Tag Archives: Human resources

Further Questions: Could You Hire Two Probationary Workers?

This week’s question is from Twitter (check out @HiringLib).  I asked people who hire librarians:

In filling a position, could you hire two probationary workers, maybe each half time, and then decide a couple months later who got the job?  Why or Why not?

Marleah AugustineWe do hire staff for a 6-month probationary period and do an evaluation at the end of that time. I would not hire two employees and make a decision later. I think that would cause conflicts and bad feelings between those two hires and possibly among the other staff. Additionally, having a half time job vs a full time job could affect salary levels and benefits, especially if these are state- or board-mandated. I also think it would look bad to the library board if the person hiring was not able to make a decision.

If I hired someone and it didn’t work out, I would reach out to the other person that I didn’t hire and see if they were still available.

– Marleah Augustine, Adult Department Librarian at Hays Public Library

Emilie SmartOur City will not allow us to hire 2 PT workers on probation and then choose which one to keep full time.  That being said, we can do a job share where we hire 2 PT people to share a FT job.  Both would be subject to our 6 month probationary period, but if we let one go, the other would still be part time.  We have not done this with new hires, though — only with permanent FT employees who requested that they be allowed to share the job (they both wanted to work part time and they worked in the same department).

– Emilie Smart, Division Coordinator of Reference Services & Computer Services at East Baton Rouge Parish Library

Dusty Snipes GresI think the answer should not  be based on could you hire but should you or would you?

For me, no. It seems a wishy-washy employment practice, at best, and as far as I am concerned would neither  bring out the best in either candidate, nor would it be fair to either candidate. Applying for a job is a stressful task. Having to compete in the workplace against another person takes the job to the level of a reality television show.  Make a decision. Allow the other candidate to continue to look or to take another position. If, after a reasonable probationary period, according to your personnel policy, the one you chose does not work out – see if the other is available or try again.

– Dusty Gres, Director, Ohoopee Regional Library System

I think there may be some HR issues in such a ‘contest’. I hope some people with more knowledge than I weigh in on that aspect. As I have said before, I hire people on a temp-perm basis through an agency to fill a position. I try them out to see if they will fit in with the rest of the staff and whether it takes them too long to learn the job. If a person doesn’t work out, it is the job of the agency to tell them and to get me someone new.

I also see a problem with the type of jobsharing your Tweep is suggesting. If people are job sharing, they would have to work together. Since it sounds like a competition for a job, I can see people sabotaging each other’s work, which would not benefit the organization.

– Jaye Lapachet, Manager of Library Services, Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass LLP

Laurie Phillips

We cannot do this. We do national searches for tenure-track faculty librarians. We couldn’t ask someone to move here for a half-time probationary position and it would jeopardize our ability to keep the tenure-track line. I would also think that this would be extremely awkward for the two people involved.

– Laurie Phillips, Associate Dean for Technical Services, J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans

At my library, hiring is very tightly controlled by the Human Resources department at the City. Part time and full time are hired very differently, so this would never work for us. Part time staff are considered temporary employees (even if they work for the Library for 30 years). They have no guaranteed hours, no vacation/sick, and no benefits. They can be hired at the local branch level and the application tends to be pretty short. Full time staff is a totally different story and the hiring process is much more rigid. There is a probationary period.

Manya ShorrI think this is an interesting question, but I’ve never heard of a library doing something like this. To me, there are some troubling implications. We try to encourage applicants from around the country and I’m not sure why anyone would move to Omaha if this was the scenario. I also worry about the environment that this would create. Are these two people working side by side and potentially sabotaging each other’s work? How would this contribute towards a healthy team environment? I’m all for getting the right people in the right job, but if we want to trial new staff, we already have a probationary period. I see no reason to create a cage match to the death environment.

am interested in talking about developing internal staff so that they can advance in the organization. This seems like an excellent way to trial staff for more responsibility.

– Manya Shorr, Senior Manager, Branch Services, Omaha Public Library

Randall SchroederThat is an interesting proposition. I would not be opposed to the idea but I wonder about how it would work out practically. If nothing else, it would probably be a hard sell to the Dean or Provost that the library reports to. Also, would the staff get habituated to the idea of having the resources of having two people even if only half time.

I worked at a college where two people shared one faculty position. It worked in their special situation because they were also married with young children. I recall one, however, saying that it seemed like it was two half-time people working 75 percent of the job each. It was great for the college, but they wondered if the college was taking advantage of them somewhat.

In your scenario, someone would put their lives on hold for a potentially unfavorable outcome, although I suppose the benefit would be getting some experience.

It would have to be very special circumstances, not the least of which being the unlikely event that one candidate could not be differentiated over the other.

– Randall Schroeder, Department Head of Public Services, Ferris Library for Information, Technology & Education

Thank you as always to our contributors for their time and insight.  If you’re someone who hires librarians and are interested in participating in this feature, please contact me.

Thank YOU for reading!  Hey! Been trying to reach you!  Hey!  Must be a comment between us…

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Academic, Further Questions, Law Library, Public

More Opportunities for Professional Development

Hunting Party in the Pinelands by the Florida State ArchivesThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for less than six months. This person is looking in Academic libraries for positions at the entry level and requiring at least two years of experience. Here is this person’s experience with internships/volunteering:

I volunteered for a prestigious library in the DC area as well as for a private institution with a small library and archives.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Mid-Atlantic, and prefers to remain in his/her current state of residence.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

More opportunities for professional development
Decent pay
Good work environment

Where do you look for open positions?

Professionsl listservs and INALJ.

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ Other:I merely hope to see one, but I do try to research the salaries of a similar position in the same area

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

1. Read the job announcement several times
2. Research the institution
3. Customize my resume/CV and cover letter
4. Proofread it myself, then have a friend or two proofread it as well
5. Submit the application via email or online application system, depending on the instructions

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

Yes
√ No
√ Other:

To acknowledge my application, To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage, To follow-up after an interview, I appreciate any form of contact!
When would you like employers to contact you?

To acknowledge my application
√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
√ To follow-up after an interview
√ Other: I appreciate any form of contact!

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Other: Phone or email; doesn’t matter.

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility
√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers
√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary
√ Other: The atmosphere during the interview. If I’m feeling positive vibes, then I’ll have a better feeling as to whether the position’s for me.

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Ask for recommendations from current employees. There’s a good chance they may know someone who meets their qualifications.

Don’t lowball the salary. Offer a liveable wage!

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Let me know either way whether they can move forward with the interview or offer me a position

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Demonstrate enthusiasm and knowledge about the position and institution during the interview. Continue to apply for jobs until you find a job that you like or that you can live with. Be friendly and smile.

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

Leave a comment

Filed under Academic, Job hunter's survey, Urban area

Showing That You are a Team Player on Paper and in Person.

Ruth OwensRuth Owens received her MLIS from Syracuse University in 2010 and holds a BS in Zoology from Colorado State University. She is currently the Instructional Technologies Librarian at Cayuga Community College. She has been looking for a new position for six months to a year. Ms. Owens is looking in Academic, Public, and Special libraries, at the entry level and for positions requiring at least two years of experience. She lives in a city/town in the Northeastern US,  and is not willing to move. Ms. Owens is treasurer for the Upstate New York chapter of the Special Libraries Association.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

1. A place I can use my skills

2. A place I can be a part of a team

3. A place I can grow and advance

Where do you look for open positions?

LAC Group Jobs, LibGig Library Jobs, local library councils, professional listservs

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

√ No (even if I might think it *should* be)

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

-Update and polish resume for the position

-Write a draft cover letter, review it many times, have someone else review it, save the final copy

-Fill out online application if required (sometimes this takes hours and hours of entering information right from my resume which is also always attached)

-Double and triple checking everything for grammar and accuracy

-I usually spend two or three evenings or even a week making sure my application is complete

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

√ No

When would you like employers to contact you?

√ To acknowledge my application

√ To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage

√ To follow-up after an interview

√ Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

√ Phone

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

√ Tour of facility

√ Meeting department members/potential co-workers

√ Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Make sure the position duties are accurate and clearly stated. Describe what kind of candidate is desired.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

-Either ask for a resume or fill in an application – not both

-Keep candidates updated (especially the ones who are immediately weeded out – it’s so annoying to apply to a job and finally hear a peep after three months that you were not selected for anything)

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

Tailoring your experience to the position requirements (without stretching the truth) and showing that you are a team player on paper and in person.

Do you have any comments, or are there any other questions you think we should add to this survey?

Great survey! I was actually hired at my current position three months ago and it’s temporary, so I’m still looking for more permanent work.

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one?  Check it out!

Leave a comment

Filed under Academic, City/town, Job hunter's survey, Northeastern US, Public, Special

Fewer “Must Have” Requirements and More “Desired” Qualifications

Man and Hunting Dog: Tallahasee FloridaThis anonymous interview is with a job hunter who is currently employed (even if part-time or in an unrelated field), has not been hired within the last two months, and has been looking for a new position for A year to 18 months. This person is looking in Library vendors/service providers and Special libraries, at the following levels:Requiring at least two years of experience, Supervisory, Senior Librarian.

This job hunter is in an urban area in the Midwestern US and is not willing to move.

What are the top three things you’re looking for in a job?

1. Salary at least on par with the area.
2. Benefits at a decent cost and decently generous (e.g. more than 2 weeks PTO, health premiums less than 10% of salary)
3. Flexible time and/or work location.

Where do you look for open positions?

LinkedIn, Indeed, INALJ, SLA Job Board,

Do you expect to see salary range listed in a job ad?

No (even if I might think it *should* be)

What’s your routine for preparing an application packet? How much time do you spend on it?

Depends on the size of the packet and the type of firm. For a special library I spend an hour or two on the cover letter crafting to fit the ad specifications. For government jobs more time spent on KPIs and showing where my qualifications fit each position point.
Generally would say I spend 3-4 hours on an application.

Have you ever stretched the truth, exaggerated, or lied on your resume, or at some other point during the hiring process?

Yes

When would you like employers to contact you?

To tell me if I have or have not been selected to move on to the interview stage
Once the position has been filled, even if it’s not me

How do you prefer to communicate with potential employers?

Phone for good news, email for bad news

Which events during the interview/visit are most important to your assessment of the position (i.e. deciding if you want the job)?

Meeting department members/potential co-workers
Meeting with HR to talk about benefits/salary

What do you think employers should do to get the best candidates to apply?

Fewer “must have” requirements and more “desired” qualifications. This way people who have say 2 years instead of 5 years but every other desired qualification may apply.

What should employers do to make the hiring process less painful?

Contact us when we’re not getting a shot. Most firms now have emails into their contact databases, it would be easy to send out thanks but not at this time letters en masse.
Acknowledge when things don’t go forward. Sometimes I have had a great interview, the recruiter is very positive, but something happens and I’m not the candidate. I simple, we’ve gone another direction is very useful at that point.

What do you think is the secret to getting hired?

I don’t think there is one, I think it is more of a match. I got my recent job because they needed someone they didn’t have to train much to stabilize a situation. I had worked at the firm in the past, left on good terms, and was trusted by the project head.
If your personality doesn’t match the firm’s culture it simply won’t work and that is really one of the most important pieces in today’s workplace.

This survey was co-authored by Naomi House from I Need A Library Job – Do you need one? Check it out!

Leave a comment

Filed under Job hunter's survey, Midwestern US, Other Organization or Library Type, Special, Urban area

Job Hunter’s Web Guide: Infonista

Tired of getting kicked around by libraries? Are you intrigued by the myriad of possibilities for using your degree? Want an alternative LIS career?  Today we are featuring the site for you!  Kim Dority was kind enough to talk to us about her blog, Infonista.


Infonista

What is it? Please give us your elevator speech!

Infonista is a blog that focuses on all the different ways LIS professionals can deploy their information skills, in both traditional and nontraditional environments. In addition, I try to bring in information from outside the profession that may be relevant to building a resilient LIS career.

When was it started? Why was it started?

It was started in June 2010 as a way to extend the reach of a course I’d been teaching in the University of Denver MLIS program – I wanted more students (and LIS practitioners) to understand how incredibly valuable their skill sets could be if they took a broader approach to information work.

Who runs it?

I (Kim Dority) run it, but I have to admit (with embarrassment) that I’ve been somewhat neglectful of my blog recently due to other commitments, e.g., creating and managing the LinkedIn LIS Career Options group and finishing off a recently published book, LIS Career Sourcebook: Managing and Maximizing Every Step of Your Career (Libraries Unlimited, 2013). My goal for this year is to be a much more diligent blogger!

Are you a “career expert”? What are your qualifications?

I don’t necessarily consider myself a “career expert,” but more of someone who’s done nearly every type of LIS work in her career and who has researched and taught courses, webinars, and workshops on this topic for 13 years. During that time I’ve had the extreme good fortune to learn from hundreds of colleagues, students, friends, and even mentors, so I consider myself more of a conduit for and aggregator of all the stuff we’re learning from each other.

Who is your target audience?

LIS students and professionals, especially those trying to explore or navigate into broader career opportunities that will use their information skills.

What’s the best way to use your site? Should users consult it daily? Or as needed? Should they already know what they need help with, or can they just noodle around?

I’d say noodle around. All of the posts are tagged by a specific category, so if users are interested in a specific topic, they should be able find all the posts on that topic. My goal is to post weekly, although as I mentioned, that’s currently aspirational rather than reality!

Does your site provide:

Interviews   Answers to reader questions
Articles/literature    Links
Research   Coaching
The opportunity for interaction

Advice on:
Networking

Other: emerging types of LIS career paths and how to explore/position for them

Should readers also look for you on social media? Or is your content available in other formats?

Book(s): Rethinking Information Work (Libraries Unlimited, 2006), LIS Career Sourcebook (Libraries Unlimited, 2012)
 Other: LIS career webinars and workshops for MLIS programs and LIS associations, divisions, and chapters

Do you charge for anything on your site?

No

Can you share any stories about job hunters that found positions after using your site?

I’ve actually never tracked this information so have no idea!

meredith loweAnything else you’d like to share with my readers about your site in particular, or about library hiring/job hunting in general?

Hmmm…. I think I’d encourage your readers to think as broadly and creatively about the application of their LIS skills as possible in order to find jobs, and then continue to keep an eye out for “alternative uses” even after landing those jobs. Given this economy, I believe it’s really important to operate as if we’re all self-employed, regardless of where we happen to be working at any given point in our careers. My goal is to help LIS students and professional create resilient careers, which often means rethinking what we do, how we do it, and who we do it for.

3 Comments

Filed under Job Hunters Web Guide, MLIS Students, Other Organization or Library Type

Job Hunter’s Web Guide: Careers in Law Librarianship

I’m happy to be able to share today’s site with you. It is an excellent example of the services our professional associations can provide for job hunters and prospective librarians. Today we are featuring Careers in Law Librarianship, a site run by the American Association of Law Librarians (AALL). Wendy E. Moore, who is the Chair of the AALL Recruitment to Law Librarianship Committee as well as the Acquisitions Librarian, University of Georgia Law Library, was gracious enough to answer my questions. I hope you will enjoy!


Careers in Law Librarianship

What is it? Please give us your elevator speech!

Careers in Law Librarianship is a portal to link people interested in law librarianship with information about educational requirements, career possibilities, types of law libraries, and sources of financial assistance.

When was it started? Why was it started?

It started about five years ago or so. It was created to have a single source to share with people interested in law librarianship which would be easy to find using a search engine.

Who runs it?

The site is run by the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), an organization with over 5,000 members, which was founded in 1906 to promote and enhance the value of law libraries to the legal and public communities, to foster the profession of law librarianship, and to provide leadership in the field of legal information.

Are you a “career expert”? What are your qualifications?

I am not a “career expert,” although I have been a librarian for almost 20 years. I am currently the Chair of the AALL Recruitment to Law Librarianship Committee.

Who is your target audience?

Anyone interested in learning more about careers in law librarianship. Many of our users either already have a JD degree or an MLS degree and our seeking information about what additional educational requirements they may need and for how to network with law librarians in their region.

What’s the best way to use your site? Should users consult it daily? Or as needed? Should they already know what they need help with, or can they just noodle around?

Our site is a great place to get started to understand some of the unique aspects to careers in law librarianship. It directs users to additional information at the AALL website including lists of dual JD/MLS programs, job positings, and scholarship opportunities from various AALL regional Chapters, Special Interest Sections, and Caucuses.

Does your site provide:

√ Answers to reader questions
√ Links

Should readers also look for you on social media? Or is your content available in other formats?

Our site is not active on social media, but the American Association of Law Libraries AALL is active on the following:
√ Twitter: @aallnet
LinkedIn
Facebook
Newsletter
√ Magazine or other periodical: AALL Spectrum
Blog
Flickr

Do you charge for anything on your site?

No, our site is free to all.

Can you share any stories about job hunters that found positions after using your site?

Since the site is an information portal, we don’t really track or follow-up on specific job positions people who use our site eventually find. We have through the site been able to match up people interested in learning more about law librarianship with law librarians in their local area, so I consider that a successful outcome of the site.

wendy mooreAnything else you’d like to share with my readers about your site in particular, or about library hiring/job hunting in general?

Law Librarianship is a very specialized form of librarianship. The more flexible you are concerning your geographic location, the easier time you will have in securing a position. Also carefully read the educational and experience requirements in job ads and make certain you meet (or will meet before the start date) those requirements before applying for a position as the requirements are usually not flexible.

2 Comments

Filed under Job Hunters Web Guide, Law Library, MLIS Students

Job Hunter’s Web Guide: MLA Deal

One thing this blog has made me aware of is all the different ways that state library associations help out job hunters. You know how it’s super tough to get that very first library job?  And how sometimes new professionals feel a little hung out to dry once they’ve graduated?  Well, this week’s post is about  a Maryland resource which helps address that problem, and provides a lot of great support for developing a library career.  This week we’re featuring MLA Deal!


MLA Deal

What is it? Please give us your elevator speech!

DEAL (Development of Emerging and Aspiring Librarians) is an interest group of the Maryland Library Association (MLA) dedicated to providing new professionals and library students with resources to create the library career they want.

When was it started? Why was it started?

MLA has had a student interest group for some time now, but around Spring of 2011 Mark de Jong, our Chair, started talking seriously about revamping it. Through his direction and the vision and efforts of our team, we’ve relaunched the group, expanded its audience, and reignited interest in MLA! Our main goal was to help those new to librarianship (early-career librarians, students, and library techs) navigate the waters of employment, providing opportunities to network and explore the profession and giving them tools to get the jobs they wanted.

Who runs it?

Mark de Jong, an active member of MLA, is our Chair. But in reality we have a much more decentralized approach. There’s a somewhat large group of us (around 12), but we’ve each got dedicated roles. I’m the social media manager, so I oversee our Twitter & LinkedIn accounts, as well as some of the blog.

Are you a “career expert”? What are your qualifications?

I’m hesitant to call myself a career expert, but being in school and concerned about finding a job that used my degree has provided plenty of motivation for me to research different career options! The thing about the DEAL leadership team that I love so much is that we represent such different paths for information professionals. For instance, Lindsay Sarin (our mentorship expert and conference liaison) is a coordinator for University of Maryland’s MLS program, so her job is to help library school students think strategically about their time in school and how it relates to their career goals. Katy Berube, who contributes to our blog, is an academic librarian with an immense wealth of HR knowledge that we’re lucky to draw from. We’ve all got different strengths and areas of expertise, and together it helps to enrich the kind of career development programming that DEAL offers.

Who is your target audience?

While our aim is to help library school students and new-to-the-field professionals, we also reach out to those who are more established in their careers for advice and mentorship opportunities.

What’s the best way to use your site? Should users consult it daily? Or as needed? Should they already know what they need help with, or can they just noodle around?

Everyone should use all of our web presences daily- just kidding! We actually have a multi-platform approach for our group with the intention that people could participate as much or as little as they wanted. Our blog is our main programming focus, featuring bi-monthly career development posts by the aforementioned Katy. These posts are designed to be followed almost as steps for building networks, finding relevant job postings, writing resumes, cover letters, etc. We also post news related items and job/internship/volunteer opportunities on the blog. Our LinkedIn group builds on Katy’s programming, serving as a space for people to connect and share how they’ve worked through her blog challenges. The group is also a place for general networking and discussion. Lastly, our Twitter is meant to be an everyday news item source. I do some relevant job/internship/volunteer opportunity posts, but also share general career advice, publicize good professional resources (like Hiring Librarians!) and interesting tidbits from Libraryland.

DEAL_logo

Does your site provide:

√ Job Listings √ Answers to reader questions
√ Articles/literature √ Links
√ Coaching √ The opportunity for interaction
Advice on:
√ Cover Letters √ Resumes
√ Interviewing √ Networking

Should readers also look for you on social media? Or is your content available in other formats?

√ Twitter: @MLA_DEAL
LinkedIn
√ Newsletter: well, you can sign up for our listserv on the MLA site!
√ Other: BlogMLA site

Do you charge for anything on your site?

Nope! Access to all of our resources are free. We do encourage people to join MLA, however. We’ve been able to secure a lot of funding through our scholarship program, which allows current MLA members to contribute the cost of a year-long student membership to MLA. We’ve received a ton of support on this initiative, including a rather generous donation from an HR and organizational development consulting company (thanks Singer Group!). As a group, we’re extremely proud to be able to offer this to our members.

Can you share any stories about job hunters that found positions after using your site?

We’re still relatively new, and we just reached how to write resumes in our programming, so we haven’t had the chance to start making career connections. We have, however, been successful in finding students mentors, internships, field study sites, and even freelance work!

meredith loweAnything else you’d like to share with my readers about your site in particular, or about library hiring/job hunting in general?

My personal piece of advice for job hunting isn’t necessarily unique, but has always proven wise in my experiences- be open, be professional, and be social! The last one can be hard for librarians, but every interesting work-related opportunity I’ve gotten has been a result of meeting people and staying in contact. You might meet someone in a hiring position for your dream organization, but at that moment they don’t have an open position perfect for you. Staying in contact and making a consistently good impression does wonders, though, and they’ll remember you when something comes up. Oh, also join your state library association! They’re an easy way to involved and you’ll definitely meet people who can connect you to job opportunities. If you’re a MD resident, contact us for details on how to get a free MLA membership!

1 Comment

Filed under Job Hunters Web Guide, MLIS Students, Northeastern US