Imagine this scenario: It’s one week before the semester or term begins and you have just been notified that a section or course has been added or has become sufficiently enrolled and will be offered. The faculty for the course is listed at tbd. What do you do? Some of your options include asking a full-time professor to teach an overload; teaching the course yourself; or finding a qualified adjunct asap.
Or image you have vetted an instructor and offered them the opportunity to teach a course and then the course does not get offered. The instructor is disappointed and may not be willing to agree to teach the next time you call.
These are scenarios many deans, chairs, and directors face every time classes begin. One way to manage these last minute faculty needs is to build a pool of qualified and engaged adjunct faculty candidates who can be called upon when needed. Maintaining a pool of talent engaged with your department and institution gives you the freedom to find qualified and interested instructors to teach when you need them and helps ensure that they understand the need for flexibility in hiring.
Building your pool
RPO (recruitment process outsourcing) providers, such as APL, can assist you in finding qualified candidates who are willing to serve as bench or pool candidates to be considered for future teaching opportunities. RPO providers typically sell their services in bundles or bulk recruiting services. This allows you to build up your pool of qualified candidates cost-effectively and gives you viable options when you are under a tight timeline to find an instructor.
Additionally, you can continue to build your pool by collecting information about adjuncts who have taught for your department in the past. Compile a list of these names, as well as individuals from your professional network and rolodex who you know are interested in adjunct teaching. With management tools like APL’s, it is easy to build this internal go-to group of instructors.
Engaging your pool
Platforms such as APL also give users a tool to digitally store, search, and manage all their adjunct faculty’s contact information so that communication and engagement with this important faculty is easy.
Once you begin to build your talent pool it is important to think about how you will engage these candidates with your institution. Engagement is essential to having a viable pool of candidates. There are a few simple yet effective ways to keep your adjunct pool engaged.
1. Send candidates relevant news about your department and institution
2. Send out alerts for new job postings and position openings
3. Invite candidates to professional development opportunities offered on your campus for adjuncts
4. Ask candidates to follow your institution on social media
5. Ask candidates to update their profile in your relationship management tool
By completing these 5 simple steps, your pool candidates will feel connected and engaged with your institution and prepared to accept a position should one be offered to them.