Faculty Recruitment & Hiring

When hiring faculty, it’s important to remember that diversity and excellence go hand-in-hand. Though some search committees report having a difficult time finding qualified women or people of color to apply for open positions, research has shown that committees succeed in diverse hiring when they transform their search process and are proactive and committed to building a diverse applicant pool.

We encourage departments and colleges to use the following practices to ensure recruitment of a diverse faculty. You can find more information about each of these practices in the UW ADVANCE Faculty Recruitment Toolkit and Diversifying the Faculty: A Guidebook for Search Committees.

General Search Tips

  • Seek out your available resources. At the University of Washington, the Office of the Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement is a point of contact for deans, chairs and search committees. The office works with the hiring party to assist in recruiting (as well as promoting and retaining) underrepresented faculty.
  • UW ADVANCE can meet with search committee members and women faculty candidates to discuss available resources and support for women faculty.
  • Remember: Always Be Recruiting! Connect with potential faculty already in your department or school, such as adjunct or part-time professors, graduate students, and research associates, and connect with presenters, particularly students, at conferences. Meet with graduate students when visiting other institutions, and create a standard faculty recruitment presentation that traveling faculty can use.
  • Ensure a commitment to diversity efforts at a departmental, college, and campus level, in areas like strategic plans, mission statements, and throughout campus life.
  • Form relationships with local and national minority organizations, special interest groups, and with students and faculty of color from traditionally diverse colleges and universities.

Before the Search

  • Be thoughtful about selecting a search committee. They should be enthusiastic and value diversity. Remember that a more diverse search committee will result in multiple perspectives and fresh ideas. They should also be willing to participate in the recruitment effort, including personal outreach to candidates.
  • Review past searches. Review recent hires of diverse faculty in other units.
  • Make a plan. Meet with appropriate faculty and staff to develop hiring goals. Document recruitment efforts of underrepresented candidates. Develop clear screening criteria for candidates, and ensure all search committee members are aware of and agree with all criteria.
  • Develop a coherent position description. Make sure the job description and advertisement clearly include language about diversity and inclusiveness.
  • Review search and hire policies and procedures outlined by Academic Human Resources.

During the Search

  • Clearly communicate with the search committee that diversity is included in the applicant criteria.
  • Make sure job announcements reach a broad audience by including non-traditional outlets, such as minority-serving publications, listserves, bulletin boards, and blogs. Utilize personal and professional networks to find leads for potential minority candidates.
  • Make sure that candidates meet with a diverse group of interviewers during their campus visit.
  • Advise the candidate of negotiable incentives in the salary package (such as reduced work-loads or grant-funded opportunities).

After the Search

  • Evaluate the search process to clarify best-practices, avoid future missteps, and disseminate lessons to future search committees.
  • Take care that the new hire is not overloaded with excessive service demands, like committees or advising. Follow-up with regular communication to help with transitions or answer any concerns.
  • Provide mentoring, professional development opportunities, and support.

Resources related to Faculty Recruitment at the UW ADVANCE Resource Library.