Recruit: Diversify Your Pool of Applicants

Recruit rather than “search.” Targeted, aggressive strategies are needed to create a diverse group of excellent candidates from across the country (and the world).

1. Put into action a 5- or 10-year recruiting plan to build up a reliable, wide base of contacts. With Williams’s tight yearly schedule of June position approval and winter interviews, recruiting a diverse candidate pool may require cumulative efforts over several years, sustained regardless of whether active searches occur. (Review strategy with outgoing chair and admin support)

2. In light of increasing interdisciplinarity in scholarly work, which is often particularly invested in by young scholars from underrepresented groups, consider expanding job description language to be inclusive of interdisciplinary work.

3. So that you can target recruiting efforts to universities granting PhDs to minority and women candidates in your field, the Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Diversity (OSPID) will provide data from the National Opinion Research Center NORC Survey of Earned Doctorates 2009 about numbers of minority and women PhD recipients. You can access the Top 100 Producers of Minority Degrees 2012 online at In addition, the office can provide lists of Mellon-Mays Graduate Fellows, Ford Foundation Graduate Fellows, and Meyerhoff Scholars.

Using these data to establish and maintain ongoing professional relationships with graduate programs known for excellent scholarship in curricular areas sought by the college will have long-term dividends. Many or all members of a department can share this important, ongoing communications work.

4. Contact faculty members and departments at universities with potential candidates from underrepresented groups (women, African Americans, Asian Americans, Latina/os, Native Americans). For example, in 2002 in a search for scholars in Latina/o art, the Art Department divided the US roughly into quadrants from which four faculty members created lists of departments and faculty members at institutions with relevant PhD programs. These four faculty members sent dozens of individually addressed emails containing the job posting, information about Williams, and a request to respond with any suggested candidates by a deadline. They sent follow-up emails to non-responders one week in advance of the deadline.

By developing and sustaining relationships with responsive university colleagues, future recruiting becomes easier because people know in advance of a job listing about your program and commitment to curricular, scholarly, and community diversity.

5. Actively engage with networks of untenured faculty through untenured Williams colleagues. Untenured faculty members may remain in close touch with their doctoral departments and with a relatively wide network of young scholars.

6. Printed and online advertisements:

a. See the “Guidelines for Announcing New Faculty Jobs at Williams College.”

b. From your program or department: advertise in discipline-specific and general publications catering to underrepresented groups, e.g., Society of the Advancement of Chicano and Native American Scientists (SACNAS).

c. Younger scholars rely on electronic media, so invite various faculty members post the ad to listserves for specific subdisciplines.

d. OSPID will advertise with the following:  Chronicle of Higher Education (Sept. “Academic Year Kickoff ” Issue), Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, and with   OSPID will also place ads online with the Chronicle (60 days) for positions that were not posted in the September print issue.

7. Encourage active outreach by all department/program members at professional conferences in the months (and years, for long-term applicant pool development) preceding hiring. Liberally give out business cards to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who will be in the job market at any future time.

8. If available, faculty travel funds to minority-targeted conferences can be requested from OSPID.

9. Keep full and accurate statistics for all applicants.

10. In the search process, proactive recruiting efforts may reveal potential target of opportunity candidates in addition to candidates for the advertised position. Contact the DOF for information and guidance.