Affirmative Action: Admin/Hourly Searches
The affirmative action process is one of many steps taken to ensure a diverse pool in each search conducted on our campus. The five steps in the process are outlined below, with links to forms where appropriate. This process runs in concert with the search procedures outlined in the Guide to Recruiting and Hiring developed by Human Resources and Risk Management. Questions about the affirmative action process should be directed to Lisa Scott. Questions about the hiring process should be directed to Brenda Balonis.
Developing the Pool: The Recruitment Plan
Attracting a diverse applicant pool begins with ad placement and outreach targeted to outlets that are likely to reach a diverse population of potential candidates. To help direct our institutional efforts, an Affirmative Action Recruitment Plan is to be submitted to the Affirmative Action Officer upon approval to search.
The recruitment plan is designed to encourage search coordinators to think beyond the traditional outlets to attract diverse applicants. Newspaper ads remain important sources of applicants and efforts should be made to ensure that ads are written and placed to encourage protected class candidates to apply.
In addition to formal ads, sending information to colleagues and taking advantage of programs in professional networks is often useful to engage those who might be in a position to recommend applicants for a position or circulate/post Susquehanna's announcement. Listservs may be a productive resource for developing the pool. Because the goal is to develop the strongest pool of applicants that you can, a mix of formal and informal efforts can be quite effective.
The staff in Human Resources and Risk Management is available to assist you in determining these outlets, over and above those you already know of from your own professional background and experience. As our efforts are expanded, it will be useful to track where applicants learned of openings so that we can assess our effectiveness.
When you send applicants an acknowledgement of application, please include a link to the on-line Applicant Survey Form, which replaces the affirmative action cards that were sent with a business reply envelope. The following language should be included in your acknowledgement:
Susquehanna University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity institution. As such, the University is required to request and collect information on the gender and race/ethnicity of candidates for open positions. We would appreciate your completing the Applicant Survey Form available on the Susquehanna University Web site. All responses are completely voluntary and are used only in connection with our affirmative action program.
Because there are often a number of searches active at the same time, please be clear about the specific position for which you are applying when completing the survey.
If candidates do not provide a valid e-mail address, the paper cards for distribution via U.S. Postal Service are available from the President's Office.
The Affirmative Action Meeting
Prior to conducting phone interviews (if planned) or inviting candidates for on-campus interviews, an affirmative action meeting is held with the search coordinator, affirmative action officer, and the senior staff person to whom the search coordinator reports. The meeting is designed to review the pool with respect to race/ethnicity profile and gender balance, with the goal of taking every opportunity to act affirmatively in the selection of finalists. A summary profile of the affirmative action cards that have been received, including gender and race/ethnicity, as well as a list of the names of self-identified female or minority applicants, if available, will be provided. Because name is optional on the affirmative action card, we may not be able to identify each person who supplied information.
Susquehanna's goal is to capitalize on opportunities to act affirmatively in our searches for open positions. That means that when a female or minority candidate has the requisite skills/experience for the advertised position, we should make every effort to invite him/her to be interviewed. If women and minorities are not appropriately represented, the senior staff member or the Affirmative Action Officer may direct that the interview list be expanded or the search expanded or reopened.
The search coordinator should be prepared to reflect on the qualifications of the pool during this meeting; however, it is not necessary to provide in advance application materials to any of the meeting participants. You may wish to have with you the completed Mid Search Applicant Analysis which, when complete, provides important data for our affirmative action process.
The affirmative action meeting will be guided by the following questions:
- Were you satisfied with the pool?
- What was the gender breakdown of applicants?
- What efforts did you make to ensure a diverse pool of candidates? (This may include specific places that were advertised or other types of outreach you did.)
- Who are your finalists?
- Does the list of finalists approximate the gender balance and race/ethnicity profile of the pool?
- If candidates from protected groups are not selected for an interview, why?
Fair Consideration of Applicants
Guide to Non-Discriminatory Interviewing provides guidance on appropriate and inappropriate questions to ask candidates. While there are questions that are legally appropriate to ask, it is illegal to use the information they might produce in a manner that discriminates against candidates.
Preferential treatment, such as "courtesy" interviews to internal applicants or persons with whom you have connections, is inappropriate. Consider these persons only if their qualifications and credentials warrant it. Otherwise, any rejected candidate with similar qualifications has grounds for a claim of discrimination.
Similarly, familiarity with certain applicants must not preclude the active consideration of other unknown, but potentially more qualified and appropriate candidates.
Age, salary, or current title are not legitimate reasons for eliminating an applicant from the pool. Assuming that an applicant is too old or young to fulfill the requirements of the position or that s/he would not accept it because it appears to offer a lesser salary or title is inappropriate. Persons change jobs or careers for many reasons and a search committee should not try to prejudge those motives.
When evaluating applicants, please use the objective criteria from the Reasons for Candidate Non-Selection list to help minimize subjective judgments that might be called into question.
Hiring Decisions That Value the Contributions of Diversity
In recruiting, assessing, and recommending candidates for final consideration, we must all be willing to consider and promote the potential role that greater diversity can play in helping us achieve our institutional goals.
The Affirmative Action Report
Upon the conclusion of your search, please submit the Affirmative Action Report to the Affirmative Action Officer so that the search may be closed out.