The opportunity cost of outsourcing recruitment female professors

| Pricivel Carrera

As a researcher on prices and expenditures in the healthcare sector, I am particularly keen on the opportunity cost of new technologies especially since most are high-cost but not many are high-value. Combined with my role as a member of the University of Twente community, I cannot help but wonder about the value of contacting an external HR firm, albeit located at the Kennispark, to carry out the recruitment of 10 additional female professors by 2020.

To recap, according to the U-Today article, faculties will be provided ‘central funding of 25,000 euros per professor’ over five years to help achieve the desired share of female professors at 20% by 2020. The total costs of funding the new posts is estimated totaling 7 million euro given the scenario that seven professors may not able to pay their respective chairs themselves. As part of this undertaking, the Executive Board is spending 400.000 euro for the ‘Hypatia campaign’ which will pay for the ‘external recruitment agency and extra bias training for, for example, the appointment advisory committees’.

We know the costs but what about the value of external HR firm and perhaps an external provider for bias training?

Compared to the outsourcing of the recruitment of female professors, what if we spend our resources on asking the Human Resource Management and Data Science (DS) / Data management & Biometrics (DMB) to carry out the undertaking, resulting in the training of a junior researcher and developing software that can be utilized by the HR departments of the various faculties of the university? This could also be licensed to other universities who have similar needs.

Certainly, the UT can do better with an investment considering that we claim that ‘all of our research and education is aimed at making a difference in today’s society, while setting up the next generation for the future’. Yes, the hiring of needed, additional female professors within and outside the Netherlands requires sizable resources; let’s make it high-value while at it.

Pricivel Carrera, LLM, PhD
Assistant Professor, Health Technology and Services Research