Last week, in a dramatic announcement that reverberated around the world of academia, the University of Southern California announced it hired two of the preeminent neuroscientists in the world, stealing them away from crosstown rival UCLA.
While salary was certainly part of the deal, what convinced Arthur Toga and Paul Thompson to decamp from the University of California Los Angeles after two decades was a combination of bigger and better facilities, a commitment to building a world class program, and considerations of culture and lifestyle.
After being rebuffed for years, how USC finally managed to snag the men and their Laboratory of Neuro Imaging is a case study in recruiting professionals who are among the top in the world in their field. In this case, there’s no indication that either internal recruiters or professional search firms were involved. Still, the methods the school used, and the issues that helped convince the men to make a move, are ingredients of every placement.