From the News column of the February 2008 issue of Perspectives on History
The 2008 Job Register: By the Numbers
David Darlington, February 2008
This year, the AHA was informed of 261 active searches in Washington, D.C., down from 283 searches last year in Atlanta and 311 from the 2006 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia. With the number of available jobs going up this year, possible explanations for the decline in known searches include schools finalizing their candidate lists before the annual meeting, or holding interviews in the more far-flung hotels in the annual meeting bloc (such as the Embassy Suites and the Hilton Washington) or other unofficial locations, and never informing the Job Register of their location.
Sixty-two of the known searches were open and collecting c.v.'s via the Job Register. This number too is down from the past two annual meetings (from 76 in 2007 and 84 in 2006, respectively), but open searches still constituted roughly a quarter of the registered searches at the annual meeting.
The searches conducted at the free Job Register tables (in Exhibit Hall C of the Marriott Wardman Park), went down from 137 searches at tables in 2007 and 142 in 2006 to a significantly smaller number, 114. On the other hand, 75 searches reserved paid suites through the Job Register, up from 57 in 2007; another 72 searches made their own suite arrangements independent of the Job Register and helpfully informed us where they where. We also heard stories of interviews being conducted in unofficial locations like Starbucks (as reported in the "AHA-Sanctions Needed" blog post from Edwired), a practice that we strongly discourage (see the AHA Guidelines for the Hiring Process). These kinds of searches are not included in our official tally.
The typical search committee conducting interviews at Job Register tables interviewed 11 candidates, the same number as in 2007.
The March 2008 issue of Perspectives on History will carry more data from the Job Register, including the breakdown of searches by field and geographic region.
—David Darlington was co-manager of the Job Register at the Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. This note is adapted from a post on the AHA blog, AHA Today.