Unbelievable Job Candidates
Posted by Arjendu on November 12, 2008
We have a search on for an experimentalist at Carleton College, and yesterday I started reading the files.
The process is as follows (a look behind the scenes for some of you): With a Department as small as ours, everyone will read the files (everyone tenured or tenure-track, though Melissa being on sabbatical means that she gets a pass until we get to the phone-interview stage). On the first pass, there are too many for all of us to read all the files, so we divvy it up so every file gets read by at least 3 of us, with the hope that we cull down to the ‘must-reads’ for everyone. We then identify the phone-interview candidates (usually around a dozen) and then from that we get to the on-campus candidates.
The culling is not going very fast this year — I’ve only read about 15 of the 90 files that are almost complete, and the pool is unbelievably strong this year. Usually the strongest looking candidates aren’t specifically targeting a small college, let alone Carleton. This time around it is clear that the candidates have done their homework and know what Carleton’s about and they want to be here, think this is an excellent place to be, and are able to make a strong case for them being here.
With this many strong candidates it’s going to be emotionally difficult to make the cuts. It’s compounded for me by the fact that I know at least 4 of the candidates personally. It’s in principle a good problem, and I am looking forward to learning more about these potential colleagues.
I can’t figure out the cause for the somewhat exceptional pool, though — some sort of demographic shift? effect of changing funding out there? Carleton’s profile got higher so we aren’t as well-kept a secret as we seemed to be earlier? the flattening of the world so rural Minnesota doesn’t seem as strange a place to relocate? Or …. ?