It seems the vast majority of faculty searches are for Assistant level positions with a few advertised as Asst/Asoc. I've read here and elsewhere that full Professors are usually recruited. So what are some reasons a committee would conduct an open rank search? When I was in grad school the department did an open search and it was near common knowledge that they were recruiting a particular full professor. The search happened and a fresh-from-grad-school candidate was brought in to compete with the full prof. Of course the full prof got the offer and the job.
Is this common?