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Before the Search


Engage in ongoing departmental dialogue about the role of staff recruitment and retention as it relates to diversity and excellence. Explore questions similar to the following before beginning a search (Gilies, 2016):

  • Where do we want our department to be in 10 or 20 years?
  • What new fields are emerging in Libraries and IT?
  • What perspectives and experiences are we missing?
  • How will this position contribute to our goals of diversity, inclusion, and equity?

Reimagine recruitment as an ongoing activity rather than as a one-time effort begun once a search has been authorized. Engage in ongoing scouting activities to “identify and build relationships with potential job candidates, so that the unit is in a good position to attract diverse pools of applicants for its approved searches” (University of Washington, 2016, p. 2).

Reach out to applicants from underrepresented groups individually before and during a search (Wennerås & Wold, 1997). For example, seek out talented scholars at conferences and invite them to campus to present their research. Consider preparing student recruiters to discuss employment opportunities with peers and/or mentors when attending conferences and other events designed for underrepresented students.

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