Why hiring for mission matters

A message from Vice President Father Anthony Casamento csma:

Recently I logged into a regular seminar that I co-ordinate with the Vice Presidents of Catholic universities in the USA, where we discuss issues of common interest that we face in our roles. One of the issues that was flagged, and to which there was a lot of discussion, was about the importance of recruitment for mission at a Catholic university. This got me thinking about ACU’s own hiring for mission strategy.

As a Catholic university, our mission is at the heart of everything we do. It guides our approach to education, research, learning and teaching, academic excellence and service. It is what makes us ACU. This is why the first priority in ACU’s Strategic Plan 2020-2023 is: “All our endeavours, grounded in mission.”

But what does hiring for mission actually mean? In short, it means that we want to ensure that staff are attracted to working at ACU because they are not only aware of, but want to actively engage in, advancing our mission as an Australian and Catholic university.

We focus on hiring for mission to help potential staff in discerning whether working at ACU would be a good fit for them, whether they will be happy working here, and also to allow the university to determine whether those applying to work here are comfortable working in an environment where our Catholic traditions ground all that we do. In 2021, our Vice-Chancellor has nominated the further embedding of hiring for mission in the recruitment of new employees, particularly in key strategic roles, as one of his priorities.

Of course, hiring for mission does not happen if it is not planned. That’s why my office (the Office of the Vice President) is working with Human Resources to further strengthen our hiring for mission protocols and supporting resources.

Our commitment will also be reflected in the ongoing professional development opportunities for existing staff with understanding, applying, and living out the mission. As such, we are developing new resources and creating new opportunities for staff in how to live the mission in their own work.

It is our hope that, through the university’s renewed hiring for mission strategy and updated resources, all staff, regardless of their faith, will continue to advance the mission of Australian Catholic University.

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