Creating a New Road into the Future
An Introduction to Developing an Equity Search Guide
Most organizations know they need something new. Something different. Something better.
Yet, the first place they usually look is some sort of implicit bias training. (This is still problematic and a great topic for another time… perhaps even next week!)
The issue may be the culture. Even when people are hired into the organization, they leave. They usually leave quickly. A high turnover rate is one of the biggest red flags possible. It is also highly damaging to those who stay and to the organization. This is money lost, knowledge departing, and investments disappearing.
Even when organizations realize the problem, after the implicit bias training, they may focus on hiring.
Bringing in new talent is essential. Keeping that talent is often ignored.
Over the last year and a half, I had the opportunity to engage with many colleagues across functional units, human resources, and the national community of practice of equity search advisors. This incredible group of researchers and practitioners described innovative ideas and processes to make hiring more equitable (obviously!) and more inclusive.
Learning from much of this work, I led the development of my organization’s new equity search guide.
Interested to learn more? Check out Pathways to an Equitable Search, my organization’s equity search guide.
This was a fascinating process, where we explored internal processes, organizational goals, and hiring objectives. Most importantly, though, the development of a new multi-step plan set a foundation for more comprehensive practices.
With 17 steps in total, the equity search guide provides a thorough - and detailed - plan for more equitable hiring processes. While 17 sounds like a lot, many of these processes are foundational for hiring or are behaviors that should continue whether hiring is currently in progress or not.
For example, the first and last steps are based on industry best practices: creating an environment where people can thrive and want to stay. Basically, there is really no point to hiring or implementing more equitable hiring practices if people immediately leave (I mean there sort of is, but…).
Since the establishment of this equity search guide, I recently took the opportunity to begin training the community in these best practices. I developed a training workshop for employees with “An IDEA-Focused Introduction to Facilitating Equitable Faculty Searches.”
From the online advertisement, This workshop aims to provide an introduction to the equity search process, including specific examples and resources. Leave with resources and a step–by-step guide that can be used, adapted, and applied immediately in your department and on search committees.
Two aspects of this equity search guide that I am particularly proud of are the centering on the environment that people enter (and should make them want to stay) and the resources. The steps specific to the hiring process are grounded in references, best practices, and resources for further exploration. Importantly, these resources also include how to address common stumbling blocks in the process, whether those are procedural or interpersonal.
In this interactive session, discussions stepped participants through the process of typical practices, common issues, and similar key discussion points. Each person developed familiarity with the role of the true equity search adviser, a non-voting member of the search committee. This individual serves as the equity advocate, supporter, organizer, and discussion leader, wearing many “hats” throughout the process.
At the end of the session, I am delighted to say that we have a new group of people excited to participate in more equitable hiring processes. That’s a wrap on the three part series on my organization’s diversity, equity, and inclusion week 2022!
Interested in exploring more? Check out parts one and two of this three-part series on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Weeks: first, Is ‘It’ a Celebration? Training? Or Something Else? and second, Setting an Ambitious Course to ‘Crawl’ by Meeting People Where They Are.