Core Leadership Competencies

Recruitment & Retention

Establishes and implements a faculty talent recruitment strategy capable of attracting and securing top-tier passive faculty talent

Pediatric departments/divisions which have developed search execution strategies and skills to enable the recruitment and retention of world-class faculty talent have the following attributes:

  • Recruitment processes are candidate-facing (not institutional-facing)
  • Established year-round candidate sourcing efforts with protocols for opportunistic hires
  • Proven track record of success in diverse faculty hiring and established processes that ensure DE&I best practices
  • Excellent track record of faculty retention and satisfaction
  • Established recruiting process training and education programs for both staff and faculty

Assessment Questions

  • Describe aspects of your program’s recruiting practices that ensure commitment to DE&I.
  • Outside of advertising and faculty referrals, describe engagement strategies utilized to identify candidates for open faculty positions.
  • Describe your strategy when forming a search committee.
  • What are established recruiting best practices utilized by your program?
  • Would your recruiting process be described as candidate or institutionally oriented? If institutional, how can you modify to become more candidate oriented?
  • Is recruiting for outreach practices a challenge for your program?
  • What can you learn from your most disappointing recruitment/retention failures?
  • What is the most common reason for a voluntary faculty departure in your program?
  • What steps have you taken to improve faculty retention?


Pediatric Leadership Insight

  • Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent: K Award Recipients - Pediatric Insight: Passing Leadership Wisdom To The Next Generation Topic: Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent: K Award Recipients The first years of academic appointment are often the most critical in the career of a physician-scientist. Frequently, the first external grant during this important period is the K Award from the National Institutes of Health. In […]
  • Hiring a Department/Division Business Administrator - Pediatric Insight: Passing Leadership Wisdom To The Next Generation Topic: Hiring a Department/Division Business Administrator What Non-Clinical Positions Do You Need to Support Your Pediatric Department? Leaders at every level within the academic pediatric department require strong administrative support. The Child Health Advisory Council discuss the importance of the partnership of a senior business administrator […]
  • Internal Candidates - Pediatric Insight: Passing Leadership Wisdom To The Next Generation Topic: Professional Treatment of Internal Candidates In this Pediatric Insight Conversation, the Child Health Advisory council tackles a crucial conversation of effectively guiding Internal Candidates through the leadership search committee process. While your efforts will literally affect one faculty member, the experiences of the one will […]
  • What is a Diverse Search? - Pediatric Insight: Passing Leadership Wisdom To The Next Generation Topic: What is a Diverse Search? Listen to what the Council has to say about the definition of a diverse search, preparation, selection process for best outcomes, candidate pool development, establishing purpose and metrics, executive firm expectations and more. Don’t have time to watch the full […]


What are important charges to a search committee?

A. I always stressed confidentiality for search committee discussions and restraint in reaching out to candidates and their colleagues except for the Committee Chair.

What are important considerations in forming a search committee?
A. It is important to have gender and racial/ethnic diversity and to include relevant stakeholders from outside the department/division, including potentially a community member.

How involved should an incumbent division chief be in the search for their successor?
A. This should be determined by the Department Chair; however, in general, the current chief should be available as a resource for the search committee and to potential candidates with an interview during a recruitment visit.

Should the department Chair ever chair a division chief Search Committee?
A. The chair generally likes to receive options from a search committee to choose the final candidate. Separating the role of the search chair and the department chair offers an advocate for the candidate separate from the final decision. The chair should, however, be involved in the search and evaluation of the candidates throughout the search process.

What do you do if the Dean, Hospital CEO or Department Chair decides against the recommendation of a Search Committee?
A. This is an unfortunate situation and can be avoided in most instances by excellent communication between the executives and search committee chair. Including the institutional leaders in the interview process and valuing their input is important. Ultimately, the leaders who have the final decision must approve or the search then reinitiated.


Additional Resources


  1. Carroll JB, Wolverton M 2004. Who becomes a chair?  In: Gmelch WH, Schuh JH eds. The life cycle of a department Chair. San Francisco Ca.  Josse-Bass.
  2.  Grigsby RK, Hefner DS, Souba WW, Kirch DG 2004. The future-oriented department chair. Acad Med, 79:571-577.
  3. Rikkers L. 2013. The real job: Recruit, mentor, protect. JAMA Surg 148:515.
  4. Ross WE, Huang KHC, Jones GH 2014. Executive onboarding: Ensuring the success of the newly hired department Chair. Acad Med 89:728-733.


  1. Mallon WT, Grigsby RK, Barrett M. 2009. Finding Top Talent: How to Search for leaders in academic medicine.  Washington DC: AAMC.


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