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:
Reference / public service librarians
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in an urban 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”?
Have all the qualifications requested and able to express themselves verbally and in writing.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
HR weeds out the unqualified candidates.
The search committee weeds out CVs that have problems with their cover letters, questionable work history, overqualified individuals, and others that seem would not be a good fit.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Questionable work history or under/over qualified
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?
make sure their cover letter is perfect with no spelling or grammatical errors and explains any work gaps and qualifications
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?
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?
Yes, it is an official requirement
Is librarianship a dying profession?
Why or why not?
Librarianship is changing but not dying. Our duties have evolved and are not what they were but we are expected to serve our patrons nonetheless.
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.
One response to “questionable work history, overqualified individuals, and others that seem would not be a good fit.”
Curious about the emphasis on “questionable work history” here. I see lots of resumes that focus on tasks and accomplishments that aren’t relevant to our openings, and certainly new and inexperienced applicants have a tendency to dress up the most mundane tasks with flowery language, but rarely do I get the sense that I’m reading a bogus resume. With 25-75 applicants for a given position, the respondent can afford to be a little selective, but I wonder whether s/he is also being overly suspicious.