Faculty review systems support appointment, merit, promotion, tenure, and related actions. In 2018, University of
Eight flavors of faculty recruitment systems were used at the 34 University of California and California State University campuses in 2018. UC Recruit is the most widely used, followed by Interfolio Faculty Search and Email.
UC and CSU hired a total of 1,949 new faculty in 2017 according to IPEDS. Every recruitment is an opportunity to strengthen academic excellence and diversify our faculty. They can also become OFCCP audit headaches if not run by the book.
Assessing Your Recruitment System
Modern applicant tracking systems do a lot more than track applicants. The best systems support faculty search committees, enable shared governance, address external accountability, and align recruitment with university strategy.
How does your system measure up? Does it support the following "basic qualifications"?
- Guides your faculty through planning the search by defining the search committee, ad venues, and candidate qualifications.
- Measures diversity of your applicant pools by comparing against national diversity benchmark/availability data.
- Tracks your search waivers that, when abused, can jeopardize university equal opportunity and nondiscrimination commitments.
- Connects your committees, deans and central offices through a standardized review/approval workflow at each milestone.
- Facilitates your search committee collaboration through commenting, ranking, and advancing applicant status.
- Identifies your recruitment best practices by surveying search chairs on their practices and comparing with their diversity outcomes.
- Deters non-compliant practices using technical controls that guide committees down an OFCCP-compliant path.
- Supports your central office and IT needs with self-service reports and API access for programmers.
- Prepares you for an OFCCP desk audit by tracking data needed, for every recruitment, from plan to hire.
Evaluating Your Options
Considering a new faculty recruitment system isn't easy. There are several systems to choose from and many stakeholder needs to account for. Selecting the right system that supports both faculty and administration needs will save everyone time while making compliance easy. Selecting the wrong system will frustrate faculty and steal time away from their teaching, research, and service priorities.
Involving faculty in the selection process is critical. A formally recognized faculty group (e.g.: appointed by academic senate) provides your initiative with needed credibility. You can lean on this credibility during implementation as most large-scale software roll-outs encounter some faculty resistance along the way.
Tips for evaluating new faculty recruitment systems:
- Evaluate multiple vendors. UC Recruit, Interfolio and PeopleAdmin are top choices in UC & CSU – consider asking for demos from each at a minimum.
- Develop your own "basic qualifications". This is similar to defining your selection process before opening a faculty search. Having a plan combats bias and helps you select the right system regardless of salesperson performance or other factors.
- Borrow a selection process. Why reinvent the wheel when another university has already come up with a great selection process? They may even share some missteps you can learn from.
- Ask for references. Find a campus using a vendor you're considering. It's easy to do (I did it for this article – just takes time and google searching). Ask the reference if they're satisfied with the product and support post-launch. Often customer service or service level drops after the contract is signed and the system is running.
Interested in learning more? Want a copy of the data I used here? Please do not hesitate to contact me.
The faculty recruitment system usage chart covers all 34 UC & CSU campuses. System use is weighted by instructional, research and public service FTE as measured by IPEDS 2017 provisional data.