​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:

  • The Model Career Ladder helps groom a future director from within. Create a culture of leadership and prepare internally for advancement.
  • The APHL Emerging Leaders Program guides labs in cultivating existing leaders in the field and offering new opportunities.
  • The 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.

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.