Please see the Employment Services - Information for Search Chairs website and the Recruitment Search Advising Partnership Overview for information and resources on the search and hiring processes.
Wide-reaching and consistent outreach efforts can result in a strongly diverse pool of qualified applicants. There are essential benchmarks for diversifying the faculty and staff. Based on such pools, search committees can conduct equitable reviews of the credentials of the applicants. In this measurable way, the chair of the search committee demonstrates proactive support of and accountability for increasing diversity in the workforce.
Human Resources and Equal Opportunity and Outreach facilitates the equitable review of applications by working directly with search committee chairs. This also helps to ensure compliance with Civil Rights and related laws and protection of UMass Lowell's status as a recipient of federal and state funds.
Where there is under-representation in hiring, fair and consistent hiring practices can deliver diversity to the workforce. A diverse workforce then can move toward inclusion. An inclusive environment is one where the unique contributions of all members of the community are valued. Inclusion means that differences are seen sources of growth and mutual benefit, rather than “threats” to the status quo. Such an environment leads to reduced workforce problems, and greater productivity, morale, and workforce retention and progress.
Compliance is a required foundation not an end in itself. A diversified workforce capable of responding to the needs of a diverse world is the goal!
All search committee members should attend training in this process. Please register at Workplace Learning and Development - Training Classes and Workshops. Scroll down to Search Committee Training and click a Register button. Your training is valid for two years.
As a recipient of federal grant contract funds, the University must implement and maintain a program to overcome under-representation of minorities and women in the workforce. Such affirmative steps as recruiting underrepresented populations; providing fair hiring practice education to search committees; and monitoring the interview, selecting and salaries are all examples of affirmative steps the employer is expected to take under the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR Title 41, Part 60, US Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs). If a contractor such as the University fails to comply, federal grant funds can be withheld.
While the University has a strong interest to retain its grant funding, it is also committed to diversifying its workforce to reflect the communities it service. Affirmative action is a tool that can assist in diversifying the workforce. What makes the mix work is when we develop cultural capabilities and regularly practice intercultural competency.
Affirmative Action is the baseline compliance expectation. As this occurs, we are able to increase our cultural awareness and competence. This positively impacts our workforce climate, reduces problems, fosters morale, and illustrates how attractive UMass Lowell is as an employer. In these ways we will advance our institutional goals and best serve our students and the community.
A memo from the chair of the search committee or the dean of the college detailing your efforts should accompany the Verification Form (for staff positions) or the Request for Personnel Action PF1&2 Form (for faculty positions).
Know the under representation in the work unit of the position:
Search Committees should download the Recruitment Plan and Process Steps (doc) as soon as they anticipate a position opening. This tool is used to develop and track how you implemented a recruitment strategy. Please consult with your Search Adviser and if appropriate, the Provost’s Office prior to ending your search (see point 5).
Making a habit of conducting good search processes that produce diverse candidates is the best way to enhance diversity. It also lowers the potential of complaints of discrimination. You cannot control who may file a complaint, but having a history of diverse placements and equitable searches support the University interests in this area and can counter a legal challenge to searches. Teaming together, we can make this happen!
Non-selected applicants may place complaints internally with EOO.
Additionally, non-selected applicants may place complaints with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the federal Office for Civil Rights. In these cases, MCAD, EEOC or OCR scrutinizes the employer’s applicant tracking methods, evaluation mechanisms, job advertisements, and applicant credentials to determine if the reasons given for not interviewing and for not hiring related to the requirements in the published job ad. In addition, they also review the degree to which qualifying and non-qualifying reasons correspond to credentials submitted by each applicant. Any disconnects between credentials, reasons for not interviewing or not hiring, and the job ad will cause EEOC/MCAD/OCR investigators to question if the reasons were a façade to conceal discrimination. Reasons are expected to be specific to each candidate based on the evaluation of the search committee members who understand the actual content of the job. Another red flag that can pop up is if there is no evidence of a valid affirmative action review or if the same reason for not hiring is given for several candidates despite the fact that they have different levels of qualifications.
We ask that you conduct a consistent and well-documented search process. A poorly conducted search with poor documentation can signal deeper problems. If EOO staff becomes aware of this during the search process, we will advise you immediately. This gives the search committee the opportunity to make corrections as soon as possible. Do keep in mind however, though that the first indication that a non-selected candidate suspects discrimination may be when we receive notice from MCAD, EEOC or OCR. This can be the result of interactions between the applicant and members of the search committee that EOO staff is not privy to. At this point, the chair and or any number of members of the search committee may have to respond to allegations that they have individually discriminated against an applicant.
Because UMass Lowell is sincere in its determination to enhance the representation of qualified minority faculty and staff, if you do not provide the Recruitment Plan and Process Steps (doc), your recommendation for a position hire may not be approved.
Equal Opportunity and Outreach encourages search committees and hiring officials to pursue large, diverse pools of qualified candidates. Factors that enhance successful searches are:
Here are some ideas as you conduct your talent search. EOO strongly encourages you to develop direct relationships with individuals and corporations who have strong links to minority communities - a best practice. Please explore each of these tools:
Clearly, if the University strives to be a world-class institution, our hiring practices must be structured to attract diversity that reflects the communities we serve.
Searches also must be defensible. However, focusing on this alone does not by itself enhance diversity. Search committees must be proactive in their efforts so that diverse appointments can result. Search committee members are agents of the employer. The criteria you use must meet reasonable standards of fairness. Here are a few points to remember when conducting a search:
We are happy to respond to any requests for assistance with the outreach and search process.