This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:
Catalogers, subject librarians, archivists, instructors, and most recently people with technology skills (hardware, software, digitization, web services, etc.) and experience with assessment.
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a suburban area in the Southern US.
Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?
Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?
√ 25% or less
And how would you define “hirable”?
Meets qualifications, shows evidence of achievement and initiative
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
HR forwards most applications without review. Search committees winnow the candidates down further using rubrics that match the job requirements.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Terrible resumes. We’ve seen task lists cut and pasted into resumes, candidates who aspire other than the jobs they are applying for, big disconnects between skill sets and job requirements, spelling errors, etc.
Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?
What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?
Write a resume that shows a record of achievement in areas that match the job requirements.
I want to hire someone who is
self – managing
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?
How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?
Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?
√ There are the same number of 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?
Experience is not a requirement but as a matter of practice the best candidates often have some workplace experience that allows them to document a record of achievement.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
Librarianship does not need to die. Smart librarians provide needed services, are flexible and willing to change in ways that support their institutions, and provide strong customer service. There is a lot of regard for the contributions of librarians who fit this description.
Do you hire librarians? Take this survey: http://tinyurl.com/hiringlibjobmarketsurvey or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.
For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.