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FLO IDEA Hiring Toolkit

Identifying a Diverse Search Committee

Your goal should be to build a culturally responsive interview team. A diverse hiring committee increases the variety of perspectives and experiences.  One way of diversifying a committee is to have interview committee members from different levels of the organization with diverse backgrounds.  This can help mitigate unconscious bias. Additionally, try to "[h]ave someone of a similar racial background or same gender as the candidates on the committee whenever possible. Even one other person reduces the threat of representing all people from a stigmatized group. Candidates of color also report feeling more comfortable when the committee is racially diverse." (Cultures Connecting, LLC. (May 2017). Mitigating Implicit Bias and Stereotype Threat in the Hiring Process). 


When deciding on the makeup of your ideal search committee, consider the following:

  • Job titles of the search committee members
  • Variety of institutional position/roles (i.e. how many faculty vs staff vs students vs administrators)
    • Is it appropriate to include student perspectives for this role?
  • How much interaction will each search committee member have with the hired position/role?
  • Establishing the search committee immediately after a vacancy is approved and before any other recruitment activities begin
  • Defining the composition of the search committee (chair, members, additional reviewers, hiring manager, etc.)
  • Defining the roles and responsibilities of the search committee (e.g. reviewing the job description, interviewing the candidates, etc.) and individual members (i.e. chair vs members, etc.) 
  • Avoiding conflict of interest on the search committee
  • Consider appointing an DEI advisor to the search committee: a representative from a department-level or university/college-level DEI committee or an external consultant could be considered for this role. Define the scope of the DEI advisor role
  • Set expectations about confidentiality and search ethics 

Additionally, the search/hiring committee should undergo inclusive hiring, implicit bias, or similar training

Recruiting for DEI

The following can be considered by the hiring manager:

  • Conduct an internal diversity audit of the current library staff and identify DEI deficits
  • Acknowledge that employees of marginalized backgrounds should not automatically be considered as DEI advisors
  • Review past search documentation and candidate pools
  • Identify any DEI gaps in the existing search materials 
  • Research broadly to fill the gaps in the current search practices and materials
  • Discuss your approach and findings with HR and the search committee –once established– to ensure compliance with regulations and the consistency of hiring practices

Additional Resources

Determining Equitable Salary

  • Research external salaries, considering comparable roles and responsibilities, region, and type of institution. 
  • Advocate to internal HR for a suitable, comparable salary; i.e. comparable to similar roles at the institution, including level of responsibility, type of work, etc.
  • Include a salary range to the job posting for the sake of transparency.

Additional Resources

Writing a Job Description

When writing a job description, be sure to:

  • Use inclusive language. Some examples to avoid are gendered words and phrases, assumed pronouns, ableist language, etc.
  • Identify the working conditions and physical demands that relate directly to the essential functions and note the intensity, frequency, and duration of such demands.
    Tip: Do not require physical abilities that are not actually necessary to do the job. If physical abilities (i.e.: ability to lift 25 pounds) are required, note that the employee has a right to a reasonable accommodation. 

Include the following information in the job description:

  • Job duties and expectations
  • Location, environment, or type of work (i.e. remote vs. in-person)
  • Qualifications
    • Consider waiving the master's degree requirement in favor of equivalent experience.
  • Relevant dates (i.e. graduation date) if required by start date.
  • Position of the job within the organization
  • Pathway to or outlook for promotion/advancement (i.e. part-time to full-time, tenure, etc.), if applicable. 
  • Salary range
  • Benefit information
  • Equal opportunity employer statement
  • Relevant institution statements (if applicable):
    • Land Acknowledgement
    • DEI/Diversity statement
  • Application materials required
    • Explicitly explain what cover letters or other documents should include
    • DEI statement: statement about how they would help make the job a more inclusive space (or this could be used as an interview question). Asking for a DEI statement can offer the applicant the opportunity to focus on what the individual brings to the position in terms of promoting DEI.
  • Interview expectations
    • Location
    • Time commitment
    • Number of interview parts (i.e. single-round, screening, final round, etc.)
    • Prepared materials (presentation)

Additional Resources