Diversify Your Pool

Recruit rather than “search.”

Develop targeted, aggressive strategies

Put into action a 5- or 10-year recruiting plan that looks ahead to future hiring needs and opportunities and seeks to build up a reliable, wide base of contacts. With Williams’s tight yearly schedule of June position approval and winter interviews, recruiting a diverse candidate pool may require cumulative efforts over several years, sustained regardless of whether active searches occur; in some cases, departments or programs who foresee a future opening could request a Bolin or C3 Fellow who might be in a position to apply for the position when it opens. Outgoing department / program chairs should review these plans with incoming chairs and administrative support staff.In light of increasing interdisciplinarity in scholarly work, particularly among young scholars and scholars from underrepresented groups, consider expanding job description language to include and even embrace interdisciplinary work.

So that you can target recruiting efforts to universities granting PhDs to minority and women candidates in your field, the Office for Institutional Diversity & Equity will provide data from the National Opinion Research Center Survey of Earned Doctorates about numbers of minority and women PhD recipients. You can also access the annual Top 100 Producers of Minority Degrees. In addition, the office can provide lists of Mellon-Mays Graduate Fellows, Ford Foundation Graduate Fellows, and Meyerhoff Scholars.Using these data to establish and maintain ongoing professional relationships with graduate programs known for excellent scholarship in curricular areas sought by the college will have long-term dividends. Many or all members of a department can share this important ongoing communications work.

Contact faculty members and departments at universities with potential candidates from underrepresented groups (women, African Americans, Asian Americans, Latina/os, Native Americans). For example, in 2002 in a search for scholars in Latina/o art, the Art Department divided the U.S. roughly into quadrants from which four faculty members created lists of departments and faculty members at institutions with relevant Ph.D. programs. These four faculty members sent dozens of individually addressed emails containing the job posting, information about Williams, and a request to respond with any suggested candidates by a deadline. They sent follow-up emails to non-responders one week in advance of the deadline.By developing and sustaining relationships with responsive university colleagues, future recruiting becomes easier because people know in advance of a job listing about your program and commitment to curricular, scholarly, and community diversity.

Actively engage with networks of untenured faculty through untenured Williams colleagues. Untenured faculty members may remain in close touch with their doctoral departments and with a relatively wide network of young scholars.


For printed and online advertisements (these should be submitted for review by OIDE and DOF):
  • Use the new Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action language* in all advertisements, accompanied by the longer text designed to inform candidates about the College and its surroundings.
  • From your program or department: advertise in discipline-specific and general publications catering to underrepresented groups, e.g., Society of the Advancement of Chicano and Native American Scientists (SACNAS).
  • Younger scholars rely on electronic media, so invite various faculty members to post the ad to listserves or social media platforms for specific subdisciplines.
  • Provided by the DOF and/or OIDE office: a full listing of all College faculty positions in Chronicle of Higher Education, Affirmative Action Register, and Williams Alumni networking letter.
  • Keep full and accurate statistics for all applicants.

Active outreach

Encourage active outreach by all department/program members at professional conferences in the months (and years, for long-term applicant pool development) preceding hiring. Liberally give out business cards to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who will be in the job market at any future time.

Faculty travel funds to minority-targeted conferences can be requested from OIDE.

In the search process, active recruiting efforts may reveal potential target of opportunity candidates in addition to candidates for the advertised position. Contact the Dean of the Faculty for information and guidance.