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Strategies Toolkit

Strategies for Inclusive Faculty Recruitment & Hiring

Important Notes on Recommended Best Practice Strategies

The Office for Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) is available as a resource for academic units in administering faculty recruitment and hiring processes. ODI has compiled a robust summary of best practices and effective strategies for inclusive faculty 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 academic 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.

Before the Search

The following strategies are recommended for academic 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 attending conferences are encouraged to reach out to promising scholars from underrepresented groups.

  • 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 faculty position should strive to include a statement regarding the department’s 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
  • 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

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) 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. More details.
  • Position announcement should be placed in strategic sources for attracting diverse applicants.

During the Search

The following strategies are recommended for hiring committees during faculty 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, particularly underrepresented faculty, 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.  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 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).

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

After the Search

The following strategies are recommended for committee chairs and academic units 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, etc.

  • Academic units and departments should consider contacting short-listed (conference interviewees, phone or Skype 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.
  • Academic units and Deans are encouraged to continue the pipeline and relationship building efforts for future searches continues, as outlined in previous sections.