I've been on the fence as to whether or not to post about hiring. As I've mentioned before, we are hiring this year. For several positions, actually.
I haven't wanted to post at length because it seems so personal, this whole hiring process. After all, we hold the fate of these people in our hands, in a sense. This seems like a big and important task, so I've been reluctant to bitch about it or comment on it.....it's almost like doing so would trivialize it. But, the fact is that this is something that is taking up a lot of my time and energy, and it is something that I am thinking quite a bit about. And so I should talk about it on here.
This is my first time "on the other side", as faculty rather than as job candidate. I have a lot of weird and mixed feelings about this---somewhat expected, except for the depth of these feelings. I'm really having a hard time dealing with the selection process, which I've blogged about in passing before. Maybe it's still too new, too fresh. I still remember the hours I spent preparing materials, sending materials, wondering what the schools were saying about my application, wondering if anyone would hire me. In some sense, I don't feel like I'm fit to judge these people applying for our positions, since it wasn't that long ago that I was in their shoes. I wonder about the people we didn't pick to bring to campus. Did we overlook our dream candidate because s/he didn't write a good enough cover letter? Are these people, who look so excellent on paper, as excellent in person? It haunts me a bit.
The candidates start arriving soon, and I know that will be even more weird. Exciting, yes. But weird too. Again, my own experience is too new and too fresh in my mind. Also, it almost feels like picking the person you're going to marry.....after only spending a day with that person. (Hmmm, now I've compared finding girlfriends AND the job search process to dating....I sense a theme emerging on this blog!)
Or maybe with all of these candidates coming through, I will be too busy to reflect. Maybe that's what I need to hope for.