Recruiting & Hiring for Diversity

Institutions are greatly enriched by hiring employees who bring not only a rich set of professional skills and experience, but who help difersify the institution, contributing their unique personal, professional and cultural perspectives. Below you will find useful advice and information on how to structure a process for recruiting and hiring a world-class, diverse staff. For more information, please contact:

Chris S. Anderson
Special Assistant to the President for Institutional Diversity
Office for Institutional Diversity
(906) 487-2474

Posting the Position

  • If this is an existing position, you will want to update the job description with Human Resources to ensure the position is reflective of the duties and responsibilities. Additional areas of responsibility or skills should be included.
  • If your department is not familiar with the Michigan Tech Hiring Guides, it is important that it be reviewed. The hiring guides can be found on the Human Resources web page:
  • If this is a new position you will want to clearly define the role of the position, the tasks and responsibilities and characteristics. You may want to research similar positions at other institutions. Your position posting must be reviewed by HR prior to advertisement.
  • ALL postings MUST include the affirmative action statement which reads:
    Michigan Tech is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity educator and employer and aggressively recruits minority and female applicants in an effort to bring greater diversity to its workforce.
  • In addition to the HR posting, it is suggested that departments develop a marketing/advertising posting that can be used in the newspaper, sent as an attachment to colleagues or included in letters to be sent to associations and other higher education institutions. An example is included.
  • All full‐time positions should be advertised locally, regionally and in some cases nationally. Where costs are prohibitive, positions should only be posted on the web. A targeted and effective website to use is Positions should be advertised in the relevant professional associations including; National Association of Student Personnel Administrator (NASPA), American College Personnel Association (ACPA), and the Chronicle of Higher Education. It is important that positions are posted on websites that target diverse audiences like Women in Engineering Programs & Advocates Network (WEPAN) and, American Society of Engineering Educators (ASEE) and Institutional diversity can provide additional lists to connect with a more diverse applicant pool.
  • Newspaper postings can be effective depending on the position being advertised. Generally newspaper ads will not deliver your most qualified applicant pool. However as we hire foreign employees, it is necessary for them to respond to a print ad in a competitive search process to be considered for a position.
  • A good area to find quality applicants is in the community college setting. Often community college employees are eager to move into a four year university setting.
  • Networking with your colleagues is an important resource in the job search process. Some of our best and most diverse applicants can be revealed through networking.

The Hiring Team

  • The selection committee typically will have a chair, and 4‐6 other individuals. Generally, the chair will be someone with significant knowledge about the department and the responsibilities of this position. The chair is a critical player and can make/break a good search.
  • The 4‐6 other individuals should include a minimum of 2 faculty and 2 students for exempt staff. For non‐exempt hires the search committee does not usually need to include faculty. The committee should also be ethnically diverse and represent a variety of departments from across campus.
  • It is a good practice to hold an orientation session for students on your committee to provide them with a sense of what the interview process is all about. The students will have a greater sense of involvement on the committee and will have the confidence to share their thoughts and opinions about candidates.
  • It is essential that a good deal of thinking go into choosing the hiring team as the candidates will undoubtedly spend significant amounts of time with these individuals and they must be exceptional representatives of the University.
  • Individuals outside of the search committee who are meeting with candidates should be from multiple departments across campus. These individuals should also be strategically selected.
  • Candidates should spend time meeting with a variety of student groups on campus. The student groups should be diverse and when possible have related backgrounds to the candidate.
  • Once the hiring team is assembled and has reviewed applicants, they may elect to call references prior to the initial interview or wait until phone/campus interviews have been conducted.
  • It is essential that the hiring team makes a concerted and targeted effort to insure the applicant pool includes diverse candidates. Affirmative programs can supply this information.
  • All questions for the initial phone interview and campus visit need to be reviewed by Human Resources. Please be courteous, and be certain to allow HR ample time to accomplish this.
  • The search committee will be providing recommendations to the hiring supervisor for candidate selection. The hiring supervisor will have the final say in hiring an applicant. However, it is critical that the search committee’s suggestions and rankings on the candidates be reviewed and considered by the hiring supervisor.

The Interview Process

  • Frequently, the first interview will be conducted via phone or through the use of other technologies. It is important that these interviews are professional and welcoming.
  • In fairness to all candidates, it is important that the phone interview process essentially be the same for candidates that are on‐campus or in the local community.
  • Remember that throughout the whole process, the candidates are interviewing the University as well and it is essential that everyone provide helpful and accurate information as well as enthusiasm about the University and local community.
  • Once phone interviews are completed the hiring team will make recommendations about who should be invited to campus.

Pre-Visit Activities

  • A packet with a welcome letter from the VP for Student Affairs and information about the University and local community should be sent to all position finalists. The welcome letter should contain the committee chair’s cell phone, home phone and other contact information.
  • A detailed itinerary is established, including travel plans and flight arrangements. The itinerary should be included in the welcome packet.
  • Accommodations should be made for the applicants. A good suggestion is at the Best Western with a room facing the water. Discounts for Michigan Tech visitors are available at the Country Inn and Suites and the Super 8.
  • If the candidate is expected to do a presentation, the topic of the presentation should be provided to the candidate in the welcome letter/packet.
  • It is a nice gesture to leave a welcome bag in the candidate’s rooms. The bag should include information about Tech, which welcomes them and also shares information about our area and the university. The Admissions Office can provide this information. The bag should also include a pen/pencil, a copy of the most recent Lode, some snacks, a bottle of water and other related items.

The Campus Visit

  • Someone from the hiring team, generally the chair, will be responsible for working with the candidate’s schedules and arranging a workable time for them to visit the campus.
  • All candidates should have a host assigned to them while they are here to ensure someone is available to serve as a campus contact.
  • ALL candidates should be picked up and returned to the airport by a member of the hiring team or a University representative.
  • If time and weather permit, a tour of the area and dinner in Copper Harbor can be a good deal closer for a candidate.
  • It is important to treat internal and external candidates the same.
  • As your interview day progresses, it is a good practice to build in a small amount of downtime for the candidate. This can be strategically placed in the itinerary before a presentation or project that you are asking the candidate to complete.
  • After the interview, it is important to request feedback from all that interacted with the candidate ‐ including host and tour guides. This can provide some insightful information. It is also important to solicit feedback to give those that participate in the interview a sense of buy in and acknowledge their views about the candidates. The process is also more engaging for those that participate if they know that they will be expected to provide feedback.
  • It is a good practice to ask candidates what student groups or contingencies they are interested in meeting with. Diverse candidates should also have time to meet with people from across campuses that are of the same background.

Sample Itinerary for Campus Visit

Day one 
1:30 PMCandidate arrives at Houghton County Airport and is picked up by Host
2:00 PMCandidate is dropped off at hotel
3:00 PMCandidate receives community tour
5:30 PMdinner w/ hiring team
7:00 PMend a campus event if possible

Day two
7:30 AMCandidate is picked up at hotel
7:45 AMBreakfast with students and department staff
9:00 AMInterview w/ hiring team/search committee
10:30 AMInterview with faculty and Student Affairs staff<
11:15 PMCampus tour
12:30 PMLunch w/ students and organizations involved with hiring department
1:30 PMDowntime
2:00 PMCampus presentation and open forum (as needed depending on position)
3:00 PMMeeting w/ hiring supervisor
4:00 PMWrap up w/ hiring team-Candidate selection meeting time is established*
4:30 PMCandidate is driven back to the airport

*This meeting time can be established prior to the interview day

Follow Up with Candidates

  • A brief email, generally from the chair, should be sent to all candidates shortly after they have visited campus.
  • An electronic evaluation such as student voice or survey monkey should be established to assess the candidates. This survey can be sent out to selection committee members and all staff/students who met with the candidates.
  • It can take some time to get paperwork processed if your applicant pool is large. It can be reassuring for your top applicant to receive a phone call to let them know that the process is moving forward and that the university is interested.
  • If you are trying to recruit the candidate it can be helpful to have your Supervisor’s Supervisor give the candidate a call. This may be the little bit extra it takes to get the candidate to agree to the position.
  • Once hiring decisions are made and the candidate has accepted the position, it is a good practice to contact those that weren’t hired via phone to thank them personally for their interest in Michigan Tech.
  • It is appropriate to tell candidates who call to inquire that were not selected that their interest in the position is appreciated but at the present time the university is pursuing other candidates.
  • An announcement should be sent out to the campus community once the position is filled.
  • A house hunting trip should be arranged for the new employee.

Welcoming Your New Employee

  • It is important to prepare for the candidates first day on campus. Make sure workspace, computer, and necessary supplies are ready.
  • New employee must schedule a meeting with HR on their first day.
  • The new employee should have a parking space arranged and their nameplate, or sign displaying their name should be prepared prior to their arrival.
  • New employee and supervisor should go to lunch on the first day of work.
  • Schedule time for training including the Student Affairs new employee orientation module.
  • Mentoring new staff is very important. A cross departmental mentor is something that can be established to make the new employee feel more welcome. If a mentor is established, the employee should meet with their mentor the first week.
  • It is helpful to have a training schedule outlined for the first week to make the new employee feel welcome.
  • It is important to walk the employee around campus and make some formal introductions with appropriate Michigan Tech Staff.