Tips for Hiring in Higher Ed: Tenure vs. Adjunct

The dog days of summer are in full swing, and colleges and universities are preparing to fill open positions. Experts say that this fall will look far different for those returning to higher education than in previous years. Since 2009, enrollment at four-year colleges has declined, and more than 60 schools have closed or merged since 2016. After COVID-19, 72% of higher education students have changed plans for the upcoming academic year. Recruiting demand for both tenured and adjunct faculty is at an all-time high, and attracting qualified candidates has never been more difficult.

Tenured vs. Adjunct Faculty

Colleges and universities have a need to fill both tenured and adjunct faculty positions. Tenured positions are full-time and require office hours, research, attendance for campus events, and even some publishing requirements. Tenured faculty positions were the standard until the 1970’s when enrollment growth was high and tenured tracks were necessary to attract highly educated teachers. These positions are usually granted indefinitely and come with a lot of academic freedom.

Adjunct faculty, on the other hand, are part-time and contract-based instructors that fill the need for flexible and specialized positions. Currently, non-tenured contingent positions are the majority of all faculty at U.S. colleges and universities.

Benefits of Hiring Non-Tenured Faculty

Adjunct faculty, while often overlooked, provide additional benefits to both students and facilities. 84% of college-student parents would pay more to improve the quality of online education. Employing digitally native instructors reduces the need to bring tenured faculty up to speed in an ever-evolving learning landscape. Adjunct instructors also provide valuable skills such as networking and mentoring.

Additionally, adjunct faculty can help to increase diversity initiatives within the campus. Adjunct instructors tend to mirror real life: 47% identify as ethnically diverse, 56% are military veterans, and 68% are women.

Specialized Instructors Require Specialized Recruiting

Because adjunct faculty are highly specialized in niche industries, recruiting and retaining talent in these positions is important. Getting your open jobs in front of the right candidates, at the right time can make or break your hiring initiatives. At YM Careers Network, we help you recruit quality candidates for your hard-to-fill and niche job openings. By leveraging our resources you can maximize your job exposure, create a talent pipeline, and reach more passive jobseekers.

Build your talent pipeline today with help from our higher education recruitment experts at
YM Careers Network.

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