Inclusive Hiring: Processes and Best Practices

Hiring managers and those serving on faculty and staff searches should familiarize themselves with guidelines for searches. Our goal is to cast a wide net and welcome talent of all types to apply to positions within Kennesaw State University (KSU).

Faculty Affairs provides guides for Faculty Search Guidelines as well as Conducting Faculty Searches.

Human Resources (HR) provides a guide for the Staff Hiring Process as well as a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

All hiring managers and search committee members should complete Inclusive Hiring Training, offered through the Division of Diverse and Inclusive Excellence. Topics covered in the training include legal requirements, search committee composition, drafting appropriate position descriptions, advertising tools, unconscious bias, interview bias, and appropriate interview questions.

  • Human Resources has a job description library with all current staff position descriptions, which can serve as a reference when drafting a position advertisement. Review the current description and consider how the description can be revised, updated, or reframed according to current needs as well as to ensure that the language is inclusive.

    Faculty Affairs has job opening request templates to guide hiring managers and committees when drafting a job description for a faculty search.

    As committees review and write these descriptions, best practices for drafting an inclusive job posting include:

    1. Removing coded words/language: Whenever possible, remove unnecessary gendered language or gender-coded words in job postings. Also note how certain word choices may dissuade people of specific ages, abilities, or backgrounds from applying. This will ensure the posting is welcoming to all and demonstrate KSU’s dedication to fair and inclusive recruitment practices.

    2. Being mindful of requirements: Many employers overstate minimum qualifications or ask for qualifications that are unreasonable or are not aligned with the position sought (e.g., 10 years of experience for an entry-level position). This dissuades many qualified candidates from applying. Be true to what the job requires and realistic expectations for applicants in order to avoid limiting your pool unnecessarily.

    3. Avoiding jargon or overly specialized language: Avoid excessive jargon when drafting job descriptions unless it is critically necessary. Strive for more open and accessible language that brings in applicants rather than excludes them.

    4. Sharing key policies and benefits: Go beyond the standard diversity and inclusion statement. Are there policies or benefits in place that demonstrates the institution’s commitment to supporting employees’ advancement, wellness, and work-life balance? Consider adding these highlights to your job description.

    For more information, consult the following resources:

    Eliza C. Bettinger, “Eliminating Bias,” Inside Higher Ed, 10 May 2022.

    Marguerite Ward, “The words and phrases you should stop using in job descriptions if you want to attract applicants from diverse backgrounds,” Business Insider, 16 February 2021.

    Heidi Lynne Kurter, “Hiring Managers, Here Are 4 Useful Tips to Create More Inclusive Job Descriptions,” Forbes, 20 January 2021.

    Melissa Della Bartolomea, “DEI Hiring: How to Create Inclusive Job Descriptions,” Inclusion Hub, 11 November 2020.

  • Human Resources will assist hiring managers in identifying the best places to advertise staff positions as well as sources that aim to diversify applicant pools. Hiring managers and search committee members can pursue additional options for advertising the position.

    HR has designed trainings on Boosting Diversity Through Recruiting and Leveraging Your Network to Find Talent. These trainings explore best practices for developing a diverse applicant pool as well as using professional networks and social media to cast a wider net. Interested individuals can consult the HR Training Calendar to sign up for these sessions.

    Faculty Affairs will advertise and pay for a one-time full-time contracted faculty job opening in the national outlets identified in the Faculty Search Guidelines; advertising in additional venues is the responsibility of the department. Hiring managers can advertise in venues for limited term and part-time faculty job openings, but they will be responsible for the cost of advertising and placing the job opening.

    The Division of Diverse and Inclusive Excellence (DDIE) has created a Targeted Recruitment Resources tool to help identify additional professional organizations intersecting with different job areas. By reaching out to specific professional organizations as well as those that serve different affinity groups or have a local presence, hiring managers can further develop a diverse applicant pool.

    Social media is an increasingly useful tool as current employees sharing a call offers a more personal approach to attracting applicants. HR’s Leveraging Your Network to Find Talent covers this topic, and those interested can refer to the following resources as well:

    Daniel Ku, “Social Recruiting: Everything You Need to Know for 2022,” PostBeyond, 26 November 2021.

    Society for Human Resource Management, “Using Social Media for Talent Acquisition,” 20 September 2017

  • Again, hiring managers and search committees should complete Inclusive Hiring Training, which will discuss best practices as well as legal considerations when evaluating candidates.

    Search committees should prepare to demonstrate to all candidates the diversity and inclusivity of KSU as well as the resources available to support professional development. Committees can highlight the R2 Roadmap and its emphasis on community. Committees can also point to the resources available to support all incoming staff and faculty members as they grow and progress at KSU. While not an exhaustive list, resources include:

    1. National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity: KSU is an institutional member, which enables all faculty to become individual members by registering for a free account.
    2. Faculty Mutual Mentoring Groups
    3. Women’s Leadership Institute
    4. Research Support for Faculty
    5. Inclusive Excellence Certificate Program
    6. Diversity Research Grant
    7. Presidential Initiatives: Disability Strategies and Resources; Gender and Work Life Issues; Racial and Ethnic Diversity; LGBTQ+ Initiatives; Sustainability; Veteran Affairs.
    8. Employment Benefits

    Specific college or unit resources: Search committees should familiarize themselves with what opportunities are available within their specific unit. This may include unique memberships, employee resource groups (ERGs), mentoring programs, and/or other supports.