assistant director of Human Resources, posts job opportunities, searches
through resumes and conducts interviews.
Assistant Director of Human Resources Screens Hundreds of Resumes to
Find the Perfect Job Candidate
|Q: What are
some of your job duties as assistant Human Resources director?
A: The thing I love most about my position is the variety. In my
first six months, my primary responsibilities have revolved around working
with hiring managers to recruit for and fill their job openings. I am
beginning to help managers and employees with employee relations issues and
in the near future, I look forward to developing training classes for
managers and employees here at Wesleyan.
Q: So, you’re fairly new here?
A: My first day at the university was March 21, 2005.
Q: When a department has an opening, how do you go about working with
that department to get the position filled?
A: I may start on the phone with a department chair to discuss
filling an opening. From there, we typically meet to begin developing the
job description. I might spend some time afterward working with the chair to
create a final product that we will post, first on the Wesleyan Web site. We
may also post the position on other Web sites that are specific to the
Q: What happens when resumes pour in?
A: I read all of them. Our practice is to screen them to be sure the
applicant meets our minimum qualifications. We also list “preferred
qualifications” on our postings to further describe the ideal candidate. We
have been very fortunate in many cases to see candidate pools where
individuals have done the work or are doing the kind of work that we are
looking for. Related experience is ideal. If not directly related
experience, then similar experience is helpful. What makes reviewing resumes
difficult is often the volume.
Q: On average, how many applicants apply for a single administrative
A: People have very openly said that they are eager to get a position
at Wesleyan. On average, we may get 200 applicants for an administrative
Q: What is the interviewing process?
A: Our first step may be to have a telephone interview with those who
meet both minimum and possibly some of our preferred qualifications. We may
invite the candidates whose background and experience most closely meets our
needs to campus for interviews. The candidate will meet with the hiring
manager and maybe others from the department, as well as with Human
Resources. We may schedule a second interview with the top candidates, if
appropriate. Once a decision is made on who the manager would like to hire,
we check the references for the candidate and make a job offer.
Q: How long does this process take?
A: It can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
Q: Do you enjoy interviewing prospective employees in person?
A: I really enjoy interviewing. Interviewing gives me an opportunity
to sell Wesleyan as well as have a conversation with someone about their
background. My role is to help them understand the realities of the position
and the interviewee’s role is to help convince me that they have the skills
to do the kind of work we are considering.
Q: What is the hardest part about you job?
A: Those “we selected someone else” calls can be difficult and we try
to help candidates understand why someone else was selected. What makes that
more difficult is when the candidate says, “but I can do the job.” As I
said, we’ve been fortunate to see candidate pools with very qualified
Q: What are common reasons Wesleyan employees call or stop by Human
A: We often welcome individuals
from all areas of the Wesleyan community so there is plenty of variety in
the kinds of inquires we receive. Generally speaking, employees contact us
for information on new job opportunities, benefits information and other
work related questions. Those how desire to work here will contact us
regarding openings or the status of an application they have submitted.
Otherwise, we entertain many different questions from many different people
in a typical day.
Q: Who are the key people you work with in H.R.?
A: We are a small department so everyone has a key role. I most often
work with our director Harriet Abrams as well as our associate director
Julia Hicks on strategic projects. Vanessa Sabin and Janet Gyurits have been
wonderful in helping me accomplish all the necessary tasks that come with
Q: What is your educational background and experience in the H.R.
A: I had a very rewarding college experience at the Ohio University
in Athens, Ohio where I received a bachelor’s degree in communications and a
master’s degree in student personnel. Before coming to Wesleyan, I was a
human resources specialist in the training department at the corporate
headquarters of a retail company.
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I grew up in Canton, Ohio -- the Pro Football Hall of Fame city --
and moved to Connecticut after finishing graduate school.
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: Me? Well, I love to sing. I’ve been singing -- mostly Gospel music
-- since I was 12. I do most of my singing in my church. I hold a leadership
role there so I’m involved in other activities there, also.
Q: Tell me about your family.
A: My husband’s name is Larry and he also works in higher education.
He is the director of admission at Western Connecticut State University. He
has recently turned me on to the game of golf so we try to play golf
together as often as possible. We have three children, Tiffany, 17; Alaina,
14; and Isaac, 11.
Olivia Bartlett, The Wesleyan Connection