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Prospective Member Institutions FAQs

What is the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium?

The Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC) is a collection of individual regional consortia and a central coordinating office. Each regional consortium is composed of colleges and universities and other institutions that share HERCs mission to promote excellence and diversity in higher education recruitment and retention and assist dual-career couples in the academy.

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Tell me more about HERC’s vision and mission.

The HERC vision is to promote equity and excellence in higher education recruitment worldwide. The HERC mission is to support its member institutions’ ability to recruit and retain the most diverse and talented workforce and to assist dual-career. HERC accomplishes this through information exchange, shared resources and technology, and negotiated vendor discounts.

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What kinds of institutions belong to HERC?

HERC’s members include the entire spectrum of higher education institutions including community colleges, public and private four-year colleges and master’s and doctorate granting universities, medical schools and teaching hospitals, research institutes and laboratories, and non-profit institutions such as museums and other scientific and cultural organizations that have a stake in higher education. Some regional HERCs have corporate associate members that wish to promote HERC’s mission and be part of the HERC community.

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Who can join the HERC?

Any accredited institution of higher education may join an existing regional HERC or work with neighboring institutions to develop a HERC of its own region if none exists. Regional HERCs may also welcome non-profit members and corporate associate members that share HERCs vision and mission. When an institution joins HERC, all employees of that institution are considered HERC members and can take advantage of all that HERC offers.

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What are the benefits of HERC membership?

Member institutions benefit through:

  • Greater exposure of their jobs through unlimited job postings on the HERC website.
  • Automatic postings of their jobs on and, the largest and most heavily used job aggregators.
  • Ability to cross-post any job to any other job board through the HERC website with only one-click, saving staff time and resources.
  • Ability to reach jobseekers directly with automated e-mail job alerts based on users’ profiles.
  • Access to a pool of highly educated jobseekers that is far more diverse than the national average.
  • Institutional exposure via regional and national marketing and advertising including in disciplinary publications and websites and in major diversity recruitment publications and websites.
  • Free access to a searchable resume database of candidates interested in working in higher education.
  • Access to vendor discounts available only to HERC members, including job posting discounts on other job boards and other higher education recruitment and retention products and services.
  • Membership meetings that foster networking opportunities and that feature guest speakers on cutting edge recruitment and retention practices.
  • Access to free webinars on issues relevant to higher education recruitment and retention presented by experts in their fields.
  • A network of colleagues at other member institutions who share best practices in recruitment and retention and collaborate on solving difficult recruitment issues including partner placement.
  • An institutional identity on the HERC website including logo, institutional profile, and links to your home page.
  • Greater name recognition for smaller institutions and richer and more diverse networks for all institutions.
  • HERC membership brands your institution as committed to excellence, diversity, work/life balance and sensitivity to dual career couples.

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Who participates in HERC activities?

Any employee of a member institution may participate in HERC activities. Active participants typically include institutional leaders in academic human resources and faculty affairs, diversity officers, recruitment specialists, human resources managers, dual-career directors and professional and administrative staff.

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Why is addressing dual-career issues integral to HERC’s mission?

The most current research shows that the majority of faculty members have employed partners. Providing employment opportunities to spouses and partners of employees or prospective employees that are within a commutable distance removes a significant barrier to employment and retention. Campuses aren’t recruiting individuals anymore, we are recruiting families.

HERC's dual-career tools include comprehensive job boards searchable within and across regions, online resources for dual-career couples, and regional campus networks to assist with partner employment. Proactively addressing dual-career concerns is a significant indicator of an institution’s commitment to being a family-friendly employer.

Recent research has shown that 72% of faculty members have employed partners. (Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research, L. Schiebinger, A. Henderson, S. Gilmartin, Dual-career Academic Couples: What Universities Need to Know Stanford: 2008)

Other key findings of the study include:

  • Faculty members' career decisions are strongly influenced by partner employment status.
  • As a strategy to enhance competitive excellence, dual-career couple hiring is on the rise in U.S. universities.
  • Dual-career couple hiring can help build a more diverse, equitable, and competitive workforce, especially with regard to gender. For example, women are more likely than men to have academic partners (40% of female faculty in the study sample versus 34% of male faculty). And rates of dual hiring are higher among women respondents than among men respondents (13% versus 7%). This means that couple hiring becomes a particularly relevant strategy for the recruitment and retention of women faculty.
  • Women in academic couples report that their partners' employment statuses and opportunities are important to their own career decisions. Not only do women more often than men perceive a loss in professional mobility as a result of their academic partnerships (54% for women versus 41% for men), but they actively refuse job offers if their partner cannot find a satisfactory position.
  • Universities are in danger of losing prized candidates if suitable employment cannot be found for a partner. When couples have choices, they prefer to live together and take jobs where each partner can flourish professionally. A full 88% of faculty who successfully negotiated a dual hire indicated that the first hire would have refused the position had her or his partner not found employment.
  • Helping dual-career couples is a central part of HERC's mission.

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How does HERC contribute to diversifying its members’ applicant pools?

HERC invests significantly in outreach through advertising, conference attendance, and partnerships with minority serving publications, societies, and organizations that reach diverse constituents. The result is HERC jobseeker demographics that significantly outpace national averages on key indicators of diversity such as race and gender.

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How does HERC differ from for-profit job boards?

HERC is a non-profit organization and is motivated by mission not money. HERC leverages member fees to provide the highest return on investment and has the only higher education job board with both regional and national sites and a dual-career and diversity focus. Because HERC provides members an affordable platform to post all open positions, the National HERC website,, is among the largest higher education jobs websites in the world with an average of 18,000 jobs posted at any given time.

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How is belonging to a consortium different than the professional associations I belong to?

The consortium model is unique. Professional associations focus primarily on professional development and networking which are very important and also a core benefit of HERC membership. Additionally, HERC leverages member dues and facilitates collaboration to address specific recruitment challenges: increasing diversity of faculty, staff, and administrators and providing job search tools for dual-career couples. HERC strategically invests in website technology, brand development, outreach, advertising, and developing partnerships that offer members a measurable return on investment in these areas.

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Does my membership fee include the ability to post all jobs? Can more than one representative participate in member conferences and webinars? Is HERC membership all inclusive?

Yes. Yes. And, yes. When you belong to HERC your institution is able to post an unlimited number of jobs on your regional HERC website and all jobs are also cross-posted to, and You also have free access to HERC’s CV/resume database. Membership is for your entire institution and entitles several institutional representatives to attend member conferences and unlimited participants to take advantage of HERC webinars and discounts. HERC keeps it simple and membership is all inclusive.

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How is HERC funded?

Each regional HERC is funded by the annual membership fees of its participating institutions. Each regional HERC in turn provides an annual fee to the central HERC coordinating office to fund HERC-wide initiatives that benefit members of all HERC regions.

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What do the membership fees cover?

Membership fees cover all programming, operational, and administrative costs, the technology costs for hosting and maintaining the website and job board database, and the annual fee to the Central HERC coordinating office to fund HERC-wide initiatives such as advertising and marketing to jobseekers, outreach to women and minority candidates at conferences, and data collection and analysis.

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How is HERC governed and administered?

Each regional HERC is governed by an Advisory Board or Steering Committee representing its member institutions. The Advisory Board or Steering Committee is responsible for providing direction to the regional HERC, ensuring that its operations meet the objectives and interests of participant institutions, approving the budget, recommending policies and procedures, and making final decisions on policies and operational procedures. The regional HERC Director is responsible for making programming recommendations based on members’ needs, planning and executing all regional HERC programming and activities, and financial management of the regional HERC budget. The regional HERC Director reports to the regional HERC Advisory Board or Steering Committee and by extension to all the region’s member institutions.

Each regional HERC is autonomous within the parameters of the HERC-wide affiliation agreement with the Central HERC office. The Central HERC is governed by an Advisory Board that consists of all the regional HERC Directors and one additional representative from every regional HERC and is a project of the Tides Center, a 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor of projects worldwide.

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What are the responsibilities of HERC member institutions?

The primary member responsibilities for member institutions are to pay the annual membership fee and post and maintain accurate listings of their academic, executive, and staff positions on the HERC website. Members are encouraged to participate in networking meetings, share best practices, collaborate to assist dual-career couples in the region and contribute to HERC governance by providing input on policy issues and volunteering for Advisory Board or committee service.

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How many regional HERCs are there?

There are currently 19 HERCs within the United States representing over 700 member institutions. Please visit the Regional HERC page to find out where they are.

Take a look at where the current regional HERCs are located below.




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How much are annual membership dues in HERC?

HERC is a non-profit organization and strives to maintain the lowest membership fees possible to make it affordable for every institution of higher education and related organization in the region to participate. Each regional HERC sets its own annual membership fees which are based on a tiered fee structure tied to student enrollment figures. Dues cover the regional HERC’s core budget and share of the Central HERC office budget, enabling HERC to invest in mission-driven activities.

HERC keeps it simple and membership is all inclusive. Your dues payment covers every membership benefit available through HERC, including unlimited postings on the jobs websites, and entitles institutional representatives to attend member conferences and unlimited participants to take advantage of HERC webinars and discounts.

In a tiered structure, dues typically fall within the $2,000 - $7,000 per year range depending on the number and type of campuses participating in your regional HERC, however some regions set dues above and below this range.

Member institutions often split the cost between the Human Resources and Faculty Affairs offices. The annual investment in HERC is modest considering the cost of unsuccessful recruitments.

  • The average cost of hiring a new faculty member is $96,000. Source: Harvard University’s Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education, (COACHE)
  • The average cost of hiring a new employee of any type during the 2010-11 recruiting season was $5,054. Source: National Association of College and University Employers (NACE)

If HERC helps with the recruitment of even a single employee, a member institution’s investment has been realized many times over.

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How can my institution join HERC?

Visit the Regional HERC page to find out if there is a HERC in your area. Email the Regional HERC Director who will send you a packet of informational materials specific to that HERC and schedule a time to discuss any questions. An invoice for the membership fee will be sent to you and the regional Director will begin the process of integrating your institution into the consortium, establish your presence on the regional HERC website, and demonstrate how to post your jobs.

If there is no HERC in your region, visit the Form a HERC Page for information about how to start a HERC in your region and how to contact the HERC Executive Director for additional information.

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Amy Barnes
"HERC is a must if your institution cares about dual-career couples, diversity, employment outreach, and learning cutting-edge recruitment and retention strategies."

- Amy Diamond Barnes, Executive Director of Human Resources, Washington & Lee University

Title: Why is faculty diversity and equity so important in higher education?
Mary Harvey, Associate Provost for Program Development, University of Chicago
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