Recruitment: Responsibilities towards new faculty

The Roles & Responsibilities Towards New Faculty on the Academic Personnel Office website [.pdf] is a guideline for departments/schools outlining their responsibilities towards new and current staff members. The document should be shared with all new recruits.

In addition, the following mentoring philosophy of the Faculty should also be distributed to all new staff members.


Mentoring

Approved at the May 12, 2004 Faculty Meeting

The Faculty of Medicine and its academic units have endorsed the development of a mentoring process in each department and school. In order to expedite this initiative, a workshop for chairs and directors elaborated a series of recommendations that clarify the steps required to implement this process as well as the elements required for successful mentorship at various stages of an academic career. These are presented in this document (to be approved by the Faculty of Medicine on May 12, 2004). You will also find links to the case studies used in this workshop (held in 2002) as well as to additional useful resource material.

The Chair/Director is responsible for the mentoring process in the Department/School.

Departmental action plans:

General Issues for Chairs:

  1. Establish a departmental vision and clear priorities for the department; add the concept of mentoring to the departmental culture. Make staff responsible for seeking mentorship help.
  2. Determine criteria for successful mentoring (e.g. growth and renewal).
  3. Institute a formal system of communication with staff (e.g. consider using the merit exercise in a formal way for this purpose)
  4. Delegate mentoring duties to division directors or other departmental staff when appropriate, with clear expectations of their roles in the mentorship system of the department.
  5. Ensure that the mentorship system is working by having a reporting mechanism, particularly when responsibility is delegated.
  6. Meet senior members of department at least once a year and junior, tenure-track staff more frequently.
  7. Ensure that all members of department/school, even volunteer members, are met.
  8. Keep an open-door policy.
  9. Start mentoring as early as with medical students and make it a continuum.
  10. Create occasions of contact and ‘sell' the institution; remember the importance of human interactions in building a strong department.
  11. Adapt mentorship (or use different mentors) for different career profiles (e.g. research vs. clinical teaching) or to develop specific staff skills.
  12. Keep a straightforward attitude with recruits and staff members.
  13. Find appropriate ways to ‘reward' clinical teachers. Take advantage of existing ‘teaching awards' and other modes of recognition.
  14. Arrange for informal reviews of your department by colleagues from other departments/faculties and build on the feedback received.
  15. Take advantage of cross-appointees to mentor junior staff; tap into excellence of other departments.
  16. Set up quality control mechanisms and adhere to them; be precise in outlining outcome indicators according to a formalized process and structure, including senior staff.
  17. Review grant applications with staff or set up an internal grant review group.
  18. Use shared recruitment facilities amongst departments (e.g. global ads and multi-departmental selection committees)

Mentoring Steps for Each Phase of Career:

"Recruitment"

  • Identify potential recruits very early (as students), but beware of ‘in-breeding'
  • Selection Committees should include junior members and administrators of department
  • During recruitment, ensure a full consensus on the choice of candidate prior to invitations and offers
  • Ensure joint planning of agenda for visit
  • Provide clear communication, both written and verbal; outline expectations
  • Pick up the individual at the hotel; “walk and talk” • Chair needs to be there or assign a “host”
  • Prepare a welcome package
  • Discuss social issues
  • Seek expert help for recruitment details such as immigration issues
  • Provide an exit meeting and arrange to give candidates (recruits) timely feedback

"The new recruit on arrival"

  • Provide open communication and feedback
  • Ensure follow-up on offer letters and meetings and ‘deliver the goods'
  • Need a contingency plan if resources not available on time
  • Ensure access to resources (computer, office, furniture, phone, start-up funds)
  • Provide clear and realistic expectations
    • of responsibilities
    • of deadlines

"The early years"

  • Continue to provide clear expectations
  • Provide key information for career advancement
  • Ensure that roles and responsibilities are understood
  • “Share responsibility for success”
  • Meet regularly e.g. annual meeting
  • Use appropriate documentation effectively

"The middle years"

  • Need to talk and nurture
  • Provide career suggestions
  • Mentoring does not stop …
  • Need to support leadership potential – within and outside of the department
  • Tailor advice to individual needs

"The later years"

  • Communicate the individual's value
  • Consider different career options
  • Include in responsibilities teaching and research
  • Senior staff members will be good mentors if they have had a good mentoring from their Chair earlier in their career

Benefits of mentoring

  • Individual and departmental growth and renewal (visibility, recruiting, retention, outside recognition, etc.).
  • Increased resources (grants and awards, better recruits, etc.).
  • Department is perceived as conducive to work and study.
  • Nurturing of the mentorship culture
  • Common goals and clear expectations
  • Participation in departmental success