Inclusive Recruitment and Hiring Practices

Inclusive Recruitment and Hiring Practices

Your college or department diversity plan can be valuable for planning your search as it can provide a framework for curricular and research needs and how faculty fit into that plan. Units should consider ways to cultivate diverse candidate pipelines for future or anticipated searches:

  • How do routine policies and practices create barriers that perpetuate structural inequities for underrepresented groups in your department? In your discipline or profession?
  • What message does your unit communicate to students, colleagues and peers about who belongs in your discipline and who can aspire to leadership positions?
  • What investments can your department and you, as an individual, make to create more welcoming spaces in your unit and your discipline?

Below are key practices for developing diverse candidate pools and reducing bias in the search process. Contact: Yolanda Zepeda at with any questions.

Complete the online Implicit Bias Module Series from the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race & Ethnicity. Explore your biases by taking some Implicit Association Tests.

  • Consider your unit's mission and DEI goals. Where are there gaps in your curriculum, pedagogy, research and outreach?
  • Emphasize interdisciplinarity, collaboration, community building, and inclusive policies.
  • Incorporate language to signal that diversity is valued and why your department seeks diverse talent. Avoid biased language.
  • Be clear about which qualifications are preferred and which are required.

Tips for the job posting:

  • How is the Ohio State brand communicated as a place welcoming to people who don't look like the current faculty or research the same topics?
  • What are the culture and goals that we are communicating?
  • What investments is the university making to advance racial justice, diversity and inclusion?
  • How can the City of Columbus contribute to the university's DEI brand and message?

The diversity advocate helps to center inclusive practices throughout the search process:

  • Prompt discussion of DEI strategies throughout process.
  • Review the job ad and communications to ensure that they support DEI message.
  • Monitor outreach efforts to achieve a diverse applicant pool.
  • Review pool at multiple stages and recommend course correction if necessary.
  • Draw attention to practices that can open the door to bias in the decision-making processes.
  • Create a visible presence: Establish a visible presence at professional meetings where underrepresented scholars convene.
  • Network: Seek out potential candidates at professional meetings. After the conference, follow up to see if they have questions or would like more information. Reference programs from past conferences to develop a list of potential candidates.
  • Tap into pipelines: Contact graduate students on directories of PhD candidates compiled by professional associations. Contact chairs of relevant departments and directors of graduate studies. Enlist the help of faculty outside of the searching department. Faculty members tend to have broad networks that often include graduate students and Ph.D.s outside of their own fields
  • Reconsider taboos: Actively pursue candidates thriving at less well-ranked institutions. Cultivate promising students in your own department.

Additional resources are available on ODI's Faculty Recruitment Resources page.

  • Explicitly discuss, in advance, criteria that define “excellence.”
  • Review qualifications with an awareness of implicit bias: Minimum years of experience, size/ranking/sector of previous institutions, career progression patterns.
  • Use a standardized evaluation tool, such as a rubric, based on the criteria in the position description.
  • Include criteria regarding the candidate's potential to contribute to the department's DEI goals.
  • Statement help prioritize candidates who align with strategic diversity goals.
  • Diversity statement guidelines should be as transparent and direct as possible
  • Signals to candidates that your department/unit values diversity
  • Use a statement prompt to learn
    • Applicants' ideas for advancing DEI goals
    • Personal backgrounds and experiences
    • Skill building and personal growth around DEI
    • Efforts to advance DEI through teaching, research, and outreach
    • Demonstrated contributions to recruitment, mentoring and leadership development of diverse students and faculty
    • Demonstrated commitment to a workplace culture that encourages divergent thinking.
  • Be aware of what questions are inappropriate. (Remind interviewers and faculty)
  • Set aside time for the candidate to meet with individuals not on search committee.
  • Treat all candidates well and the same way.
  • Identify a host who can set the tone for the visit.
  • Prepare a visit that communicates Ohio State's commitment to diversity.