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Best Practices for the Fall North American Rookie Job Market

After observing the 2022 Fall Rookie Job Market and transition to online (Zoom) interviews, the AMA Academic Council sought to understand the challenges and best practices to improve the market moving forward.  To do so, we surveyed 2022 job market candidates and engaged a taskforce of faculty with extensive recruiting experience. The survey of 2022 job market candidates revealed that 74% of candidates prefer the virtual format over the in-person format for the first round of interviews. However, 73% are dissatisfied with the consistency of the timing of the first-round interviews during 2022, and the majority are also dissatisfied with the duration of the time hiring institutions provided to accept a job offer. A critical observation of the task force was the need for an anchor for the timing of the fall job market to obtain optimal outcomes for both candidates and recruiting institutions. Additionally, faculty expressed the challenges their departments face in ensuring they can find the best candidate for an open position, particularly as they may risk losing the position if it is not filled. Whereas last year’s survey showed most support for moving the first-round interviews to Fall, this year’s survey and taskforce showed most support for an August first-round.

As a result, we recommend the following best practices for universities and job market candidates.

Best Practices for Hiring Universities

  • Suggested Initial Interview Window: To establish an anchor and ensure a more synchronized and efficient process, we recommend scheduling the first-round Zoom interviews the week of and following Summer AMA (this year: August 4-6, 2023), which is August 1 through August 14 in 2023.
  • In-Person Option: This timing will allow schools to also meet candidates in-person at Summer AMA if they prefer, though universities taking this approach should provide an option for a virtual interview to promote inclusivity for candidates who may not be able to attend in-person. Critically, following the Code of Ethics, AMA requests that NO interviews take place in hotel rooms as a strict policy.  To facilitate in-person interactions with candidates, AMA will offer a networking event sponsored by the Academic Council on Sunday morning (August 6) of the 2023 Summer AMA Academic Conference. 
  • Suggested Campus Visit Timing: With the synchronization of first-round interviews in August, we recommend campus visits do not occur until after the recommended window for first-round interviews has completed (i.e., beginning in mid-August at the earliest)
  • Please Do Not Impose “Exploding Offers”: When universities make offers, it is best practice to provide a minimum of two weeks for the candidate to make their decision regarding the offer.  AMA discourages universities from expecting candidates to cancel existing campus visits. Doing so deprives candidates of the once-in-their-career opportunity to share their research and network with a wide range of scholars in the field. If a candidate is pressured to make a decision outside of the Best Practices, it is possible their acceptance may be provisional.  

Best Practices for Job Market Candidates

  • Campus visits offer an important opportunity for candidates to share their research and build their network early in their career. The AMA Academic Council supports candidates’ ability to complete previously scheduled campus visits. If a hiring university requests a candidate cancel existing visits, candidates can reference these Best Practices to support their decision to finish their campus visits. 
  • AMA encourages students to reflect on the values and culture of a university that violates the Best Practices when considering an offer.
  • If a candidate is pressured to make a decision outside of the Best Practices, the AMA recommends that the field should recognize that candidates may need to withdraw their acceptance.

As a reminder, these Best Practices are recommendations to help facilitate a productive sense of community throughout the Fall Rookie Job Market. They are intended for universities and candidates participating in the Fall Rookie Job Market, and it should be understood that the recommended timeline may not be followed for other levels of hiring.