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The Great Colleges to Work For program now in its ninth year continues to deliver valued results like never before. Using survey research to determine the key success factors that distinguish great colleges, the partnership between The Chronicle of Higher Education and ModernThink LLC has been helping leaders understand and leverage data to build great institutions to work for since 2008. The efforts of the program have effectively shaped the foundation for what it takes to be a “great college,” and this year’s Honor Roll institutions exemplify the four strategic pillars that make up this foundation.

  1. Senior Leadership. When assessing their Senior Leader teams, faculty and staff look for two traits:  credibility and capability. Senior leaders establish credibility through interactions that build trust and through behaviors that are consistent, reliable, and reflect integrity. Faculty and staff are also looking for leaders who show capability—they must demonstrate that they have the knowledge, skills, and experience to effectively lead the institution.

 

  1. Communication. Employees rely on transparent and interactive communication to understand what’s going on, solve problems, get ideas across, and ultimately fuel progress. Regarding transparency, it is vital that institutions are open concerning both good and bad news, provide the context and rationale for decisions, and ensure that the campus community receives regular and timely updates. In addition to modeling transparency, it is also important to foster interactive communication that creates opportunities for two-way exchanges. Healthy dialogue will help employees feel that they can provide input and be heard. Communication is a priority within great workplaces.

 

  1. Alignment. Great Colleges demonstrate alignment in their people practices in two key areas: collaboration and contribution. When collaborating, faculty and staff are aligned with each other in furtherance of a goal.  They actively support and are supported by one another, enabling them to do their best work.  They solicit input from each other and pay little attention to whom gets credit for what. Great Colleges position people to contribute at their highest level; they have the right people in the right jobs and provide them with the training, tools and resources to succeed.

 

  1. Respect. The hallmarks of respect within a workplace are fairness and acknowledgment. Institutions with an intentional focus on building an equitable culture treat employees fairly regardless of personal attributes or position. In addition to being treated fairly, people want to be acknowledged. Therefore, it is important that rewards, recognition, and feedback are specific and regular and that they motivate faculty and staff to treat each other well and do their best work. In great workplaces as in life, respect breeds respect.

 

Your institution’s path to creating a culture of engagement does not have to be long or complicated. Learning from the best of the best – especially in the areas of Senior Leadership, Communication, Alignment and Respect – can provide great insight and motivation. For a more in-depth look at the program and how institutions grow to reach the Honor Roll, watch our webinar on “Lessons from the Best – Insights and Best Practices from The Chronicle’s Great Colleges to Work For® program.”   The deadline to participate for the 2016 program is February 15, 2016. For more information about the survey and program, contact Suzi Schmittlein at 302.764.4477 or sschmittlein@modernthink.com  HERC members are eligible for a discount on custom surveys within the program.

Author: Rich Boyer, Senior Consultant, ModernThink

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Monster is HERC's newest Trustee Level Partner. Monster doesn’t just help you find more people; we help you find the right people. We also offer the tools and resources you need to find, hire, and develop the workforce you need to match educators, administrators, and staff with opportunities. Learn about member discounts with Monster here.

 

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

Innovative

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

Monster doesn’t just help you find more people; we help you find the right people. We also offer the tools and resources you need to find, hire, and develop the workforce you need to match educators, administrators, and staff with opportunities.

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

Power Resume Search

Career Ad Network

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

Education institutions are starting to adopt social recruiting strategies, allowing recruiters to be in contact with job seekers outside of their traditional recruiting pools.

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

Every institution has unique requirements, so whether you need all our solutions or just one, we’re here to help in whatever way works best for you, with leading edge:

  • Social recruiting solutions
  • Tools to quickly chart careers and understand personalities
  • Unique candidate engagement solutions
  • Award-winning technologies that help pinpoint the right candidates from a vast applicant pool
  • Secure, reliable, and trusted talent management systems
  • Diversity and inclusion solutions that help people work better together

 

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

Monster is committed to serving higher education with the technology, tools, and thought leadership to support finding, hiring, and developing the best talent. By becoming a Trustee Partner of HERC, Monster seeks to contribute to the recruitment efforts of HERC’s over 700 college and university members. We believe in HERC’s mission of advancing the ability of member institutions to recruit and retain the most diverse and talented workforce and assisting dual-career couples.

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 (chroniclevitae.com), 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?

Internationalization.

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

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