Creating a Diverse Candidate Pool

Oct. 17, 2016

How do you attract a diverse group of applicants for your faculty job posting? Here are four ways to make it happen.

A diverse faculty isn't grown overnight. It takes a dedicated commitment by every search committee to develop an inclusive candidate pool for each open position. And it’s an important step to take, says Laura Hunter, PhD, associate diversity officer for the University of Arizona's Office of Diversity and Inclusive Excellence.

"There are two reasons having a diverse candidate pool is important," she says. "First, it can reduce the impact of unconscious bias. When there’s only one woman or person of color in the pool, the research shows that they tend to be scrutinized more and evaluated more harshly. The other reason it’s important is that it increases the odds of making a diverse hire."

To ensure your next faculty search is an inclusive one, follow these four tips.

  1. Include a diversity statement. Within the job posting itself, simply stating the value the UA places on inclusion has shown to lead to a more diverse candidate pool.
  2. Be a proactive recruiter. Don’t sit around waiting for the candidates to come to you. Make a list of the top professionals you would love to have in the position, with an eye toward diversity, and then reach out to them, Hunter says.
  3. Advertise strategically. Tap into professional associations that are geared toward women, people of color and other underrepresented groups to publicize the job opening.
  4. Put your network to use. Reach out to colleagues throughout your professional network (not just at other universities). And keep in mind that conferences and association events can provide an effective setting to meet and identify suitable candidates.

Find more recruitment resources, including diversity statements and a guide to successful searches.