest. Their auditors love that Clemson now has a repository that demonstrates that reference checking is being done consistently.

Learn more

Providing opportunities for students from all types of backgrounds is one of the greatest challenges facing higher education today. To help students succeed, institutions need to provide them with a welcoming environment and supportive staff and faculty. Learn more about meeting this and other hiring challenges in higher education. Join Sharon Ewles, staffing manager at Mott Community College, and me for a webinar to discuss this further on Nov. 12. Register today!

Author: Jann Gillingham, Higher Ed Industry Specialist, SkillSurvey

This post is part of a blog series on “Challenges in Higher Ed Hiring”

From the cafeteria to the classroom, every touch made by every member of your campus staff can influence a student’s decision to attend - as well as to stay - at your institution. When positions are left vacant, students might feel under-served. Also, employee morale can suffer from increased workloads or perceptions of a slow hiring process, and that trickles down to the student population as well.

But no matter how fast you move, the hiring process stalls at reference checking. Days can turn into weeks as managers and selection committees play lengthy, no-fun games of phone tag with candidate references. Sadly, higher education shares with government the distinction of being the two worst performing industries for time-to-hire, says Josh Brown, talent acquisition manager at Clemson University. Clemson was one of the supporting statistics: taking months, sometimes longer, to get a candidate in place.

It’s a critical problem that’s getting worse. As unemployment rates decline, time-to-fill rates soar. The national average is the longest it’s been – 29 days – in the last 15 years, even in markets more efficient than higher ed[1]. The drawn-out reference checking process increases the likelihood that you’ll lose top talent to a competing institution that is moving more quickly than you.

The inefficient process also drives up hiring costs. That’s never good for budget-strapped institutions, especially when funding remains below pre-recession levels.[2] The laggard procedure not only drains finances; it also saps resource-strained departments. At the University of Iowa, getting candid feedback and coordinating schedules to review applications used to take about 16 hours of effort.

Don’t be a statistic
You don’t have to be among the ranks of “worst performing industries”. Moving your reference-checking process online saves time and money, and reduces the stress on HR, hiring managers, and selection committees. Organizations report a 92% reduction in time that staff spends checking a candidate’s references. And they’re getting responses from four references per candidate in less than two days. More importantly, automated online reference checking delivers rich, detailed, job-specific feedback because references can respond to surveys confidentially.

Clemson University’s unwieldy 13-week reference process is now a slim day-and-a-half, thanks to Skill Survey’s Pre-Hire 360®.  And the University of Iowa reduced the size of its hiring committees, saving roughly $500 of effort for every person not on a search committee.  Improvements like these give hiring managers more time to focus on other important tasks. 

The process is so efficient that institutions are checking references for more candidates – not just the top ones. Before using Pre-Hire 360, The University of Colorado typically checked references only for the final candidate. Even then it took up to a week to connect with references. Now CU gets candid feedback on its top 3 to 5 candidates, in an average of 1.3 days!

The sleek and streamlined process is especially valuable at the start of the semester when institutions need to hire hundreds of adjunct faculty members. That fast turnaround lets you extend an offer to a desirable faculty member faster than the competition.  And the rich feedback cuts down the need for additional screening, shaving even more time off the process.

Learn more

Break out of the ranks of worst performers, and join the class of innovative institutions that are speeding up time-to-hire. Learn more about this and other hiring challenges in higher education from a webinar I’ll be presenting with Sharon Ewles from Mott Community College, during a webinar on Nov. 12. Register today!

Author: Jann Gillingham, Higher Ed Industry Specialist, SkillSurvey

[1] ERE Media, More Openings Than Hires Push Time to Fill to 29 Days, September 2015,

[2] Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, States are Still Funding Higher Education Below Pre-Recession Levels, May 2014


Author: Eileen Filliben Edmunds, JD/MBA Managing Partner, ModernThink LLC

Title IX Blog Post“The first step in solving a problem is to name it and know the extent of it - - and a campus climate survey is the best way to do that.” – The White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault

While campus climate surveys are not yet mandated, forward-thinking institutions are making the decision to conduct surveys.  Why should your campus administer a survey now and not wait?

1. Surveys provide valuable data upon which to base your decisions and allocate scarce resources.  At ModernThink, we’re fans of making data-based decisions.  With one client, our survey data clearly showed that knowledge of campus resources on sexual misconduct was much greater with their incoming freshman than upperclassmen.  This clear metric demonstrated that the investment in training worked, and they should carry it through with other students.   Likewise, data we’ve provided our clients has helped them understand perceptions among different demographics on campus, provided clear feedback on campus violence prevention resources and revealed important new data on incidence and prevalence.

2.Conducting a survey sends a message to your campus that you are listening.  And what sends an even stronger message is to share the data appropriately.  When there is a lack of information, people tend to fill in the blanks themselves, and not always in a positive way.  Conducting a campus climate survey is the right thing to do.  We’ve seen that students, faculty and staff participating in a Title IX survey want to be heard.  Use a survey to frame your dialogue about sexual misconduct and gender discrimination, and to solicit input on improvements and programs that would be most meaningful on your campus.

3.We know survey mandates are coming.  The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights has made conducting climate surveys a requirement of many resolution agreements.  Both pending legislations, (Campus Accountability and Safety Act and Hold Accountable and Lend Transparency on Campus Sexual Violence Act) require campus climate surveys.  It’s unclear if a specific format will be prescribed, but we know surveys are coming. Surveys could be used to gather information, or as an enforcement mechanism. Future survey results might be made public.  Wouldn’t you rather learn and act now while there’s time to make improvements?  Obtain a baseline read and begin a longitudinal assessment of climate and culture evolution over time.

4.Surveys bring attention to an issue that needs to be addressed.  What you don’t know can be dangerous and put your institution, students and employees at risk.  We’ve heard institutions say “Sexual assault is not a problem here!”  But are you sure?  Don’t put your head in the sand.  A survey allows you to close the gap between perception and reality, and helps you mitigate risk.

To learn more about a Fall 2015 Title IX survey collaboration between HERC and ModernThink, please visit

Enter your name and contact information under Stay Informed with Program Updates.

HERC members receive a 10% discount on survey pricing.

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