Journal of College & University Student Housing Vol. 47 No. 3 - 89

The Price of Hiring Resident Assistants

practitioners may argue group process is
a method that allows hiring managers to
see mass amounts of candidates when they
otherwise would be limited to only the candidates on their personal interview dockets.
Our analysis of the time economy supports
this notion with price per candidate being
lower for group process ($14.63/candidate)
compared to structured interviews ($15.52),
but it would be worth exploring whether the
metrics associated with group process evaluations reveal the same quality of information
as a structured interview. Eliminating group
process is occasionally considered by recruitment committees, typically due to concerns
about " fair[ness] " in assessing " capable introverted applicants who may get overshadowed
by more vocal extroverts in group settings "
(Stoner, 2019, p. 50). The presented analysis provides objective considerations about
the necessary time investment required by
group process.
	
With the vast array of job responsibilities
associated with the RA role, it is necessarily
problematic to believe hiring managers can
effectively assess every single job responsibility within a reasonable amount of time.
Therefore, housing practitioners must curb
the desire to overdesign hiring processes as
a substitute for subsequent training and supervision at the expense of their staffs' time
unless assured the time investment pays satisfactory dividends.

RECOMMENDATIONS
FOR PRACTICE
Institutions should be mindful of their hiring process component goals, expectations,
and value when compared to the necessary
facilitation time requirements. Defining
goals provides an opportunity to remove
practices that are not valuable or necessary

86

The Journal of College and University Student Housing

to the recruitment process. Defining the purpose of each component allows departments
to understand the 'why' and the 'what,'
which is best illustrated by the purpose of
interest session components.
	
Interest sessions typically lack opportunities to quantifiably evaluate candidates;
therefore, every minute of staff time invested
in facilitating interest sessions is necessarily
" wasted " if the overall purpose of the recruitment process is to identify strong candidates.
Departments may feel strongly about educating candidates on the role for which they
applied, but due to the resources required,
existing designs may benefit from critical alterations. For instance, cutting the number
of interest sessions in the baseline process
by half reduces the necessary entry-level time
commitment by eight hours (or 16 half-hour
conduct cases). Moving interest sessions to a
virtual modality with an educational video to
watch would release all staff time, other than
one-time investment to create the video.
	
Departments must also weigh the
cost-benefit analysis of centralizing staff recruitment into a few full days against spreading it out over multiple partial days. Increased number of partial days may in turn
decrease the disruption of normal business
continuity and limit overtime. Spreading a
process out over a longer total duration may
justifiably cause some practitioners to tire
due to the feeling of running a process that
seemingly never ends.
	
If altering the structure and timing of
hiring processes is not a feasible option, another possibility is to expand the number of
interviewing and facilitating staff to include
employees from outside the housing unit.
While this suggestion neglects to reduce the
overall time necessary to facilitate the hiring
process, it does further distribute and create



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

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