This anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager, a member of a hiring or search committee, and a human resources professional. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:
Primarily Branch Managers/Assistant Managers, specialty positions, and Administration to some extent.
This librarian works at a library in the Midwestern US that serves urban, suburban, and rural areas.
Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?
√ 25 or fewer
Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?
√ 25% or less
And how would you define “hirable”?
Have had reasonable experience with the essential responsibilities of the position.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
For salaried positions, applications are initially scanned for minimum qualifications by HR representative, then passed to hiring managers for the position for their consideration. Rubrics are used to narrow the pool to those who appear to have the most skills/experience/education necessary to be successful in the position.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Reasons vary based on position; may be degree requirement, may be lack of supervisory experience, may be because there were enough candidates that fulfilled all or most of the requirements and preferences to complete the interview selections and the candidate fell short on one category.
Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?
√ Other: When requested, but not as a general rule.
What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?
Develop application materials that speak to the needs of the position they are applying to. One size does not fit all. Explaining how skills/experiences are transferable is wise.
No typos, grammatical errors, incomplete applications.
I want to hire someone who is
How many staff members are at your library/organization?
How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?
√ 7 or more
How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?
√ 7 or more
Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?
√ There are more positions
Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?
Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?
Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?
No, there are no experience requirements for Page positions.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
No. There continues to be a need for Librarians as Libraries continue to morph to meet the needs of their customers.
For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.