I have not had the opportunity to hire a student staff or be on a hiring committee during my time at OSU. I have however, gone to numerous presentations for candidates of various jobs and have participated in a few interviews for the Area Coordinator position in UHDS. I was also able to participate in the hiring process for first-year orientation leaders during my undergraduate experience and recently go through helping to interview potential CSSA students for my GTA position. From these experiences, I learned two very important things, it is often just as important to find a person or people who can get along with one another and strive towards the same goal, than to hire a bunch of people who all have the highest credentials or in the case of student leaders, other leadership experiences. Particularly when creating a team of students to be orientation leaders, it was and is important to have leaders who are able to adapt to changes quickly and with good humor, who understand the important task being asked of them and the demands of being a professional among peers, and who stay positive even in the face of adversity. In many respects I believe that the same qualities hold true in any job search. An understanding of student development theory, assessment, legal issues (the technical skills) are important but it is ultimately your “fit” within an organization that gets you the job.
Important things to consider when hiring staff members include:
Being thoughtful with interview questions: If you want to gauge a particular skill or philosophy your candidates you must create clear, concise questions that leave room for creativity but are not ambiguous.
Considering whether the job will be a good move for the people applying: I remember during my time at CU hearing my supervisor say that there were lots of people would be good for the job, but the better question to ask is whether the job would be good for them.
Recognize voices, perspectives, professional experiences that the position has been missing in the past: Make a conscious effort to bring people with new viewpoints into the work. This doesn’t mean always hiring someone from outside the university or department, it just means finding people who are innovative and have ideas for improvement.
Be fair: give every candidate the same opportunity to earn the job. If you find yourself favoring someone or being unbias step away and analyze whether you can be objective or not.