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Do's And Don'ts For Recruiting Engineering Or Technology Faculty

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Mentoring and Development of New Faculty

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.497.1 - 14.497.10

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Paper Authors


John Gumaer Central Washington University

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John A. Gumaer is an associate professor of Electronics Engineering Technology at Central Washington University. He earned a MSEE from the University of Texas at Austin and a BSEE from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He is a registered professional engineer and has worked in commercial hardware and software development. He has participated in numerous faculty searches as either a committee member or a candidate.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Do’s and Don’ts for Recruiting Engineering or Technology Faculty


Recruiting new engineering or technology faculty is a time and resource intensive process. Frequently, a faculty search takes the back burner to more immediate concerns, resulting in an unsuccessful recruiting effort. This paper outlines suggestions for organizing and improving the recruiting process to enhance the likelihood of a successful search. A typical engineering or technology faculty search process is examined. The steps considered are: search committee formation, timeline development, position description, position announcement, initial screening, telephone interviews, campus visit, and position offer. Suggestions are presented to improve each step in this process. Common mistakes encountered at each phase in the recruiting process are also identified and discussed. Applying these suggestions and avoiding common errors will improve the recruiting process, making it a more positive experience for both the institution and candidates.


The process of recruiting new engineering or technology faculty is time and resource intensive. It has been suggested that the value of resources spent to recruit a new faculty member approaches their first year salary1. A factor complicating the recruiting process is that most practitioners have had little formal training or guidance and may have limited experience as well. Some large universities have developed comprehensive recruiting toolkits which go well beyond the guidelines established by the human resources departments at most institutions. Several of these toolkits are listed in the bibliography.

There are three keys to successful faculty recruiting. A department, through its search committee, articulates what it is looking for in a candidate and the timeline for finding this candidate. Members of the search committee must accept and embrace the responsibility of executing all aspects of the search process thoroughly and according to the timeline. Finally, it must be remembered that both the department and the candidates are on a search. Every contact with the candidates should leave a positive and professional impression.

Underlying this faculty recruiting process is the implicit commitment and support of the institution for funding and filling this position. It is difficult to have a successful faculty search without this institutional commitment. Therefore, the faculty search process should not begin until this commitment has been assured.

This paper examines the typical engineering or technology faculty recruiting process and identifies ways to make the process more successful. The faculty recruiting steps examined in this paper apply to recruiting faculty for traditional classroom roles as opposed to a distance learning environment. These recruiting steps are listed in Table 1.

Gumaer, J. (2009, June), Do's And Don'ts For Recruiting Engineering Or Technology Faculty Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas.

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