Recruitment is the process whereby the applicant pool for a position is established, undergirded by the understanding that the final candidate chosen can be no better than those recruited into the applicant pool. All the work of evaluating and interviewing will be useless without the initial effort to recruit effectively a sufficiently large and talented pool of applicants able to yield a successful candidate.

One of the most important elements of the search process is creating a broad and diverse pool of applicants. The time to discuss diversity is at the beginning of the search. One often hears the remark that the pool of women or minorities in a specific discipline is meager or even nonexistent. While certain fields may not have large numbers of women and minorities, there is no field in which they are nonexistent.

It is important to think broadly and creatively about recruiting applicants. One way to create a diverse pool of applicants is to develop a broad definition of the position and the desired scholarship, experience and disciplinary background. Narrowly defined searches may tend to exclude diverse individuals, including women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. If appropriate, use “preferred” instead of “required,” “should” instead of “must,” etc. when describing qualifications and developing criteria.


Advertising only in the traditional publications will often result in a homogeneous pool of traditional applicants. The typical route of placing an advertisement and waiting for applications is no longer sufficient. In this competitive hiring market, some of the best applicants may not see your advertising or may not see themselves in your advertised position without some encouragement. To enlarge the pool of applicants, a search committee must consider advertising in a variety of other publications and contacting a variety of professional organizations. Many publications and organizations advertise faculty and administrative professional positions for women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. Advertising in appropriate publications and contacting relevant organizations will not only assist in enlarging the pool of applicants but will also convey the commitment of the department or unit and institution to recruit women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Advertising must occur in sources that will reach a national audience. The full consideration date of the position must be a minimum of four weeks for faculty and executive positions and two weeks, including three weekends, for all other positions after the approval of the announcement by the Office of Equal Opportunity.

This list of publications is a sampling of what is available and is not an exhaustive list. Search committees are encouraged to identify diverse advertising sources within their discipline.


In addition to advertising a position in a variety of publications and listservs, making direct contact with academic departments, professional organizations and colleagues is an extremely effective method of expanding a search. The informal word-of-mouth approach to recruitment is one of the most successful practices for identifying rich and diverse applicants. Departments, units and search committees are strongly encouraged to undertake networking activities to enrich the applicant pool for open positions.