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Consider Your Culture before Seeking Your Candidate

Hiring committees serve a key role at a critical juncture in an organization. They are part of charting the future path an institution will take. When there is a leadership transition, hiring committees seek to move efficiently to minimize any personnel gap. Yet, it is a mistake to try to look for a candidate without first considering what kind of candidate would be most successful at your organization.

There are a certain number of job duties and requisite skills that are standard for leadership roles. However, using a stock job description for a president or Dean of Enrollment Services will not key in on the particular culture of your organization. Hiring Committees are not just seeking a candidate who can do a job, but do it well and advance the organization. One way to filter candidate adequacy from excellence is to make sure you know what you are looking for. The best hiring committees are introspective before they make an offer or even post a position. One key piece of advice we give is to stop and ask, what are the three traits the top performers at your institution have in common? When you know what you collectively see in your best employees, you will discern what you should look for in your next hire. When you enter the search process with this understanding, you set your candidate and your institution for success.