Thursday, 13 March 2014

Chapter Review: How Employers Hire

Book Title: What do Employers want? A guide for Library Science Students
Authors: Priscilla K. Shontz and Richard A. Murray
Publication Date: 2012

Chapter 6: How Employers Hire

This chapter starts off with some basic information on what happens to your application after you submit it; then it discusses the differences in timing and procedures among various types of libraries and institutions.

Take-away points:
Most employers do not do anything with your application materials until the application deadline has passed. Some employers don’t communicate well, while others are overwhelmed with applicants to respond to everyone. Search committees and hiring directors start with the basic requirements and continue to sift through applicants until they are left with a small number of resumes. Most places will do a telephone interview before inviting an applicant to interview in person. Academic libraries may pay for travel to a long distance applicant and successful applicants could meet with an academic dean or a library director during the notably longer interview process. Public libraries typically hire local applicants and won’t pay travel expenses of out of town applicants, these libraries usually function as a part of city or county departments their processes are standardized. In many cases, the resume will not substitute for an online application, applicants must follow instructions carefully. For school librarians, teaching experience is critical. For federal and state government libraries, positions have to be filled within 80 days of their postings, and all hiring and selection decisions are based on scoring matrices in order to avoid any suspicions of impropriety. In special libraries and non-library environments, applicants must attempt to distinguish him/herself through internships or networks. Lastly, the authors encourage applicants to be resilient in the job search and not take any rejection personally.   


The article compares finding a job to finding a mate, which I think is quite appropriate. We can read all of the job finding and relationship books that are out there but it is probably the chance encounter at an event that leads to the best opportunity. I was surprised that the authors did not mention video chat sites like Skype or Oovoo, as many institutions are using these in lieu of telephone or in-person interviews. I have been on several hiring committees, and believe that the advice that this chapter gives is relevant and accurate  

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