Hiring Academics

I would love to hear about how you were hired for previous academic positions or how your Universities hire.

I think improving hiring processes could help improving the efficiency of research teams, increase their output and enable to work in a healthier environment.

We tend to hire individuals instead of hiring team members, even though there’s a lot of research that has shown hiring people with lower qualifications or experience that are able to work together is much more efficient than hiring a series of high profile individuals.
In private sector, it’s common practice to take into consideration candidate’s personalities and personalities of their future direct colleagues during the recruitment process. Universities don’t do anything towards building teams of academics.
I’m passionate about enabling effective multi-disciplinary research. I see it as illusive to put any scientist together because they are really good at their field and think that they will be able to work hand in hand in an efficient, healthy way.

In biomedical research the importance we attribute to first / last author positions in author list of a scientific publication, prevents large collaborations from happening. Who will be first? Who will be last? The asterisk that are now added to indicate equal contributions of authors are not taken into consideration so much while ranking track records. A way to address that issue is changing the assessment of track records (for hiring and for allocating grants). We should consider each author’s contribution to publications and to daily life in research labs (in case of wet labs) a lot more. This would also help evaluate better contributions from women in the lab as they tend to be the super organisers and dedicate a large portion of their time doing supporting tasks for the lab itself that do not appear in any publication.

In general, job descriptions picture a super human that can do it all perfectly. Academics, tend to be highly talented and brilliant people. However we remain human beings. We have strength and weaknesses. We should embrace a lot more the reality of a person’s skill set and motivations and, adapt job descriptions to chosen candidates.

I’ve only ever been hired directly by a principal investigator after giving a scientific presentation. I never had to meet anyone from human resources department or do any formal interview.
I’d be really interested to hear how others got hired, the procedure they went through and how they were assessed.
Thanks in advance for sharing your experience!