Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

Interviewing Potential Accounting Faculty at the AAA National Meeting and Rookie Camp: Surveys of Schools' Experiences and Impressions

Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

Interviewing Potential Accounting Faculty at the AAA National Meeting and Rookie Camp: Surveys of Schools' Experiences and Impressions

Article excerpt


In a "sellers' market," many schools have trouble filling an accounting faculty vacancy with a highly qualified candidate (Fogarty and Holder 2012; Hunt et al. 2009). The interview process provides a mechanism for the mutual exchange of information between recruiters and applicants and instilling a positive attitude toward the school (Caruth and Caruth 2012). Thus it is critical in attracting and retaining the interest of desirable candidates and in making a final selection (Jelf 1999; Boudreau and Rynes 1985; Saks and Uggerslev 2010; Turban et al. 1998).

The current paper examines the use of both a long-standing interviewing venue for accounting faculty--the American Accounting Association (AAA) national meeting (NM)--and the Rookie Recruiting and Research Camp (RC), created by the University of Miami in 2010. The NM serves as a recruiting venue both by providing structure through its placement services and by drawing large numbers of faculty, administrators, and candidates into one place to facilitate interviewing. Some schools interview at the convention through official AAA channels, while others do so in a less structured manner. Other schools bypass the convention altogether and bring selected candidates to campus without initial face-to-face interviews, although possibly after phone interviews. The NM's August date enables schools to schedule campus visits for the fall or possibly early winter and fill positions in time for the next academic year.

There are signs that the NM has become less of a necessity in recruiting than in previous times. Hunt et al. (2009) found that less than a third of accounting faculty who had recently accepted positions had interviewed at the NM, down from the 68% reported in Eaton and Hunt (2002) and the 65% reported in Ostrowski (1986). Those changes may have been caused somewhat by the movement from a buyer's market to a seller's market in the period between the dates of gathering data for each study.

The number of applicant resumes on file at the NM dropped from 180 in 1993 to 96 in 2007, while the number of schools recruiting increased from 110 to 222 (AAA, 2007). However, in 2010, 2011, and 2012 respectively, there were 133, 161, and 139 applicant resumes on file and only 119, 125, and 116 universities using AAA resources to recruit at the NM (AAA, 2013). This change, which should provide participating schools with a better chance of obtaining interviews with desirable potential faculty, may be due to a combination of current faculty attempting to relocate to take advantage of high market salaries, schools' disappointment with the previously low ratio of applicants to schools, or budgetary constraints.

The RC provides a venue for PhD candidates nearing completion of their dissertations to present their research and then interview with representatives of various schools. Although there are no restrictions as to what schools may attend, interviewers primarily have represented doctoral-granting or other elite schools. The December date, in contrast with that of the NM, provides the perceived advantage of enabling interviewers to get a better idea of how close the student is to finishing the PhD. The RC has grown rapidly; the number of candidates increased from 75 in 2011 to 124 in 2012 (Leone 2011, Rookiecamp 2012). The University of Miami now operates the RC in partnership with Deloitte and Touche and the AAA.

While research on the usefulness of the RC is in order, similar research dealing with the NM is also worthwhile, despite the rise of the RC. As noted above, the mix of applicants to schools at the NM is trending in schools' favor. In addition, since relocating faculty cannot interview at the RC, the NM is likely to continue to provide an important venue for recruiters. Finally, non-elite small and medium-sized schools interview at the RC in limited numbers; they may be more comfortable recruiting at the NM.

Little research has focused on the initial interviewing process of business or accounting faculty. …

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