This anonymous interview is with an academic librarian who has been a hiring manager, a member of a hiring or search committee, and a human resources professional.
This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in an urban area in the Western US.
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?
√ 26-50 %
And how would you define “hirable”?
Met the qualifications of the position. Had the skills needed to perform the job on day one.
How are applications evaluated, and by whom?
Rubrics are established along with the development of a job description / ad by a committee of peers. Candidates are selected for a phone interview based on how they match up with the requirements of the position. Finalist are invited to the campus to interview / present / and feedback is received regarding each finalist from the library Dean, fellow librarians, and library staff. Based on these responses, a recommendation is developed by the committee which is reviewed by the librarians as a group and forwarded to the Dean as a recommendation to hire.
What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?
Resume / cover letter did not match the requirements of the position. Finalists better met the requirements of the position / had experience that would permit them to succeed in a challenging environment
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?
Read the job description, match their cover letter / application to the requirements of the position. Be familiar with the organization they are seeking to be employed at. Don’t just recycle a recommendation from another application.
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 fewer 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?
Depends on the position being advertised.
Is librarianship a dying profession?
√ Other: It is evolving
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.