Skip to Main Content

FLO IDEA Hiring Toolkit

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Hiring Toolkit

The purpose of this toolkit is to assist academic and college libraries in their hiring. This toolkit features guidelines and best practices from the perspective of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) that libraries can use during all aspects of the hiring process, including:

This toolkit is a living document. It was started to by the Fenway Library Organization's IDEA (Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility) Committee in the summer and fall 2023. For feedback or additional resource suggestions, please submit a response to our feedback form



The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Hiring Toolkit advances inclusive hiring in libraries by offering a collection of recommended best practices. The curated resources explore new hiring processes for the purpose of expanding diversity.  However, the toolkit is subject to the limitations of cultural privilege and power dynamics of its creative team.  Also, the recommended practices should not supersede policies in place at individual institutions without appropriate approval. Please consult your organization’s human resources department.

Equitable Search Vocabulary


According to Merriam-Webster, ableism is "discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities." With this form of discrimination, the able-bodied person is favored.

​A person who has indicated an interest in being considered for an employment opportunity. Interested applicants should submit requested materials, pursuant to the application instructions included in a job posting.


Belonging refers to the feeling of being accepted, valued, and included within a community, organization, or society regardless of one's background or identity. It emphasizes creating environments where individuals feel welcomed, respected, and empowered to fully participate and contribute, fostering a sense of connection and ownership that enables everyone to thrive and succeed.

A person who submits application materials that demonstrate satisfaction of required qualifications, and is therefore a candidate for the open position.

Demonstrable characteristics that are necessary for success in a position. A competency is comprised of knowledge, technical skills, performance-based skills, and other attributes that are necessary for success in a position.

Culturally Responsive Interview Committee 

A culturally responsive interview committee is a diverse panel formed to evaluate candidates for job positions, considering and respecting their cultural backgrounds. It aims to ensure fairness and inclusivity by valuing diversity and accommodating cultural differences during the evaluation process.

Desired Qualifications 
Knowledge, skills, or credentials that may contribute to the success of an employee in a given position but are not essential for performing the job.

Individual and group differences, which can be visible and invisible in context. 

Essential Function
A critical or basic component of a job, which reflects the purpose of the job’s existence at the institution. 

Equitable Salary

An equitable salary is fair and just, considering factors such as experience, skills, responsibilities, and market conditions, while also being consistent with compensation for similar positions within the organization. It ensures that employees receive compensation that aligns with the value they bring, fostering fairness and equality across different roles within the workplace.

Balanced treatment, access, and opportunity for all.

Hiring Manager
The person who is responsible for filling an open position at the institution. The Hiring Manager is responsible for formulating the job description, drafting the job posting, and determining the search process. The Hiring Manager reviews recommendations made by the Search Committee or the Consultative Team and makes the final determination as to who is hired for a position. The Hiring Manager is also responsible for meeting with the search committee, communicating the essential functions and responsibilities of a position, and articulating the necessary qualifications for the position. 

Implicit Bias

According the National Institute of Health, "implicit bias is a form of bias that occurs automatically and unintentionally, that nevertheless affects judgments, decisions, and behaviors" (See further information and training through the National Institute of Health)

A deliberate commitment to accepting, valuing, and respecting differences.

Inclusive Excellence 
Actively and intentionally cultivating a diverse and culturally competent institution where each member has the opportunity and support to reach their full potential and make contributions to our campus community and beyond.

Individual Biases
Conscious or unconscious feelings, perceptions, attitudes, and stereotypes that have developed as a result of prior influences and imprints.

Interview Panel

A team committed to interviewing and aiding the selection process for a position. The panel process is beneficial because it provides varying perspectives, ideally creates an environment that helps to eliminate biases, and involves key stakeholders in the hiring decision. A representative consultative team should include the hiring manager and at least two individuals who have a strong knowledge of the position and its requirements.  With this model, the hiring manager is responsible for coordinating the logistics of the search. 

Job Description
An internal document that describes the essential function and responsibilities of a position. Job descriptions are used for a variety of reasons, such as determining salary levels, conducting performance reviews, clarifying missions, establishing titles and pay grades, and coordinating reasonable accommodation.

Legally Protected Identity
An identity that is legally protected from employment discrimination on the basis of that characteristic. Legally protected identities include, but are not limited to, race, color, religion, gender, age, marital status, national origin, ancestry, alienage, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or genetic information.

Performance Based Skill
A performance based skill is a non-technical skill that is necessary for success in a position and may be demonstrated through past performance in a personal or professional setting. Performance skills include effective communication, organizational abilities, time management skills, problem-solving abilities, and demonstrated ability to practice inclusive excellence.

Position Announcement
Outward-facing document, used to recruit applicants for an open position.

Reasonable Accommodation

The Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy defines "a reasonable accommodation [as]a modification or adjustment to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done during the hiring process. These modifications enable an individual with a disability to have an equal opportunity not only to get a job, but successfully perform their job tasks to the same extent as people without disabilities. The ADA requires reasonable accommodations as they relate to three aspects of employment: 1) ensuring equal opportunity in the application process; 2) enabling a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of a job; and 3) making it possible for an employee with a disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment." 

Required Qualification
Established criteria, necessary to perform a given job. Required qualifications must be measurable, objective, and relevant to a particular position.


Sanism refers to a systemic bias and discrimination against neurodivergent individuals, rooted in the perception of neurotypical cognition as superior. In regions like North America and globally, neurotypical individuals typically hold institutional power, exacerbating the institutionalized nature of this discrimination. It's important to note that prejudice based on neurocognitive differences can occur across all individuals, but it is particularly impactful when wielded by those with societal power (adopted from the Simmons Univeristy's Anti-Oppression LibGuide).  

Search Committee

Search committees play a vital role in recruiting, evaluating, and recommending the most qualified candidates for employment. Search Committee members are often the first employees that a candidate will meet. Each member has an opportunity to represent the institution as a diverse and welcoming community.  A Search Committee makes a hiring recommendation to the Hiring Manager. 

Search Committee Chair
A person who is responsible for coordinating the search, organizing meetings of the search committee, and ensuring compliance with search processes. The Chair is also responsible for maintaining communication with applicants/candidates throughout the process.

Systematic Biases
The inherent tendency of a process to support particular outcomes.

Technical Skills
Skills needed for success in specialized fields. Technical skills typically require the use of certain tools and the technologies required to use those tools.

Adapted from Wentworth Institute of Technology's Equitable Searches portal. October 2023.

About This Toolkit

Contributors to this include include:

  • Callie Cherry, Wentworth Institute of Technology 
  • Kelsey Diemand, Wentworth Institute of Technology 
  • Heather Edmonds, New England College of Optometry
  • Eliana Lima, Fenway Library Organization
  • Alejandra Méndez, Middlesex Community College 
  • Janina Mueller, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
  • Dan Paquette, Springfield Technical Community College 
  • Matt Quilitzsch, Simmons University
  • Diane Zydlewski, Emmanuel College 

Special Thank You to Ramin Naderi from Simmons University who provided very detailed and valuable feedback on our work.