This week we asked people who hire librarians
Does your institution require any type of training to be part of a hiring committee? If so, did you find it useful? If not, what sort of training would be beneficial (diversity, human rights, conflict of interest, etc.)? How do you think training (or its absence) affects candidates?
I’m not sure if our institution requires it but, in the library, we require that every person go through HR’s training on appropriate/interactions with candidates. As in what is legal or not legal to ask or discuss with a candidate. If someone couldn’t be at that training, they could not be a part of the hiring process.
– Laurie Phillips, Associate Dean for Technical Services, J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans
No, the City does not. We depend heavily on our internal HR people and the City’s HR people to ensure we stick to the rules. As far as I know, the City doesn’t offer any training on hiring, so we just use the advice of our HR crew, best practices and common sense. I think its absence does impact our interviews, to a degree. We sometimes don’t know what the current policies are and I’ve sat on committees with people who don’t have a lot of experience interviewing and can be as nervous as the people sitting on the other end of the table-they can make it worse! If everyone is a ball of nerves, then the whole interview can go pear-shaped.
– Margaret M. Neill, Regional Library Branch Manager, Main Library, El Paso Public Library
All search committees must meet with a representative from Human Resources and with the chief diversity officer of the college. The standard training is not especially exciting but includes important information about using the job ad criteria for establishing a baseline to evaluate candidates. My current institution adheres strictly to these criteria and expects the search chair to document each candidate and the reasons why they continue on in a search or are eliminated at any stage. We also have to be sure to use the same set of questions with all candidates. The meeting with HR give the committee time to begin that work and to review the online file review system. The diversity officer reminds the committee about how to increase efforts to attract a diverse pool of applicants, and about those pesky questions that are off limits during an interview.
The sessions are useful, especially if you are at a new library or institution. And committees are different each time and the training sessions or meetings are a good opportunity to be sure everyone is working together from a common set of expectations.
– Celia Rabinowitz, Dean of Mason Library at Keene State College in Keene, NH
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