Some Suggested Calendar Year-End Resolutions

One of the great things about being involved with a university is that you can make New Year's resolutions on January 1 but don't necessarily have to implement them until your fiscal year starts, usually 5 - 9 months later.

Technology is moving at a very rapid pace.  It is hard to sometimes keep up with it.  We understand that, and understand that technological change often competes with inertia for resources.  That is what those aforementioned 5-9 months are for.

We have five New Year's resolutions for you to consider.  They will make your lives easier and save your institutions of higher learning lots of money while minimizing aggravation, particularly in the employment and diversity arenas:

  • Centralize, and be proactive with it.  The days of one-off newspaper (even PDF based) job ads are going away.  Applicant Tracking Systems allow better job boards to SWEEP or SCRAPE your sites economically and accurately - and yes, there is a big difference in SWEEPing and SCRAPE-ing jobs.  If the job board does not know the difference, move to one that does.
  • Understand where your applicants are coming from, and don't trust that the applicants will always give accurate information.  There are resources that you can pay to find this information, or you can use Google Analytics to attach a tracker to each position to analyze referral sources.  This is generally free.
  • Recognize what used to work doesn't necessarily work anymore with online job ads:  
    • The best example is higher education news sites with job boards.  Only 8-12% of people who read the news ever look for a position on their sites.  
    • Compare search engines on the different sites; you will be stunned.  Our opinion is that there are only two higher education jobsites with adequate search capability.
    • Use the job boards' apps to search for positions; 51% of applicants currently are searching with their phones.  You will be stunned what you find.
    • Embrace diversity, but make sure your institutional work environment and search committees espouse inclusiveness first.  Ask your job boards if diversity outreach costs extra.  It should not; rather, it should be their baseline mission and be part of any and every marketing program.
    • Self-steward.  Every morning, we spend an hour looking at 45-50 key indices for our business, spotting trends, opportunities and issues.  If you find 10 key employment and diversity measurables you can make a huge positive impact on your span-of-control.

Happy New Year. January 1 is just another day, but it can help every day be that much better.

Rick Friedman is President of

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