IV. 2. Selection
Different patterns exist for the selection of a new staff
member. These involve the administration and staff sharing varying degrees
of responsibility. In some institutions, the director is the sole decision-maker;
in others, the authority is delegated to a staff committee. In most
agencies, the administration and staff work together to come to a final
The selection process involves many steps and procedures.
Figure1 presents a summary of this process.
In staff selection, two factors are particularly important:
the needs and expectations of the agency, and the desires of the person
being employed. Careful consideration should be given to the needs of
the agency, particularly at the beginning of the recruitment process.
It is usually advantageous to put job specifications in writing. These
specifications should be listed in a job announcement, giving focus
to the application process. The description might be written by a committee
or by the director, or by both working together.
In addition to obtaining written materials from the applicant
that include training, experience, and other relevant data, a statement
about his or her interest in joining the agency is helpful. Why does
this applicant want the position?
Usually feelings as well as background information reveal
much about an applicant that is of major importance for his employment.
Ordinarily a personal interview with applicants who are being considered
seriously for a position is desirable. The interview should be relaxed,
providing an opportunity to share ideas and feelings as well as questions.
The director might ask: (1) Why are you interested in this position?
(2) What are your professional goals? (3) How would you evaluate your
contribution in your current position? (4) If married, how does your
partner feel about this job? (5) Why do you want to change position
at this time?
A candidate should be selected primarily on the basis of
the needs of the institution including loyalty to it. Competency and
ability to get along well with the staff are considered in the final
decision. The ability to care about the students and the staff is essential.
The three “C’s”, competence, caring,
and commitment, are essential if an adult educator is to be effective.
Competence derives from professional training and previous successful
experience. Caring, so necessary in working with people, is manifested
in both verbal and nonverbal communication. In adult education, it is
essential for an educator to convey to students that they are important
and everything will be done to assist them. The third factor, commitment,
involves a person’s desire to make a contribution to institution’s
development and willingness to utilize his or her time and talents to
do so, even if it means working overtime.