Higher education institutions often strive for inclusive recruiting practices, but many aren’t putting their best foot forward with underrepresented candidates.
“Have you ever read a job posting through the eyes of a minority group, disabled person or particular gender and realized it might be off-putting?” asked Wayne Robinson, director of recruitment and operations at Rice University.
Fortunately, an effective position management strategy can solve this challenge. By crafting more inclusive position descriptions and classifications, higher education institutions can ensure job postings appeal to a wide range of candidates.
“Review the job requirements and preferences to make sure they’re appropriate for the position,” Wayne suggested. “I’ve noticed some hiring groups tend to overstate job requirements.”
He illustrated his point using the example of a typical staff assistant position.
“In the experience requirement, instead of ‘Requires two years of experience supporting a corporate manager or executive,’ you might use, ‘Experience providing administrative support in an office setting,’” Wayne said. “In the skills assessment, instead of ‘Requires intermediate to advanced knowledge of Microsoft Excel,’ you might ask for spreadsheet competence at a level to maintain an inventory of supplies or mailing lists.”
Additionally, Wayne suggests identifying goals for your affirmative action plan (AAP) in your job classification details to ensure they stay top of mind for your internal reviewers and decision-makers.
“Tag position descriptions with AAP goals to proactively bring targeted positions to the hiring manager’s attention,” he said.
Wayne uses Positions — PeopleAdmin’s higher education-specific position management solution — to proactively manage this process.
“In Positions, it’s possible to populate a job classification and include your affirmative action goal,” Wayne said. “Then, when you create job descriptions, it automatically populates the affirmative action goals.”
And once managers create a job posting based on those descriptions, they can see exactly what their AAP target is.
“They’re aware that this is one of the jobs where we have a target,” Wayne said. “It brings that to the foreground when they’re starting their recruitment.”
By highlighting these AAP goals and ensuring position descriptions don’t needlessly discourage underrepresented candidates from applying, Wayne and his team hope to create a more diverse and inclusive environment at Rice University.
“We want to promote a diverse workforce,” Wayne explained. “It’s the campus standard.”