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Search Committee Support

Ensuring Diversity in the Search Process

In our journey towards greater diversity, we encourage search committees to draw on these resources in order to incorporate equity diversity, and inclusion into our hiring practices.

We are here to assist you, through the options in the menu and these resources, below:

Job Description Tips

Before the Interview

Equitable Candidate Evaluation

Search committees should use only the prepared shortlisting criteria when evaluating applications.

  • Ask committee members to declare any potential conflicts of interest with the candidates before commencing the process, and manage conflict of interest throughout.
  • As a committee, spend an equal amount of time reviewing each candidate (15-30 mins), acknowledging and working through potential biases, stereotypes and micro-aggressions revealed during discussions.
  • Focus on the quality of the content versus the style of the resume itself.
  • Consider candidate qualities such as interacting with diverse colleagues/faculty/students, mentoring abilities, and experiences gained from Indigenous or traditional knowledge.
  • Consider Non-traditional career paths. Women and persons with disabilities are more likely to have had career gaps, perhaps for family, pregnancy or parental leaves, or medical obligations. In addition, immigrants may have taken longer to obtain their degrees because of the financial constraints of relocating or the challenge of adapting to a new country.
  • Evaluate the candidates' demonstrated commitments to EDI, which includes experience with mentoring students or other faculty from underrepresented groups, engagement on equity-related committees, involvement in broader community initiatives, etc.
  • Consider the value of lived experience and, in particular, candidates with intersectional identities who are often underrepresented in academia.

Cover Letter

  • Focus on skills and knowledge presented versus where or how the candidate got them—recognizing that some candidates may encounter barriers to post-secondary education and access to quality employment opportunities.

Cultivate Psychological Safety

Members of teams perform better when they have a sense of psychological safety in the group. Therefore, it is essential that search committee members feel empowered to speak their minds without intimidation or interpersonal fear of judgment or dismissal to fully contribute the substance and value of their observations and perspective.

Interview Evaluations

During the interview process, consider how the candidates' answers relate to valuing diversity, advancing equity, and fostering a culture of inclusion. Consider the insight into how a candidate thinks, acts, and collaborates  – insights that go far deeper than a well-rehearsed interview response. 

  • Demonstrates a breadth of understanding and acceptance of equity, diversity, and inclusion greater than just race, ethnicity, and gender.
  • Demonstrates self-awareness in recognizing their own identity, privileges, culture, biases, and power; acknowledges their limitations and seeks ways to improve and find answers.
  • Demonstrates awareness of generational differences in work styles.
  • Infuses equity, inclusion and diversity concepts in response to questions not directly  prompting for them.
  • Uses inclusive language.

The Interview