A survey-based analysis of the academic job market

Journal articles  For:Research institutes

Understanding the hiring dynamics of the academic job market is an important step for institutions wishing to enhance the transparency of their hiring process and attract talent. To establish the profile and perceptions of academic job seekers, the authors collected survey data from 317 early-career researchers who were in the process of applying for academic faculty positions. The authors also identified obstacles and incentives encountered by applicants during the faculty application processes.

The study reveals a negative perception from applicants about the hiring process, understood as lengthy, burdensome, and opaque. The study also provides several suggestions for concrete actions towards improving the faculty hiring and recruitment process, such as: 

  • Standardize application materials.
  • Request reference letters for shortlisted candidates only.
  • Increase feedback on unsuccessful applications to build a baseline of success factors.

Fernandes JD, Sarabipour S, Smith CT , Niemi NM, Jadavji NM, Kozik AJ, Holehouse AS, Pejaver V, Symmons O, Bisson Filho AW, Haage A (2020). A survey-based analysis of the academic job market. doi: