Foundations for Effective Recruiting: A Chair’s Perspective


The Facebook post showed three smiling young faculty members standing next to a departmental banner. The caption ready simply “We are recruiting!” What did this post tell us? So little. What was missing? So much.

Faculty and administrators may be investing a huge amount of time in recruiting. And yet these efforts can be ridden with problems: failure to consider the needs of today’s students, inconsistent messaging from within the department, inequitable distribution of effort in recruiting, and reluctance to abandon familiar but ineffective tactics.

When recruiting, many people want to start by creating visibility. This should be your last step. Think of it this way: you want prospective students to commit to your cause rather than join your club. Getting clarity about your cause requires that you establish your foundation or ROC—that is, your relevance, outcomes, and plan for collaboration—before you engage in visibility.

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