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Strategies Toolkit

Strategies for Inclusive Faculty/Staff Recruitment & Hiring

Important Notes on Recommended Best Practice Strategies

The Office for Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) is available as a resource for any campus unit in administering both faculty/staff recruitment and hiring processes. ODI works collaboratively with Human Resources (HR) on the staff components. ODI has compiled a robust summary of best practices and effective strategies for inclusive faculty/staff recruitment and hiring based on a review of current initiatives and practices at Santa Clara, activities at other universities, and practices identified within the research literature. ODI is available for consultation at any time.  Before reviewing the list of recommended strategies at each stage of the recruitment and hiring process, please review the following explanatory and introductory notes:

  • This resource is intended to supplement, not to replace, established policies and procedures.
  • This resource is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather serve as a "working document" that can help guide our efforts.
  • While research and practice has demonstrated the success of these strategies, academic units should use at their discretion based on current practices and/or constraints.
  • It is expected that campus units will modify, adjust, and/or adapt these recommendations in accordance with such factors as the size of a search committee and pool of candidates, the breadth of areas encompassed in the position description, and the standards of each discipline.
  • Search committee members and chairs are encouraged to consult their respective Dean's office on questions regarding requirement and hiring policies or specific college/school requirements.
  • Units are encouraged to track use of specific practices for data-gathering purposes.
  • Some strategies may be more applicable for faculty and/or staff depending on the type of search/position.

Before the Search

The following strategies are recommended for academic/departmental unit and committee chairs prior to beginning a search:

Attendance at professional conference, particularly affinity-based conferences, allows current colleagues to communicate that search(es) may be forthcoming.  Faculty/staff attending conferences are encouraged to reach out to promising scholars from underrepresented groups. Building relationships can also mean connecting with departments at other institutions that have promising scholars.

  • Departments are encouraged to followup with promising scholars from underrepresented groups that are identified at professional conferences in order to maintain ongoing relationships.
  • Departments may consider inviting promising scholars from underrepresented groups to visit campus for informal conversations and/or research presentations.
  • A proposal for a any position should strive to include a statement regarding the department/units commitment to advancing diversity and specifies how the position have the potential to contribute to diversity at Santa Clara.
    • proposal should document consideration of equal opportunity
    • academic units should consider how the proposed level of appointment and field of specialization may affect the availability of women and minorities in the applicant pool
    • the same consideration also goes for staff positions
  • A proposal should also include an inclusive search plan and recruiting strategy (e.g. strategies for building a diverse pool of qualified candidates).
    • search plan may identify strategies to attract a diverse applicant pool, and specifies steps for active outreach to potential candidates from underrepresented groups
    • search plan should include a list of referral sources and publications that may be used for advertising and potential candidates who will be contacted
    • ODI and HR have been working on updating the areas where SCU posts job opportunities

Search committee membership should include diverse representation (e.g., in institutional roles, race, disability, gender, perspectives), and/or representation from those with a demonstrated commitment to diversity. To enhance diversity of membership, committee may seek to include a representative from a contiguous department. More details.

  • Search committee should determine hiring qualifications and develop a template for screening applications prior to beginning the search.
  • Search committee should attempt to meet with university leaders (e.g., Dean, Associate Deans, Provost, Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion or equivlant managers) to discuss the university’s commitment to diversity and best practices for inclusive faculty recruitment and hiring.
  • Search committee may choose to review current demographic statistics, availability analysis, and utilization/underutilization reports provided, upon request, by ODI.  Review of the data may assist the committee in adjusting search and recruitment efforts as needed.
  • Search committee should share demographic analysis and inclusive search and recruitment plan with the department.
  • Inclusive language that communicates the university’s commitment to diversity should be used in the position announcement. 
  • Position announcement should be placed in strategic sources for attracting a diverse pool of applicants.

During the Search

The following strategies are recommended for hiring committees during faculty/staff searches:

Search committee should strive to make good-faith efforts to reach out to candidates from underrepresented groups and use strategic and targeted outreach to diverse groups and individuals.

  • Targeted invitations for application may be sent to diverse candidates (e.g., internal candidates, candidates from minority-serving institutions, recent graduates from diverse backgrounds, graduate programs at minority-serving institutions, etc.).
  • Current department or University faculty/staff, particularly underrepresented faculty/staff, may be encouraged to recommend promising candidates.
  • ODI may be used to solicit promising applicants from diverse backgrounds.

Search committee and/or committee chair may review analysis of applicant, candidate, and finalist pools regularly throughout the process, and adjust strategies if necessary.  Search committees are encouraged to take into account the areas of emphasis from the Inclusive Search training on implicit bias.

Review of the data is encouraged at the the following three phases of the search process:

  • Review of diversity within applicant pool. For example, does the applicant pool reflect the diversity of recent Ph.D. recipients for field?
  • Review of diversity within short-listed (conference interviewees, phone or Skype/Zoom interviewees, etc.) candidates.
  • Review of diversity of candidates invited to on-campus interviews.

At any stage of the process, committees are encouraged to invite candidates to meet with ODI (particularly those invited to on-campus interviews). ODI is here to serve as a resource.

Prior to verbal offer to candidate from underrepresented group, ODI is available for consultation, as needed, with the Dean (for faculty positions) to design an inclusive approach that addresses potential barriers to acceptance. 

HR would be the point for contact for staff matters, but ODI can support as well.

After the Search

The following strategies are recommended for committee chairs and departments after the search:

ODI welcomes and encourages debriefing meetings with committee chairs and members of the Search Committee.  In addition, chairs are encouraged to debrief with other university leaders including Deans, Associate Deans, managers, etc.

We strongly believe that the efforts with a current search set the stage for the next search that a department may undertake.

  • Academic units and departments should consider contacting short-listed (conference interviewees, phone or Skype/Zoom interviewees, etc.) or on-campus applicants from underrepresented groups who did not receive offers for notification of their status.  This may allow the department to maintain an open relationship with promising candidates for future searches.
  • Communication should be maintained with promising candidates from underrepresented groups for future searches.
  • Department Chair are encouraged to consult with university leaders responsible for diversity and inclusion and with faculty development program to prepare for the new colleague’s arrival on campus and on-boarding activities.
  • In terms of staff: Hiring managers should consider the same type of on-boarding for staff hires working closely with HR and ODI.
  • Academic units/Deans/Hiring Managers are encouraged to continue the pipeline and relationship building efforts for future searches continues, as outlined in previous sections.