In the K-12 education sector, those responsible for hiring have an important role to play in impacting students’ experiences. Attracting the right applicants and making great hiring decisions strengthens workplace culture and system success. This is especially true when considering efforts related to diversity and inclusion.
Attracting and hiring diverse candidates in K-12 has innumerable benefits:
- A diverse workforce inspires innovative thinking and enables a rich workplace culture to develop
- Students who are surrounded by role models with whom they identify are more likely to have positive school experiences and develop to their potential
- Diverse environments promote strong social-emotional outcomes for students and, in turn, result in positive social impacts for society as a whole
Diversity hiring requires the use of targeted, proactive strategies. Here are a few favourites to consider:
- Ensure your job postings include gender and culture neutral language
- When shortlisting, anonymize candidates’ personal information such as names and gender to reduce the possibility that this information triggers bias in decision-making
- Ensure all individuals involved in the hiring process understand the impact implicit bias has on the selection decision-making processes and discuss strategies to counteract its impact
- Avoid interviewing one-on-one. Instead, establish interview committees of at least three; and wherever possible, have diverse representation on the committee itself
These are only a few of the many ways you can maximize diversity hiring success. Complemented by a larger organizational commitment, these strategies will help deepen workplace diversity and, in turn, enhance student success.