This study addressed faculty recruitment for community colleges, an issue of immediate importance because many faculty hired during the enrollment boom of the 1960's are retiring. The design for this research was a factorial experiment involving a three-way analysis of variance. The participants (N = 136) were randomly selected male (n = 68) and female (n = 68) business professionals completing the MBA degree. The participants role-played the part of applicants for business department faculty positions by rating jobs described in simulated recruitment advertisements. The ANOVA results indicated that both male and female business professionals preferred part-time rather than full-time teaching positions. Implications for recruitment practice and future research are discussed.
Recruitment is a pressing issue for community colleges at this time because many faculty hired during the enrollment boom of the 1960s are retiring (Higgins, Hawthorn, Cape, & Bell, 1994). Also, as noted by Winter and Kjorlien (2000), there is a need for experimental studies, such as the one reported here, because there are few empirical investigations about faculty recruitment in the community college literature. Community college leaders recognize that to deliver high-quality academic programs, colleges must attract capable faculty to carry out the educational mission. It is the faculty who provide the credibility and leadership necessary to build educational programs. The Commission on the Future of Community Colleges (1988) recommended the continual improvement of recruitment practices designed to attract new faculty.
Unfortunately, the officials responsible for recruiting and hiring new faculty do not always give staffing the attention it deserves. Gabert (1994) observed: The employment decision is one of the most important any manager makes, and too little attention is focused on it in most community colleges. Administrators and college governing boards frequently do not place sufficient emphasis on the human resources function. What they fail to realize is that all of their plans for high-quality instruction and student support services will fail unless there are high-quality instructors ... and other employees to implement them. (p. 377)
Too often, recruitment officials underestimate the difficulty of recruiting competent people, and as Rebore (1995) stated, "it is a mistake to assume that the correct mix of people will be available to fill vacancies without making a concerted effort to find the most qualified individuals to fill specific human resource needs" (1995, p. 79). Further, recruitment is a highly competitive enterprise (Barber, 1998; Gabert, 1994; Heneman, Judge, & Heneman, 2000). Because both public and private organizations compete with community colleges to acquire talented human capital (Gibson-Benninger & Ratcliff, 1996; Lawhon & Ennis, 1995), community colleges must develop recruitment programs that can succeed in a competitive labor market.
Finally, despite the importance of recruitment, there have been relatively few empirical studies about the decisions made by job applicants, such as the decisions to apply for the job or accept an interview. The scarcity of empirical studies about applicant decisions is unfortunate because, as Rynes (1991) has noted, "Application decisions are critical to organizations; if individuals do not apply, there will be little opportunity to influence their choices through [subsequent] recruitment activities. However, most recruitment research has been conducted subsequent to the first employment interview. As such, little is known about the determinants of job applicant behaviors." (p. 435)
Stated another way, recruitment is a two-way decision-making process involving decisions made both by organizations selecting new employees and by job applicants pursuing open positions. Attention to the decisions made by job applicants is vital or the hiring process will end in failure. …