The Hyatt-Fennell Minute

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We Regret to Inform You: What Your Rejection Letter Is Missing

No one likes being on the receiving end of a rejection letter, but sending one is no picnic, either. Telling someone “no” is not pleasant, particularly when it comes at the end of an executive search that has fostered a relationship. It can be tempting to throw a salutation and signature on a form letter and be done with it, but doing so can cheat you and the recipient out of a valuable opportunity. You arrived at your decision as the result of a thoughtful and careful process; your letter should reflect that. Here are three elements a rejection letter should include: Be personal. Cite the candidate's strengths and also be specific about what was not a good fit, without going into unhelpful

Self Sabotage: The Easiest Way to Mess Up a Job Application

Job applications are not the place for innovation. Natalie Lundsteen gives direct and valuable advice about job applications: always read (and follow!) the directions. The advice is as basic as it is neglected. Candidates often remove themselves from the running by not following simple procedures. Lundsteen notes: “Hiring managers and recruiters will freely admit that, with huge numbers of applicants, it is not difficult to be ruthless during the initial applicant review. They are looking to discard as many candidates as possible to be able to get to a manageable number of good applicants. They can drop a candidate into the no pile for a number of reasons, including that he or she: doesn’t h

Seeking Provost/Vice President Academic Affairs

Hyatt Fennell is managing a new search for a Provost/Vice President Academic Affairs for Brenau University in Gainesville, FL. Brenau University has twice received designation “as one of the best workplaces in the United States. It was among 93 universities and colleges...listed in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s 2016 ‘Great Colleges to Work For’ rankings.” You can view the beautiful campus through their video and apply for the position here.

Starting Strong: Decoding Your New Office

Starting a new position is daunting. Your success in a position rests on achieving concrete objectives, as well as more intangible elements of company culture. Each workplace has it’s own set of unwritten rules. How can you smooth your transition from an outsider to a member of a team? One of the most fundamental elements of any workplace is communication. Here are three questions to ask to demystify your new office: What do people talk about? This can help you identify company values. Are goals talked about using specific terms? Are achievements measured by a certain standard? Clue into the language and topics to understand what matters to your coworkers and supervisor. When do people talk?

Skype Interview Dos and Don’ts

Karen Kelsky from The Professor Is In has an excellent checklist for Skype interviews. One of her best tips: “Get some advice on how your interview attire looks on camera. I once had a client who wore a soft-collared beige blouse for our practice Skype interview. It was her go-to interview look, but on Skype it looked like a drab, sad puddle of fabric around her neck, and washed out her face.” She has suggestions for interviewers as well: “I’d recommend having only two people on screen at any one time, and perhaps moving the laptop around to focus on different search committee members as they ask different questions or make follow-up remarks.” While you’re preparing, revisit our four tips fo

Your Elevator Pitch: When Seconds Count, What Do You Say?

Last month we discussed the elements of an effective executive bio. Attention spans are short, and you only have a limited amount of time to hook people in and establish your credibility. Your bio has many more applications than your resume and functions as a personal elevator pitch. From websites, to speaking engagements, to your LinkedIn profile, you can get a lot of traction out of a well-crafted executive bio. Once you’ve written your bio, here are three ways to get the most use of out it: Commit it to memory. Practice your bio until you know it by heart. The last thing you want is to trip over your words or have to focus too much on what you are saying. There is no substitute for practi

Search for Vice President for Development at Trine University in Angola, IL.

Hyatt Fennell is managing the search for a Vice President for Development at Trine University in Angola, IL. Trine University is a thriving institution whose enrollment recently set a record for fourth straight year and is ranked among top Midwestern regional colleges by U.S. News & World Report. Learn more about the position and apply at our website.

Innovation in Education: Leaders Who are Making a Difference

Do the benchmarks we use to judge universities present a holistic picture? Washington Monthly argues that they don’t adequately reward innovation—innovation that is vital to address the current array of challenges facing higher education. Washington Monthly has compiled a list of the sixteen most innovative people in higher education. Here are some highlights: Tim Renick of Georgia State University has used predictive analytics to grow graduation rates by 30%, while closing the racial achievement gap. Perhaps most astounding in this success story is the cost to the university. “According to Renick, the reforms more than pay for themselves. Each percentage improvement in student retention bri

Election Debates in the Workplace

The campaign rhetoric has reached a fevered pitch. As political news dominates the headlines, it will inevitably spill over into workplace conversations. How can you avoid disruptive and divisive discord among your team? Here are some tips: Be Proactive. Be strategic about addressing political discussion before it becomes an issue. Consider sending out an email to your employees reaffirming that your office is one where all viewpoints are valued, but not all conversations are constructive. Political beliefs are deeply held and discussions should be kept within bounds of what can be discussed civilly. Reiterate that in an increasingly divided political landscape, your employees are all on one

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