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Conducting A Search From An EEO Perspective

Definition and Terms

  • Affirmative Action: Specific actions in recruitment, hiring, promotions and other areas designed to eliminate the present effects of past discrimination or to prevent discrimination. It is a proactive program of outreach and supports community action programs that consider women and under-represented communities as part of the focus of active search activities.
  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO): A system of employment practices under which individuals are not excluded from any participation, advancement, or benefits because of their race, color, religion, sex, national origin or another factor that cannot lawfully be the basis for an employment decision. An employment system in which neither intentional nor unintentional discrimination operates. Unlike affirmative action, EEO requires little or no effort. It is a position/policy of non-discrimination.
  • Affirmative Recruitment: Special recruitment efforts undertaken to assure that qualified protected class members represented in the applicant pools for positions in which they have been in the past, excluded, or substantially underutilized. Such efforts may include contacting organizations and media with known constituencies and similar actions of the active recruitment effort.
  • Open job posting and advertising that includes “Equal Opportunity Employer” statements may be necessary for many situations only as a matter of a statement of nondiscrimination within a search practice, rather than a measure of affirmative recruitment.
  • Recruitment Plan: a narrative which contains the rationale for the search and a description of the search efforts. Plans may include affirmative outreach activities, including but not limited to the placement of advertisements in publications or on websites, use of conference visits, placements services, professional associations and other networks in the effort to increase pools of qualified applicants. Ensuring that efforts include and invite women and members of historically underrepresented communities currently not in the workforce. 

Pre-Search Activities

Job Development

  • To ensure Equal Opportunity, formulate position descriptions for the needs of the department, not the individual! Consult with Human Resources for assistance.
  • Ensure that the position contains only job-related criteria and does not reflect unlawful discrimination.
  • Identify essential functions of the position as per the Americans with Disabilities Act. Consult with Human Resources for assistance.
  • Ensure that all appropriate approvals on compensation and salary have been secured before the initial review of the recruitment plan by the AA/EEO committee or designee.

Recruitment plan and outreach strategies

Consult with Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity(OIDE), the area AA/EEO committee or designee and Human Resources (HR) for assistance as recruitment plan is being developed. The earlier that the collaboration occurs between these departments and the hiring area is highly recommended. Develop the recruitment plan using these helpful hints:

  • Review Goals and areas of underutilization for your job title (these can be provided by OIDE upon request). What is the availability of women and minorities for this position? Are there particular areas where the focus should be placed as a result?
  • Continue to think strategically regarding where good faith efforts should be placed. Focus on areas where there is a particular need because the University has set a goal. Evaluate areas of underutilization and where increased diversity will especially enhance services.

    * Are there recruitment efforts already in place that may benefit this search?
  • Is there an opportunity to take advantage of any specialized affirmative programs such as Traineeship, EARN, or the Postdoctoral advertisement initiative?
  • Establish priorities - determine whether the department would like to utilize an internal or external posting or regional or national outreach. Use outreach appropriate to the title, position, and department.
  • Advertise broadly where ever possible. Identify publications, websites, and institutions where the job advertisement can be placed. Identify various media where it would be most useful (and less costly) for example, listserv/e-mail/webpages/mailings to peer institutions. Develop board networks within the appropriate field for access to highly skilled and recognized candidates when possible. Contact OIDE and HR for additional ideas.
  • Establish professional working relationships with community based organizations professional associations, business and community leaders. Network with colleagues, business leaders and individuals in the field who may be resources for identifying qualified candidates. Document contact with these resources through telephone calls and face to face meetings.
  • Participate and attend underrepresented communities and women professional association conferences and regularly scheduled meetings. Maintain active membership on community boards, community-based organizations, and underrepresented communities professional associations.
  • Take advantage of the diverse pool of applicants in Stony Brook’s own backyard – our student body, our current employees, and our alumni. Work together with campus networks such as the Black Faculty Staff Association (BFSA), Union Universitaria Latinoamericano (UUL), the Asian American Faculty Staff Association (AAFSA), the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Faculty Staff Network (LGBFSN) or other affiliation groups to enhance your current efforts.

Methods of Outreach

Affirmative outreach methods are expansive and may vary depending on such variables as identified deficiencies and establishment of goals, labor force availability, as well as the position and the grade, salary and recruitment resources. Some outreach methods that have proven beneficial over the years are: 

  • Establishing and maintaining professional working relationships with community-based organizations professional associations, business and community leaders.
  • Networking with business to be accessible to meet those individuals who may be resources. 
  • Telephone calls, contacts, and face to face meetings.
  • Participation and attendance at underrepresented communities and women professional associations and annual conferences. Reaching out to potential applicants; via involvement and presence at professional conferences, monthly meetings, and other venues facilitating professional networking and access to information and prospective applicants.
  • Active membership and participation on community boards, Community Based Organization (CBO) and underrepresented communities and women professional associations.

Selection Criteria and Evaluation Rating

  • Establish and specify skill-based criteria consistent with job duties and minimum qualifications.
  • Prioritize criteria and apply consistently to each candidate.
  • Develop standard inquiries/questions to be asked all interview candidates.
  • Documentation of Applicants
  • Use Taleo or other approved Talent Management Systems (TMS) to document within the applicant pool; applicants gender and ethnicity data accurately.
  • Cite reasons for select and justification for non-select of unsuccessful candidates within Taleo or another approved TMS.
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