Thursday, May 31, 2012

Search firms in university hiring could become illegal in Illinois

Search firms for hiring university administrators could become illegal for public universities in Illinois: Illinois Bill Would Ban Use of Search Firms in Hiring at Public Universities

"A bill pending before the State Senate would prohibit public universities from "contracting with outside search firms, executive search firms, or similar organizations." Supporters of the legislation say that paying consultants to find candidates is a poor use of taxpayer and tuition dollars, and that hiring is a responsibility that should fall to those on the university's payroll.
"Universities across the country have increasingly turned to outside consultants, at least for hiring at the presidential level. Search consultants were used to recruit nearly 60 percent of recently hired presidents, a jump from 49 percent four years ago, according to an American Council on Education survey released this year.

Update, May 31: Illinois Legislators Approve Limits on Use of Search Firms in Public Universities' Hiring

"Illinois legislators have approved a bill that would restrict the use of search firms to fill vacancies at public universities, but the measure backs away from earlier proposals that would have banned the increasingly popular practice entirely.

"The amended bill, which passed the Illinois House of Representatives and the State Senate this week, would allow universities to contract with search firms to help fill presidential vacancies, but it would limit their use in other cases. Before employing outside consultants to aid in nonpresidential searches, a university and its board of trustees would have to "demonstrate a justifiable need for guidance from an individual or firm with specific expertise in the field of the hiring." The bill would require the state's public institutions to enact policies that define the criteria for when hiring a search firm is necessary.

"The bill, HB 5914, will next be sent to the governor, who is reviewing the legislation, his spokesperson said Wednesday.

"The University of Illinois objected to earlier versions of the bill that featured a complete ban on outside search consultants, arguing that such a prohibition would impede its ability to compete for well-qualified candidates. Over the past several months, the university has sought to persuade the legislation's sponsors to relax the language in the bill."


Kate Dunkin said...

Very informative post! I was actually just looking online for executive recruiters when I came across your post. I'm happy i did because I did not hear this news about search firms and Illinois, thank you for sharing this with us Al!

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing this! I've been researching what executive search firms do, and this was very helpful. If you have any more info that would be helpful, I would really appreciate it!