As posted to NAIS.org by Warren Reid, Founder & CEO, Nemnet on 7/14/2015 9:23 AM
1. Start recruiting now!
Most independent schools begin the diversity recruitment process once and only when they have identified a specific need, say, for a math teacher who can also coach JV basketball. However, schools that consistently recruit the best and most diverse talent are recruiting all year long. Here’s how they go about it:
• First, they develop a talent strategy. This begins with anticipating and identifying needs; establishing a diversity specific recruitment budget; identifying recruiting resources and events; registering for local, regional, and national conferences, networking events, workshops, and career fairs; creating a recruitment calendar; and posting vacancies.
• Next, they establish goals. These could include increasing the number of diverse resources used to identify diverse candidates, increasing the number of diverse applicants for open positions, increasing the number of diverse candidates who are invited to campus and/or interviewed.
• Then, they assign clear roles and responsibilities, including determining the scope of work and identifying who needs to do it.
• Finally, they implement the plan throughout the year.
The process outlined is similar to the way Corporate America recruits: first identifying openings in advance, attending diverse and various career fairs to establish relationships with potential talent, and constantly creating awareness and affinity in diverse communities.
It’s never too late – or too early; begin right away. Establish your strategy and set your goals, register for career fairs, build awareness in communities, and if you are bold in your commitment, post your “anticipated or generic” openings on diversity specific job sites and with diversity recruitment resources. You should never stop recruiting.
2. Write compelling job descriptions.
Job descriptions in most cases will be the job seekers’ first introduction to a school. Schools need to keep in mind that qualified candidates have plenty of options. It is in schools’ best interest to craft thoughtful and detailed job descriptions. In many ways, job descriptions are like dating ads. You have only one chance to make a favorable impression, and in most cases only a few seconds to do so. If you want to increase the likelihood that you will find a match, take the time to write a complete and compelling job description (PDF). Full descriptions should include, at a minimum, a school description, position description, qualifications and requirements, deadline, salary, and contact information. Be bold and courageous and include the school’s diversity mission statement and statistics or accomplishments relative to diversity and inclusion. Don’t assume that candidates are familiar with your school, culture, and or mission. Most are not!
3. Cast a broader net.
There is an old saying: There is no way you are going to hire four candidates of color if you only interview three. Many schools continue to rely on the same traditional resources yet they expect different results.
Which is more effective: a fishing pole or a net? To recruit a diverse faculty, you need to cast a broader net and increase your exposure and access to diverse pools of talent. This can be accomplished by identifying and collaborating with local, regional, and national resource organizations with broad full nets of talent that can help build awareness of your institution and affinity among potential candidates. Doing so will increase your potential candidate pool overnight. Schools need to be clear about what constitutes a “diversity” fair, firm, or resource. The test: Is 51 percent or more of the talent pool or membership composed of candidates of color? If the answer is no, then be careful to consider it a “diversity” firm, fair, or resource.
Remember, it is much harder to find nontraditional candidates from traditional sources, and there is no way you are going to hire four candidates of color if you only interview three!
4. Be committed.
Successful diversity recruitment is a result of sustained commitment and accountability. Schools that are winning at diversity recruitment have:
• assembled an appropriately sized team that takes into account the size of the school, anticipated hiring needs, and the strategy employed to deliver results;
• assigned the team clear roles and responsibilities;
• trained and empowered their managers to execute a plan and track its progress;
• allocated sufficient human and financial resources to deliver results;
• instituted feedback tools to assess and continually improve their recruitment efforts;
• established a budget specifically for diversity recruitment; and
• developed a list of resources to assist in identifying and recruiting diverse candidates. Resources include local and regional civic, social, and community organizations; churches; fraternities and sororities; affinity groups; and professional organizations.
Accountability separates those who are committed to diversity from those who are simply concerned. To learn which category you fall into, our test is available online: http://www.nemnet.com/Content/EmployerResour ces/RecruitmentAssessmentTool.pdf
5. Understand that diversity recruitment is different.
Diversity recruitment costs more and takes longer. The causes are many and include: history, location, salary and benefits, low turnover among independent school faculty, résumé and interview biases, and competition. The additional time and cost are driven by the need to create awareness, establish trust, educate interviewers on how to break down the barriers of bias, and deliver a competitive offer. The cold hard truth is that successful diversity recruitment is an ongoing process that costs time and money, and the return on investment may take years to realize. It’s imperative to be committed.