Are you hiring? Review best practices to be most effective!

This is a guest post written by Tina Alonzo, CM, CHRS, DEI Administrator for the Office of the Executive Vice President for Administration

As stated within our University Strategic Plan, we commit to expanding opportunity, advancing equity, and elevating excellence. As outlined within the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategic theme, we are engaging in efforts that recruit, retain and expand career development for staff from diverse backgrounds. One effort that serves as one component of the connected series of tactics is mitigating bias in hiring. Bias is a human condition, not a character flaw and can influence our ability to make equitable decisions without adequate self-awareness. According to the Cognitive Bias Codex, we have 188 systematic patterns of cognitive deviation and the brain can process 11,000,000 pieces of information on an unconscious level, so it’s imperative for us to prioritize equity and diversity in the hiring process. Here are a few best practices to be most effective:

  • Building a diverse selection committee is one way to minimize bias in the search process.
    • Identify qualified applicants based on pre-determined criteria required for the position when screening.
    • Avoid discriminatory bias, prejudice or stereotyping in evaluation criteria and communications.
    • Redacted screening is one tool to reduce initial subjectivity by removing preconceived notions associated with identifying information that may trigger biases or unfair assessments.
    • The applicant/candidate experience matters; remember they are evaluating MSU as an employer of choice during every step of the hiring process.
  • Ensure adequate diverse representation in the applicant and candidate pools.
    • The goal is to broaden the applicant pool, not lower standards.
    • Cast a broader net and expand your reach.
  • False narratives can be formed before a position is ever posted, influencing the overall equity of the hiring process.
    • Use inclusive and balanced language in the position posting; always display how to request accommodations.
    • Be able to adequately explain decisions to retain or reject candidates, linking to job requirements and qualifications.
    • Embrace differing communication styles.

Would you like to learn more and access additional best practices and tips? The Executive Vice President for Administration’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion recently launched the Mitigating Bias in Hiring eLearning to aid efforts in prioritizing equity and diversity in hiring.

Job Feature: DEI Communications Manager

As the University continues its work related to diversity, equity and inclusion, MSU’s Media and Public Information department is currently seeking a DEI Communications Manager (#669421) for University Communications. This position will serve as the lead communications professional for the unit and will be responsible for developing and executing strategies to communicate MSU’s broad commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion as among the institution’s highest priorities.

The Communications Manager will additionally be responsible for assisting University Communications and other university units to facilitate appropriate messaging throughout MSU’s communications infrastructure to communicate key diversity and inclusion themes. The Communications Manager will also perform media relations functions including monitoring coverage on key initiatives and issues, assisting with issues management and media responses, coordinating and implementing media events and developing and writing news releases.

Preferred education, experience, and/or skills include knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year college degree program in journalism, communications, public relations, English, or a related field; three to five years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in communications, public relations, or a related field in higher education, an agency environment, or a large, complex organization; equivalent combination of education and experience.

Ideal candidates would possess a minimum of five to ten years of professional experience developing and executing integrated strategic communications programs in a fast-paced PR or marketing agency or working closely with an agency to achieve strategic communications objectives; and demonstrate mastery of high-quality, professional-level project management, planning and conceptualization, plan execution, and results assessment; with particular emphasis on diversity and inclusion programs and projects, directed at both internal and external audiences, among other qualifications.

For more details on the responsibilities of these positions, visit Internal applicants should access postings through the Careers @ MSU tile in the EBS Portal.