Inclusive Recruitment

Inclusive Recruitment

inclusive recruitment banner

Inclusive hiring practices expand your reach to identify the best talent for open positions. Research has shown that more diverse and inclusive teams promote innovation and diversity of thought. Team diversity also correlates to improved performance and outcomes. Specifically, if even a single member of a team has traits in common with the targeted audience or consumer, the entire team will have a better understanding of perspectives and experiences to consider when developing a product or service (source) and those final products or services are more likely to meet the needs of the audience (source). In short, to be most effective for our students, co-workers, administrators, the University as a whole, and our surrounding communities, we want our teams to be diverse and welcoming. This is where inclusive recruitment can play a major role.

One way you can begin learning about inclusive hiring practices is by completing the Implicit Bias for Search Committees training developed by Rowan University’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Human Resources. To do so, please click on this link, log in with your Rowan credentials, and enroll in the course. As a bonus, this 30-minute training will provide you with eligibility to serve on a search committee for one year form the date of completion.

Recommendations for Best Practices to Guide Inclusive Recruitment Strategies

  • Accessibility 
    • Be sure job descriptions and postings are accessible, including when shared on social media. Screen readers should be able to access all text and image descriptions should be included for pictures.
    • Provide ample time for transportation on campus, including commuting between buildings, utilization of elevators and ramps, and scheduling time for restroom breaks and short breaks to decompress between interview elements during long interviews.
    • If conducting interviews on a virtual platform (Zoom, WebEx, etc.), enable captions.
    • Consider the physical environment for interview spaces. Ensure a comfortable temperature, proper lighting, height of check-in desks, background noise, etc.
    • Be specific about questions. Vague prompts and colloquialisms may be misunderstood by some applicants, including, but not limited to, those who are neurodivergent or whose first language is not English.
    • Consider providing some or all interview questions beforehand, especially if quick-thinking is not a requirement for the position.
  • Marketing 
    • Diversify your advertising of open positions to expand your outreach. You may want to consider sharing job announcements with diverse graduate programs, affinity interest groups, and other internal and external networks.
  • Recommendations for Search Committee Members
    • Question search practices and assumptions – both those of the committee overall and individual members. Look for biases that might be affecting your decisions and interpretations.
    • Contribute to an open environment where each committee member can bring up questions and recommend considering different perspectives.
    • Develop a rubric or matrix to assess candidates in terms of application, interview responses, etc. Make sure the most important considerations are those directly related to the position. Prioritize the “must have” qualifications rather than the “preferred” qualifications.
    • Ask each candidate the same questions. Following up on answers with additional questions or asking for clarification is permitted, but the starting point for each candidate should be the same.
    • Before interviews, think about the ideal response for each question being asked to help rate candidate responses.