Last week I met with two leaders in our colleges and universities to explore how we can do a better job to support diverse hiring in our system. Increasing our diverse hires not only helps us mirror our student population better, but increases the potential for greater innovation in our colleges and universities. That said, it’s often a struggle to make sure that your applicant pool is truly diverse, especially if hiring managers are crunched for time or are relying on the traditional “post and pray” method of recruiting.
So what can leaders do to actively recruit for diversity? Here are a few ideas and resources gathered from the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC):
- Post positions in diversity publications in your region. See HERC for a good list of publications and membership discounts
- Search directories of minority doctoral students, such as the Southern Regional Education Board’s State Doctoral Scholars program or Faculty for the Future. Links to various directories can be found at: WISELI
- Work with your HR representative to search CV or resume databases. Minnesota State has access to 60,000 resumes through its HERC membership.
- Connect with job seekers on social media; Minnesota State leaders can tweet hard-to-fill positions on the HERC website.
- Meet potential candidates at regional or national conferences
- Participate in job fairs to promote your open positions
Last fall, chief diversity officers and human resource officers in Minnesota State had the opportunity to participate in a virtual job fair. It was a new concept for many of us. Still, I’m amazed at what came out of the virtual job fair for those leaders who took the time to spend a few hours meeting potential applicants in online chat rooms. One chief diversity officer garnered 26 contacts, which he then distributed to leaders in his university, so they could follow up with people individually. While I’m not sure how many eventual hires resulted from those contacts, it was well worth the time and effort to actively reach out, promote Minnesota State as a good place to work, and develop a potential pool of diverse candidates for future searches.
What methods have you tried to actively recruit for diversity?