Standard Operating Procedures

Target Of Opportunity Hires

History:  First Issued April 20, 2006; revised May 15, 2012

1. Introduction

A “target of opportunity hire” results from an opportunity to hire someone who meets a desired need without a planned search or as a result of a planned search that produces more than one candidate meeting a desired need. Target of opportunity hiring allows departments speed and flexibility in securing outstanding candidates who can help improve the quality and  diversity of NC State’s faculty and professional staff.

Reasons for engaging in the target of opportunity process may include:

  • hiring nationally renowned scholars in targeted curricular growth areas
  • attracting outstanding senior scholars
  • adding senior leadership to a program
  • diversifying the faculty
  • accommodating spousal or partner hires

In the regular faculty recruitment process, after the position and search have been approved, the search and evaluation process can take up to an academic year. Target of opportunity typically shortens the hiring process by bypassing a general search. Target of opportunity accelerates the hiring process by allowing departments to take advantage of the availability of a specific scholar instead of requesting a new position and then searching for candidates who fit the description. With approval from the dean of the college and provost, the candidate goes through the standard evaluation process.

Target of opportunity hiring agreements between departments and the administration (Dean and/or Provost) vary on a case-by-case basis.  Funding for target of opportunity hiring can come from department, college or Provost’s funds. The Provost may fully or partially fund the position; Provost’s funding may be provided permanently or for a fixed period after which the department will be expected to assume responsibility for the position. Although target of opportunity is most often used in hiring candidates for faculty positions, the target of opportunity hiring practice may also be used to fill professional staff positions.

This Standard Operating Procedure applies to all requests for target of opportunity hires on or after May 16, 2012.

2. Process

Department heads wishing to pursue a target of opportunity hire should work through their deans. The dean should contact the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs to discuss resource requests to be submitted to the Provost to hire of a faculty or professional staff member using the target of opportunity process.

2.1.1. If  requesting supplemental funds for unanticipated financial needs resulting  from a target of opportunity hire, the dean must complete the “Unanticipated Financial Needs” fillable request form and send it to the Assistant Vice Provost for Finance & Planning via email with a copy to the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.  The department head or dean should contact the Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity and Equity to discuss a “waiver of recruitment procedures” as outlined in the Hiring Procedures for EPA Personnel.

Faculty hired as a target of opportunity should be qualified for the position; i.e., meet the same qualifications as if the position were advertised during a regular faculty recruitment.