Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 3 - 73

Factors Considered When Selecting Teams

	
Many RLPs gauged the ability for an
RA to work as part of a team when previous
knowledge or experiences with the student
was available. Having worked with the students before, it is much easier to determine
how returning RAs will work with one another. In the words of one RLP, " We look at how
well some of [the returning RAs] did or did
not work together...during the last academic
year. " Several RLPs had very positive reactions to student athletes who engage in team
sports, expecting that student-athletes would
be able to translate their team experiences
to the RA setting. Knowledge of students'
interactions on teams can also come from
knowing them as residents. A candidate may
have lived in the RLP's building previously,
but this is even more pronounced at small
schools, where an RLP is more likely to know
all of the students applying to be an RA.
	
Several RLPs acknowledged the challenge of knowing how well RAs will work
together with the limited interaction of an
interview. Unless the RLP knew the student
previously, they would not necessarily know
enough about the RA candidates from the
interview to have much knowledge about
how they will work with one another. With
this limited knowledge, RLPs shared how
building teams was not an exact science, but
" you just hope this group works out. " RLPs
knew that their supervision could help direct
teams to be successful, but " sometimes it's
luck of the draw, too. "

LIMITATIONS
This study contributes to the larger body
of research by directly asking RLPs what
they seek when interviewing RAs, but it is
not without limitations. Although we were
able to talk with several RLPs at institutions

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The Journal of College and University Student Housing

across the United States, different institutions and professionals might approach their
RA interview and selection processes differently. The RLPs in this study also held numerous different roles at their institutions,
including graduate-level to director-level
titles. This provided a wider variety of perspectives, but did not focus the findings on
a particular group. We found themes among
the responses, but any individual practitioners may have a different perspective on
the questions we asked. We also did not limit
institution type in this study, which allowed
us to learn about a wider variety of selection
and interview processes, but did not directly help understand how a particular institution type approaches RA selection. While we
posed specific questions, we did not restrict
responses from participants to be immediate
experience or philosophical approach. Being
more specific in our request for the type of
response and follow-up questions may have
yielded more specific focus when we analyzed responses.

RECOMMENDATIONS AND
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE
This study has implications for professionals who select RAs and for those in leadership roles overseeing RA recruitment and
selection processes. It is important to note
that many of the recommendations and
implications are interrelated and often interdependent. Therefore, changing one portion of the RA hiring process impacts other
areas of the process and could be implemented differently by different institutions,
departments, and RLPs.
	
The first recommendation is for each
institution to have conversations among
RLPs to determine what traits are desired on



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