Recruitment Suggestions for Search Committees

  1. As a member of the K-State workforce, especially if one is a faculty member, an unclassified staff person or an administrator, the university needs you to establish a network of diverse contacts across the country. Once established, this network can be used each time a position needs to be filled. However, beyond the need to recruit broadly to fill our positions, this position can be used to establish relationships that advance the university’s teaching, research and service mission thus, enhancing the overall excellence of our institution.
  1. The search committee must be creative and aggressive in seeking to identify  Candidates. Brainstorming is often an effective way for search committees to come up with a list of contacts that might yield a broad and diverse pool of candidates. For example, consider the following:
    1. Where did each search committee member attend graduate school? Does he or she remember any promising minority or women graduate students, faculty members, or administrators who might be invited to apply for a position here?
    2. Have search committee members been employed at others schools before coming to K-State? If so, what promising minority and women colleagues did they know there?
    3. Search committee members can poll their K-State colleagues about their graduate school colleagues, or colleagues from places of former employment 
    4. What promising minorities and women have search committee members observed giving papers and participating in discussions at national or regional meetings?
    5. Think of some white male colleagues across the country who could be contacted and asked about promising minorities and women of their acquaintance.
    6. What minority or women's caucuses and committees exist within the discipline's professional organizations?
    7. Are there professional associations in your field that serve specific populations (such as Women In Engineering or the Association of Black    Psychologists)? Is it possible for a search committee member to recruit in person at their national meetings? Your presence would have a much greater and longer lasting impact than a simple announcement on job placement boards or newsletters.
    8. What minority or female persons in the field of interest are appearing in the Chronicle of Higher Education or in Diverse Issues in Higher Education?
    9. Are there annual directories to recent Ph.D. recipients in your field that could yield potential candidates?
    10. Do you know anyone at a tribal college, Hispanic-Serving Institution or Historically Black College or University that you can contact and ask for nominations?
    11. Search committees can utilize campus-based networks such as the Black Faculty and Staff Association, Alianza, your college’s diversity committee and the Associate Provost for Diversity.
    12. For upper level administrative positions, contact the American Council on Education’s National Identification project in Washington, D.C. The project has a network extending across the country and can both disseminate the announcement and offer nominations of prospective candidates.
  1. Once you have a list of possible contacts, it is important to follow up with personal invitations to apply. It is not enough to ask a secondary contact to pass the word on. Candidates have frequently reported that it was the warm, sincere, and personal call, which stirred their interest, allowed them to ask questions, and eventually led to their application.
  1. It is important to note that a personal invitation to apply does not imply that preference will be given. An invitation to apply is not the same as a job offer. Personal contacts have been routinely used for years to attract white males into applicant pools. This strategy merely extends an accepted practice to include women and minorities so that truly representative pools can be formed.
  1. In some cases, minority and women contacts may be persons who already have high-ranking positions elsewhere. Thus there may be a perception that it would be useless to call them when we are filling a lower-ranking position such as that for assistant professor. However, even though these contacts may not be interested for themselves, they may know of other promising minorities and women who would be interested, and are therefore valuable contacts.  The more such people know about K-State and our interests, the more willing they will become to help us find talented people.
  1. All efforts to make personal contacts should be documented on the Recruitment Plan submitted to the Affirmative Action Office.
  1. Search committee members need to be especially aware of attitudes which can be very detrimental to attracting minorities and women to K-State. Such attitudes ("Why would a single woman or a minority want to come here? Her social life would be terrible, and there aren't many other minorities around." or "What will his or her spouse do?") should be avoided.
  1. Search committee members need to be aware of recent national studies which reveal that women's work and credentials tend to be undervalued in comparison to those of men. Search committees need to exercise care that once in applicant pools, women and minorities are judged by the same criteria as those applied to men.  Search committees need to exercise care that once in applicant pools, women and minorities are judged fairly.

Remember, effective searches utilize creative and aggressive strategies to identify qualified applicants. The more aggressive the committee’s efforts, the more successful the recruitment.

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The Office of Institutional Equity administers the policies and procedures related to equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.