Recruitment and Building Diverse Applicant Pools

While accurately aligning the description and actions is an important step, proactive recruitment to meet diversity and inclusion goals is a vital part of this process.

Active Recruiting and Outreach

The position announcement must be widely available in a variety of listing services that reach the broadest array of potential applicants. A recruitment strategy that stresses direct contact with organizations that serve underrepresented groups and including said organizations when distributing position announcements is an essential practice. Many schools and departments advertise openings in outlets such as Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, Diverse Jobs in Higher Ed, and Higher Education Recruitment Consortium. It is also appropriate to recruit candidates using other means and in other venues, such as social media and more casual outlets. Additionally, search committees should advertise the vacancy and scout potential applicants at professional conferences. (See Appendix VI for an extensive list of potential recruitment sources.) Also, visit the EVC Tip Sheet “Recruiting Diverse Faculty” when starting the process to recruit new faculty (and in some instances staff) members, which can be found at the following website:

Active recruitment begins before a search is approved and initiated . It begins with other intrinsic institutional actions, such as the following:

  • Building a reputation as an institution that values diversity, equity and inclusion and where underrepresented individuals can thrive.
  • Ensuring that forward-facing venues for messaging (e.g., websites/Web presence, social media, brochures/pamphlets) reflect material that allows underrepresented groups to see themselves here and that reflect the value placed on diversity and inclusive excellence.
  • Sponsoring conferences, events, etc. that draw audiences that include underrepresented groups to campus, either physically or virtually.
  • Participation in councils, committees, taskforces outside of UNL that are addressing issues related to diversity and inclusion.
  • Nurturing relationships with minority-serving universities or organizations.
  • Recruiting and retaining students from underrepresented groups to UNL.
  • Developing a pathway of future employees from among our own students and graduate.
  • Utilizing a diverse cadre of graduate and postdoctoral scholars’ networks.

Additional networks for soliciting diverse applications may stem from the following:

  • Creating contacts with people in the field to identify strong applicants, including persons from underrepresented groups. This may include connecting with graduate programs that serve a higher percentage of underrepresented students, relating to faculty openings.
  • Reach out to faculty and staff, including women and people of color, who may be underemployed in positions with lower pay or more prestige than UN.
  • Contact applicants personally, by phone or email, and encourage them to apply.
  • Consider recruiting faculty and staff candidates from non-traditional sources, including the following: industry, government sector, and nonprofit organizations . This may necessitate expanding written and networking resources to reach those applicants.

General recruiting resources are provided in Appendix I, A, along with a list of potential places to advertise the position. Also, see the Executive Vice Chancellor, Recruiting a Diverse Faculty Tip Sheet ( for other networking activities.


Like the wording of a position announcement, the timing of one’s release is also important. Crucially, it is important to remember that optimal announcement timing varies by unit and academic discipline. To ensure good timing, schedule announcements to coincide with the availability of the largest pool of motivated, highly qualified applicants and follow up with groups or institutions to share the position announcement and encourage applicants to apply. For faculty positions, this can be achieved by contacting institutions with graduate programs serving underrepresented students in the desired discipline to inquire when recent graduates typically enter the job market.

Dual Career Considerations

Dual career considerations are important to many of our faculty and staff candidates. To recruit more diverse faculty and staff and retain top talent, dual career placements may need to be part of the process. Alert potential candidates of UNL’s commitment to helping qualified spouses and partners find appropriate positions by including the following statement in the position announcements: “The University is responsive to the needs of dual career couples.”

The university has, in recent years, had persons focused on assisting with dual career couples by helping to make connections across campus, as well as outside of the university in the local communities. More information on the University’s dual career program may be found at the following website:

Cluster Hiring

Being a faculty or staff member who specializes in a particular sub-discipline can compound a sense of isolation that may already exist from being a member of an underrepresented demographic. Cluster hiring, or the practice of hiring more than one person within a discipline/ specialty in a unit or across associated units, may help decrease the sense of isolation of newly-hired faculty and staff from underrepresented communities. Considering cluster hiring within and between multiple units, is suggested when feasible (see Appendix lll, Section D).