This week we asked people who hire librarians:
Traveling for interviews: who pays? Does your library pay for the interview expenses of a candidate such as airfare, hotel, meals, or mileage? Are candidates reimbursed or do you pay up front? Has anything changed in this realm due to the economy, such as a focus on local candidates, paying for travel but not meals, etc.?
We pay all of our candidates’ travel expenses. We book them in a hotel that the university has a relationship with, so they don’t see a bill at all. We will also book their plane ticket for them on the library’s credit card, if they would like us to do that, but will also reimburse if that works better. We are well aware that some candidates who are in graduate school may not have credit card space for their travel expenses – especially when they’re booking for a trip that’s somewhat last minute (booked only a week or two in advance). We reimburse for extra meals, mileage and airport parking. No, we have not changed anything due to the economy. We are faculty so we do national searches and will sometimes have local candidates, but that’s not a priority. We are permitted to interview 4 candidates on campus rather than 3 if one or more are local (costing less to the university), but we rarely do that because of the extra time commitment. We want to narrow to our three best possibilities.
– Laurie Phillips, Associate Dean for Technical Services, J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans
At our organization, we reimburse travel expenses for the successful candidate. We conduct the first round of interviews via Skype and then invite a very limited number of shortlisted candidates for a 2nd in-person interview. Travel expenses in our case include everything, from mileage to meals to accommodation.We have been fortunate that candidates have no come from too far away.– Petra Mauerhoff, CEO, Shortgrass Library System
In recent years, we have not had the opportunity to pay for travel for candidates, nor do we have a policy in place. We have had candidates travel through on their own and visit the library when they submitted their application, and we have had candidates Skype or do phone interviews with us. We try to make those interviews as much like in-person interviews as we can.
– Marleah Augustine, Adult Department Librarian at Hays Public Library
We have always paid all travel, lodging, food, and incidental expenses for candidates regardless of their location. We pay for airline tickets up front and make hotel reservations so the candidate does not have to pay out of pocket. We can make rental car reservations but not pay for them so we reimburse for that, mileage, parking, etc.
The economy has not had an impact on faculty searches which are always advertised nationally. We have been lucky to be able to continue to search broadly and support candidates’ visits so that we can focus on hiring the best people.
– Celia Rabinowitz, Director of the Library, St. Mary’s College of Maryland