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Shopping for the Right Candidate



Black Friday is a day devoted to shopping, whether that means hunting for door-buster deals or opting for online bargains. Many people approach Black Friday with a strategic eye, carefully plotting their purchases in light of their holiday gift needs—and personal wants. A seasoned holiday shopper knows the value of a plan for a successful acquisition. If you’re in the market for a new employee, here are three tips to help you find a perfect fit:

Expand your pool. Black Friday veterans know that everyone thinks of checking the biggest retailers—you need to think outside the big box stores. This holds true in a candidate search as well. There is increasing mobility in careers. Professionals who have built their careers adjacent to—or even outside of—higher education have valuable insight and skills that can be deployed at your college. While you should advertise your position in higher-education-specific avenues, you should also make a point to get the word out more broadly.


Rely on your network. What do other shoppers say? One of the best ways to ensure a candidate who is a good cultural fit for your institution is a referral from an existing employee. Your employees understand the mission and values of your organization. They also have a vested interest in the success of your organization. Do you have an employee referral program in place? Do you share job openings with your current team? They can’t recommend candidates for openings they don’t know about.


Clarify your position. Making a list before going shopping is essential. If you don’t, you risk coming home with all kinds of things you don’t need—and forgetting the thing you went to the store for in the first place. You should also approach a job opening with intentionality. What are the job duties of the role you are hiring for? How does it interface with other facets of your organization? You should understand what aspects of the job description are fundamental and which are negotiable.