Best Practices for Hiring

Using Guidelines to Meet Goals

To be more reflective of our diverse student body, Mason must expand its recruitment and retention efforts to be more representative at every level.​

Our institutional commitment to inclusion will appear in all job announcements, and we must add diversity competencies to essential job functions. For example, criteria for a job may include having a candidate demonstrate a common knowledge or understanding of cultural differences. This involves a strategy that:

  • Builds collaborative and mutually beneficial working relationships with people of different background.
  • Seeks, considers and communicates diverse perspectives and ideas.
  • Helps others to increase their awareness and acceptance of cultural differences.
  • Demonstrates a common knowledge or understanding of cultural differences.

Diversity recruitment resources have also been expanded by partnering with job boards focusing on women, people of color, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

“By providing a welcoming environment, we can improve retention and recruitment for individuals from a variety of backgrounds, and, in doing so, we will become stronger, more effective, and better prepared to serve our culturally rich student body.”

— Mason's Strategic Plan


When a position comes open, hiring managers are encouraged to follow these steps and ask these questions to ensure a deep, representative candidate pool is available:

Seek Out Opportunities to Diversify Staff

  • What are the current and future needs of the office? Who do we serve?
  • What is the current makeup of the department/business unit?
  • How many and what type of positions are expected to be vacant?
  • Are any of these positions in an underutilized job group for women and/or minorities? Contact the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for more information.

Evaluate the Job Description

  • Is it aligned with commitment to staff diversity?
  • Does it use language that attracts diverse staff?
  • Does it include criteria such as "experience working with a diverse population?"
  • Does it accurately reflect the skills and education necessary for the position?
  • Are essential and marginal functions of the position clearly stated and consistent with the needs and/or responsibilities of the position?
  • Does it include any biased language? Remember to use his or her, he/she, or s/he when you occasionally need to stress the action of an individual.

Diversify the Applicant Pool

  • If you are utilizing a search firm, does it present a diverse interview pool?
  • Contact DEI to determine the availability of qualified women and minorities for a position in the relevant geographic areas.

Interview Applicants

  • Review the interview pool and ensure that it is inclusive of women and minorities.
  • If a search committee is used, is it diverse?
  • Review proposed interview questions to ensure there are no illegal questions (e.g., age, disability, children, etc.).
  • Ensure that hiring authorities understand the process to implement reasonable accommodations if necessary for the interview.