Thumbnail Image

Hired During COVID: Interviewing and Onboarding in a Pandemic

The pandemic forced those working in higher education to navigate a myriad of changes in all facets of day-to-day operations. From January-February 2022, we conducted a study that surveyed hiring managers for professional academic library positions to identify how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their hiring and onboarding processes. We will present our preliminary findings from the mixed-methods survey in advance of a published article. Our study identifies changes in hiring practices and reflects the current attitudes of hiring managers in regards to future employment practices. Because many interview processes have transitioned to an online format, some hiring managers are reconsidering the necessity and duration of in-person interviews. Our study identified issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Not all candidates have access to the space and technology required for an all-day virtual interview. However, virtual interviewing also expands opportunities for those who have health, financial, or childcare concerns. A common thread that emerged is that there is still much uncertainty regarding what hiring will look like in the future. This study also explored the ways that job descriptions, the work of search committees, and the use of collaborative tools have been impacted by the pandemic. Some participants reported increased DEI training for search committee participants as well as more guidance on using technology. Study results identified challenges experienced when onboarding and acclimating an employee to a new institution in the pandemic environment. At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to: Identify trends in changes to hiring practices that occurred as a result of the pandemic Discuss difficulties associated with onboarding new employees during the pandemic Describe common practices in conducting virtual and hybrid interview processes