Recruiting in higher education: more than an academic exercise

Dr Helen Yallop is head of the academic practice at Moloney Search. She also holds a visiting research fellowship at the department of history at King’s College London. This is her interview with the Financial Times.

Does headhunting have a role in the higher education sector?

I have been canvassing senior figures in academia to find out. Many respondents were sceptical, citing the strength of academic networks in attracting candidates. As natural networkers with a strong sense of their subject-centred professional identity, academics do indeed seem well qualified to conduct their own headhunting.

Are the academics right?

In practice, the DIY approach can lead to a degree of discrimination, while a third party might produce a more impartial list of candidates and, for example, gender equality might be enhanced. Institutions are sensitive to criticism that women and ethnic minority groups are under-represented at the highest levels. Headhunters can reach talent pools of under-represented groups and advise on how to court diversity through advertising and policy…

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