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Vol. LXI, No. 1
January 9, 2009

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HERC: Herculean Tool for Recruitment

Finding a job is never easy, but finding two jobs for a dual-career couple can be extremely challenging. To make that task easier for current and potential employees, NIH has partnered with Loyola College, the University of Richmond and Washington and Lee University to establish the Mid-Atlantic Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (M-A HERC).

M-A HERC now includes 22 member institutions, including Georgetown University, American University, the University of Virginia, two campuses of the University of Maryland and the FDA.

The main component of HERC is its web site,, which posts every available job at each of the member institutions. The site enables dual-career couples to link their individual areas of expertise and job requirements and search for two jobs simultaneously.

M-A HERC is part of the National HERC, which includes 10 other regional affiliates. National HERC is working with JobTarget—the firm that manages the web sites for regional HERC affiliates—to let users search job listings of multiple HERCs simultaneously, which would help job seekers look at opportunities across HERC regional borders.

The first HERC was developed in 2000 by colleges and universities in northern California. Plans for the M-A HERC were under way by late 2007 and quickly gelled because the mid-Atlantic region is so rich in colleges, universities, teaching hospitals and government agencies with a focus on research and training.

Last October, representatives of the member institutions met at Natcher Bldg. for the inaugural meeting of M-A HERC. Paula Alfone, the M-A HERC director based at Loyola College, opened the meeting, followed by NIH representatives Christine Major, director of the Office of Human Resources, and Dr. Joan Schwartz, assistant director of the Office of Intramural Research.

The main event was a talk by Ethan Bloomfield, JobTarget’s vice president of sales operations. He presente the OneClick Network, a listing of national and regional job boards, web sites of professional societies, diversity-focused job boards and more. Member institutions can select up to 7 sites from the network to which to send each position announcement in addition to the M-A HERC and JobTarget will automatically post the job to those sites as well.

The day wrapped up with a roundtable discussion of how member institutions can best take advantage of the M-A HERC network. Ideas included establishing an online discussion forum and topics for future meetings such as best practices in diversity hiring and family-friendly policies.—

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