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New Diverse Candidate Slates Policy Advances Equitable Hiring Practices

Dear colleagues,

Last summer, Northwestern made a pledge to advance inclusivity and equity through staff hiring practices as a component of broader social justice initiatives.

Today, we announce an important piece of that pledge – a new university-wide policy on diverse candidate slates (DCS) for staff that will go into effect June 14. Some academic units may have an implementation timeline into the summer/fall and will communicate their plans to their respective communities in the coming days.

This policy strengthens our practice of identifying the best person for a job or promotion. Formalizing and standardizing strategies already being utilized by many across the University to create more diverse candidate pools makes it more likely that we will identify the best talent for our organization.

Notable steps Northwestern will take are below:

  • HR will work with hiring managers to identify and present a diverse slate of candidates to consider for interviews. Managers continue to have discretion over who to interview and hire.
  • Interview panels and search committees will include diverse membership to mitigate unconscious bias in the recruitment and selection process.
  • We will post all vacant positions, including those for promotions, to encourage transparency, equity and a competitive process for available roles.
  • HR will proactively share market data and job group demographics with hiring managers to inform decision-making in recruitment and selection.
  • We have expanded partnerships with staff affinity groups and with multicultural professional organizations to support managers in finding qualified and diverse candidates. Talent Acquisition will be able to help hiring managers coordinate posting opportunities and publicizing new roles with these organizations. 
  • Staffing and executive search firms used by Northwestern will be expected to provide candidates from underrepresented populations for consideration.

The DCS policy was developed with feedback from school and unit leadership and extensive input from the entire university community. It was evaluated by the Policy Review Committee. 

Online training on the DCS policy is available now on myHR Learn. Live training sessions also are available May 24, June 2 and June 7 with HR staff available to answer questions. Training will take less than an hour. Once the policy is in effect, all hiring managers and individuals who take part in interviewing panels or hiring processes must complete this training. We encourage you to take the training before the policy goes into effect June 14.

The DCS policy is only one component of our broader strategy to identify, train, support and further the careers of our diverse and talented staff. We look forward to an ever more diverse and equitable staff workforce as a result of this policy and other efforts throughout the University.

As we continue to follow through on our commitment to creating an impactful change, we thank all of you for your commitment to upholding the standards of this University and contributing toward creating a more inclusive and equitable Northwestern.

Thank you in advance for your advocacy and ongoing support of this initiative.