Subtle barriers might be preventing you from hiring the best available candidates. These tips will help you conduct inclusive searches that appeal to women and people from other underrepresented groups.
1. Reach out to promising candidates and personally invite them to apply.
This is especially important for encouraging underrepresented candidates who may have questions about fitting in to your department.
2. Create standard evaluation tools that will be used 1) when reviewing resumes for all applicants and 2) when evaluating visiting candidates.
These tools help keep the search committee focused on consistent criteria. For sample evaluation tools, see http://advance.umich.edu/stride.php.
3. If using a scoring process when evaluating candidates, use the final score only as a guideline.
While using evaluation tools with clear criteria is important for reducing bias, research shows that final scores can still contain biases. Be sure to discuss final scores, especially if there is disagreement about what these scores may mean.
4. Avoid mentioning that the department is eager to hire women and minorities, as this indicates a superficial focus only on demographic characteristics.
Instead, make it clear that you are interested in scholarship and skills related to diversity by including an interview question similar to the following:
- Tell us about your strengths and prior experience mentoring, teaching, or otherwise working with diverse students.
- What kinds of skills or experiences will enable you to work effectively in diverse settings?
5. Include diverse representation on the interview committee.
It’s important to ensure that all candidates visiting campus meet a diverse range of faculty and staff.
6. Ensure that all visiting candidates, regardless of gender, race/ethnicity, or partner status, are made aware that the school values and will make arrangements for dual career couples.
The search committee should not discuss details about these arrangements, however. Designate a person outside the search committee who can discuss these details with candidates if they are interested.
7. When providing information about the local community, be sure that you provide all candidates a diverse look at what the community has to offer (e.g., information about community activities, housing areas, churches).
To help candidates easily access this information, you might create an online guide and provide a link in the job description itself.
- ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change. University of Washington. https://advance.washington.edu/sites/advance/files/FacultyRecruitmentHiring.pdf
- Handbook for Faculty Searches and Hiring. University of Michigan ADVANCE Program. https://advance.umich.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Handbook-for-Faculty-Searches-and-Hiring.pdf
- Moody, J. (2012). Faculty diversity: Removing the barriers. New York: Routledge.