<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1770253589940451&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Benchmark Reports

Association Education Manager: Position Benchmark Reports

Posted by Mitch Corlett on June 10, 2015

When faced with a stack of resumes, what's the best way to differentiate the top performers from their peers?

Based upon hundreds of interviews with hiring managers and candidates, this Position Benchmark Report will help you identify the factors that are most likely to drive performance in a role like this.

What do you need to know about association Education jobs at this level?

Education serves a different purpose in different associations. In some cases the candidate may be satisfying an industry certification, in others the role may be a venue for CEO’s to have leadership training. Industry needs and member interests range widely, so there is not a one-size-fits-all education model for associations. It's why the position can be so difficult to fill through advertisements alone.

Having some association experience is helpful, but specific industry experience is generally not required. Consider looking at candidates making the leap from the education function at another type of organization (adult education schools, government, corporate), where stakeholders were clients rather than members.


What does a typical association Education Manager role look like in this market? What should you expect to see from a Top Performer?

Whether or not an organization’s education function includes conference education programming, continuing education credits, certifications, or distance learning, employers usually tell us they want to see some combination of the following from candidates (note that hiring requirements vary widely and are unique to each employer’s situation):

  1. Does the candidate have 3-5 years of solid experience as an education coordinator?
  2. Are they working collaboratively with other departments to accomplish goals? Do they coordinate with the operations staff to integrate and incorporate program elements? Is program promotion coordinated across departments? Do they work with marketing to craft the marketing message? Do they collaborate with Certifications staff?
  3. Are they comfortable working with volunteer leaders and working groups to set the agenda and develop course content? Are they a committee liaison? Do they lead or moderate volunteers or SMEs?
  4. Have they experimented with innovative new education offerings like creating learning zones, un-sessions, online forums? Are they contributing to education product development and production?
  5. Do they incorporate adult learning principles to find better ways to engage adults to learn online, in print, and face-to-face?
  6. Are they an excellent project manager? Do they map out their project plan a year in advance? Successfully keep track of the details and tight deadlines? Do they provide support to volunteer contributors and facilitate the process to ensure content delivery?
  7. Are they fully engaged in the nuts and bolts development and delivery of their organization’s education programming? Do they have experience identifying speakers for conferences? Have they managed the process for the call for presentations?
  8. Have they adapted programming to meet the needs of multiple experience levels (e.g., student, professional)? Varying constituencies? Different geographic areas?
  9. Do they develop surveys to identify gaps, assess needs, and evaluate courses or sessions? Do they proactively seek to discover what members like or want more of?
  10. Are they technologically savvy? Are they familiar with eLearning software? Do they have experience with distance learning technology? Have they used an LMS? An AMS?
  11. Do they work fairly autonomously? Are they a problem solver? A good listener? Do they provide good feedback to leadership?


What are the key factors that distinguish Top Performers from their peers?

Candidates commonly do not move forward in this kind of role because the scope of the program (in terms of volume or types of programs, number of speakers or sessions, etc.) they are managing does not align with that of the hiring organization.

Hiring managers tell us they want to see proven experience of working autonomously, and a track record of taking on higher and higher levels of responsibility.

So, as a hiring manager, what can you do to make hiring more personal?

How can you get the attention of top candidates? As the job market tightens and recruiting becomes more challenging, how can you update your hiring process so you are not trapped in the land before time? How can you organize your recruiting efforts to appeal to the most selective people?

Most job advertising budgets are wasted on ineffective ads that don't reach the right people. Effective job postings attract the right people for the right reasons, so you spend your time interviewing people who will fit into your culture and stay long enough to deliver results.

Download “6 Steps to Writing Job Descriptions that Attract Great Candidates to learn how to make your job postings twice as effective:

How to Write Job Descriptions to Attract Great Candidates

Topics: Position Benchmark Reports, Education