An inclusive recruitment policy for a diverse organisation
‘Routine leads to reproduction rather than innovation,’ says Estela Mara Bensimon, an expert in the field of ethnic diversity in higher education. In a workshop on inclusive recruitment, she explained to managers and HR staff from the University how they could help make the University workforce more diverse.
The ‘Towards Inclusive Recruitment’ workshop on 10 January was the initiative of Isabel Hoving and Nirupa Shantiprekash from the Diversity Office. The aim was for participants to learn about and be inspired by an inclusive recruitment process that would help make our workforce even more diverse. This ties in with the Diversity Office’s plans for more ethnic diversity in all academic roles.
American expertise in the Dutch context
Estela Mara Bensimon is Professor of Higher Education at USC Rossier School of Education in South-Carolina and Director of the Center for Urban Education. She is an expert in ethnic diversity in higher education. Bensimon and her colleague Deanna Cherry led the workshop, with diversity expert Domenica Ghidei translating it to the Dutch context. This enabled those present to apply the American expertise to the situations they encounter in their work in the Netherlands.
The participants – managers and the staff of HR departments from throughout the University – set to work on job vacancies, selection criteria and analysing current formal and informal recruitment procedures. It is important, for instance, not only to include ‘diversity’ in a separate section in job vacancies but also to incorporate the theme in the basic text. Bensimon also explained to those present that the pool of applicants will be more diverse if you change your definition of ‘suitability’.
Leading by example
Vice-Rector Magnificus Hester Bijl opened and closed the workshop, thus establishing a link with leadership. Because, as Bensimon says, ‘Leadership is hugely important to this topic; leaders must set the tone and a good example.’ Head of HRM Annemarie Duijnstee said that HR and the Diversity Office will take steps to integrate inclusivity and diversity in the everyday working practices at the University.
Contact the Diversity Office if you want your faculty or unit to move towards a diverse and inclusive recuitment policy.