Holland (1991) reported that newly appointed recruits to higher education posts had different needs or motivations on entering higher education and that they perceived a difference between polytechnics and universities in the ability to satisfy those needs. This report confirms Holland's findings in the case of the university sector and provides further insight into the hopes and fears of new appointees. It poses questions as to the guidance and encouragement which should be offered to new appointees and as to departmental policy on recruitment in the 1990s when the binary line has disappeared. © 1993 Academic Press. All rights reserved.