Further Questions: How Are Job Postings Written?

This week I asked people who hire librarians:

How does your institution write job postings?  Do you have any input, or does HR do it?  Do you list salary?  Are you allowed to add things like “strong internal candidate”?  Do you include any language about being an Equal Opportunity Employer, or do you encourage any specific demographic groups to apply?

We do write our job postings for the most part, but HR and Equity and Diversity have to sign off on the language. We fill out a web form that includes the job summary and minimum and preferred qualifications. I do not think our Equity and Diversity office would allow us to state “strong internal candidate” nor would we want to since we want a good applicant pool.

The actual job posting does not say anything about our university being an equal opportunity employer, but this information is on our university HR website and is on the application itself.

I do not know what other hiring managers at my library do but I submit my job postings to the ALA Black Caucus, REFORMA, the ALA GLBT Round Table listservs and similar groups specific to my home state because I personally want to encourage a diverse applicant pool.

– Julie Leuzinger, Department Head, Eagle Commons Library, University of North Texas Libraries

Laurie PhillipsOur search committees write the ads (or edit the ads written by the chair) based on the job description. We have some template language about the university, the library, EEO, and encouraging women and minorities to apply. Otherwise, HR has very little input in faculty searches and processes (although we meet with them about Affirmative Action and legalities of search questions). We include some information about the fact that it is a faculty position (usually appointed at Assistant Professor) and minimum salary. We try to use dynamic language in the job summary to entice the best candidates. We write a little about the job summary, then the required and preferred qualifications. Generally, in order to move on to the second round (phone or Skype interviews), a candidate will need to meet all of the required and one of the preferred qualifications. We also give specific instructions for application. Sometimes we have a short version of the ad (for print purposes, although that’s rare these days) linking to a longer ad on the university’s website.

– Laurie Phillips, Associate Dean for Technical Services, J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans

Marleah AugustineWe do not have a separate HR department, so usually the library director writes the job postings (with input from the position’s direct supervisor when necessary). For support staff positions, we do list the hourly wage. For librarian positions, a salary range (with salary to be determined based on experience) is usually listed. We do accept internal candidate applications, although it’s not usually advertised as such. We do include a statement about being an Equal Opportunity Employer that is pretty standard.

– Marleah Augustine, Adult Department Librarian at Hays Public Library

Job posting language is done internally by our HR person, with input from the Dept. Head., and approval of Director. We do list a salary range and benefit info. No language about EOE employment.

– Kaye Grabbe, Director,  Lake Forest (Public) Library,  Lake Forest, IL 

bonnie smithAt the University of Florida we have Position Descriptions (PD) for staff positions and Position Vacancy Announcements (PVA) for faculty positions which follow a slightly different trajectory. In both cases the process of writing the description starts at the departmental level. The HR Office receives a draft and offers suggested and required edits. The PD circulates back and forth several times until everyone feels it fulfills the needs of the department and the Libraries and follows University policies. Faculty searches have a defined Search Committee and the HR Office works with committee members in finalizing the PVA. In both cases the final draft is approved by the Department Chair, Senior Associate Dean and sometimes the Dean, depending on the level of the position.

We list the minimum salary for the rank/position followed by the following “Actual salary will reflect selected professional’s experience and credentials” and do not add any comments regarding candidates whether or not we have a strong internal candidate or not.

We always include the following information “The University of Florida is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages applications from women and minority group members. We are dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic environment; we strongly encourage applications from women, members of underrepresented groups, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.” One of our preferred qualifications is also: “Record of including individuals of diverse backgrounds, experiences, races, ethnicities, genders, and perspectives in research, teaching, service and other work”

– Bonnie Smith, Assistant Program Director for Human Resources, University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries

Thank you as always to our contributors for their time and insight.  If you’re someone who hires librarians and are interested in participating in this feature, please email me at hiringlibrariansATgmail.com.

Thank YOU for reading! And it’s one, two, three, What are we commenting for?


Filed under Academic, Further Questions, Public

2 responses to “Further Questions: How Are Job Postings Written?

  1. Pingback: Further Questions Questions | Hiring Librarians

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