Increasing numbers of open positions and a dwindling pool to choose from can make a complex search even more of a challenge. Planning ahead, tailoring your search and advertising the position effectively will make the process easier.
Shaping your search:
Model Career Ladder helps groom a future director from within. Create a culture of leadership and prepare internally for advancement.
APHL Emerging Leaders Program guides labs in cultivating existing leaders in the field and offering new opportunities.
APHL Lab Director Network can be used to search job openings and discuss strategy with other lab leaders. Ask Member Services about access to APHL email lists and e-newsletters. Visit the
APHL Job Center for more.
Where to advertise: Try newspapers, university publications, science and health journals, national publications and APHL outlets:
APHL Job Center helps connect members with new employment opportunities at laboratories across the country. Contact Member Services for more information about advertising.
APHL’s weekly E-Update includes a careers section; contact Member Services to post your director opening.
What to include: Your job post is an advertisement—it can “sell” the job to high-quality candidates.
- Use and adapt the
Model Job Description for your own lab and director role.
- Keep a number or range for salary/compensation in mind from the start, and let it reflect the importance of the position. Use these tools:
Salary Toolkit: Search salary recommendations by region, education level, position type and field of study.
National Compensation and Salary Data 2011: Search the current market data for all positions.
- Selling the strong points of the lab itself to potential candidates will go a long way toward increasing job appeal. The Maryland State Health Lab System has a great
Lab Director Job Flyer to use as a model.
Evaluating candidates: Evaluate lab director candidates both on paper (certifications and regulations) and in reality (do they have a full understanding of the public health mission?).
Interview Questions: Pull from our big list of prospective questions to guide your interview process.
Education and Certification Checklist: The basic requirements—and some extras—to look for in prospective lab directors.
CLIA Regulations: Verify that your candidates comply with the CLIA-regulated qualifications and responsibilities.
Core Competencies Checklist for Lab Directors: Lab directors need certain core competencies, including technical, interpersonal and critical-thinking skills in the areas of leadership and laboratory operations. Use this checklist both in initial evaluation and reassessment.