Recruiting and retaining high quality faculty and staff is critical to Western’s mission. Below are some suggestions to attract top talent.
When you are ready to move forward with recruitment, step-by-step directions are available for submitting Recruiting Requests in PageUp.
Prior to Recruitment
When a position becomes vacant it is essential to do a quick organizational review. Is your organizational chart still effective? Does it accurately reflect the structure of your office/positions?
Has there recently been a change in position duties? Are you able to clearly articulate your position and department needs? An approved position description will be required to start your recruitment. Now is the time to ensure you have the right responsibilities, qualifications, etc.
Why Is the Position Vacant?
Is this a position with high turnover? Was the job accurately described in the previous job announcement to target the right type of skills? The answer to this question can help you determine how the recruitment needs to move forward.
When a new position is coming up for recruitment it is good to plan out any training or leadership development the position may require, this way you are able to set up a training schedule once your candidate accepts the position. Getting these trainings on your new hire’s schedule will ensure the time is set aside before other business becomes a priority.
Update your job title to be more reflective of the position instead of using the state classification title or a title that was used in the past. We call these “working titles.” Please work with HR if you need assistance creating a title for your position.
- HR Front Desk Assistant (working title) – vs. HR Consultant Assistant (state title). The working title more accurately reflects the position. This will make it more attractive to applicants.
A search committee is not a requirement for a classified staff search; however, it is best practice to utilize one with at least three members. A search committee should be composed of different layers from your department, as well as the person with whom this position will interact the most. The search committee gives input to the search chair on which candidate should be extended an offer.
Refer to the Toolkit for Inclusive Searches. This guide contains important information on how to conduct a fair and equitable hiring process.
If this is a professional staff or tenure-track faculty search, contact the Equal Opportunity Office at x3307 to schedule an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action search briefing for the search committee. In most cases, the search briefing must happen before the search documents are finalized and the department begins advertising the position. The Equal Opportunity Office may suggest additions to the recruitment plan and revisions to the job announcement.
Members of classified staff search committees who have not recently attended an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action search briefing for a professional staff search are encouraged to attend a training on Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action in Classified Staff searches. Employees can register for training by going to Western’s training website, clicking on “Equal Opportunity Office” and selecting an upcoming training date.
How to Write a job Announcement
A job announcement is a marketing campaign for your open position. Your job announcement should accurately reflect the position while highlighting the overall feeling of the position and department.
Use Active Voice
Using active voice often results in more clear, concise sentences. In active voice, the subject of the sentence performs the action.
- Active: The candidate believes that Congress must place a ceiling on the budget.
- Passive: It is believed by the candidate that a ceiling must be placed on the budget by Congress.
- Active: Earlier, researchers showed that high stress can cause heart attacks.
- Passive: It was earlier demonstrated that heart attacks can be caused by high stress.
- Active: The dog bit the man.
- Passive: The man was bitten by the dog.
To convert a sentence to active voice:
- Look for a “by” phrase (e.g. “by the dog” in the last example). If you find one, the sentence may be in the passive voice. Rewrite the sentence so that the subject buried in the “by” clause is closer to the beginning of the sentence.
- If the subject of the sentence is somewhat anonymous, see if you can use a general term, such as “researchers”, or “the study” or “experts in the field”
Speak To the Candidate
Write the job announcement to your potential candidate. Include “You will be responsible for…” “You will supervise…” “You will oversee…” “Your team will be…”
Look for Redundant Phrases and Words
Be careful not to overuse the phrasing for a specific responsibility or qualification. This will make your job announcement more succinct and easier to read. You will want to focus on the most relevant details of your position.
Attract the Best-in-Class
Describe the culture of Western and your department. Show personality in the job announcement. Give a summary of the benefits they will enjoy with your position. Be sure to include any special perks that are offered with this position.
Position Responsibilities and Required Qualifications
The Civil Rights and Title IX Office recommends including one or more position responsibilities related to equity and inclusion, tailored to the role of the position you are seeking to fill. Fostering equitable and inclusive learning and working environments is our shared responsibility at Western, and including position responsibilities to this effect provides a clear way of communicating this expectation to staff and faculty from the very beginning. It also demonstrates to potential candidates that Western is committed to equity and diversity, and in this regard may be helpful in attracting diverse applicants. How such job responsibilities are articulated will depend on the position.
- Develop, implement, and access programs and delivery of services in ways that advance equitable and inclusive work environments.
- Participate in professional development opportunities that build effectiveness in areas of inclusion, intercultural communication, and advancing diversity.
- Fulfill job responsibilities in ways that support an equitable and inclusive environment for colleagues and students.
As the diversity of Western’s student population grows, experience or demonstrated ability to serve diverse students becomes increasingly important. You are strongly encouraged to assess candidates on their multicultural competencies and to include one or more qualifications such as the following:
- Experience developing [courses/programs] that inclusively serve a diverse student population.
- Demonstrated ability to contribute to the department’s commitment to support underrepresented students.
- Demonstrated ability to cultivate learning environments that are equitable and inclusive of students with diverse social identities and backgrounds.
- Demonstrated ability to work effectively with diverse populations, including multicultural and cross-cultural communication skills.
- Demonstrated leadership in promoting equity and diversity.
How to Advertise - Act as Your Own Recruiter
You will want to take an active role in your recruitment and utilize your network.
The geographic scope of recruitments is governed by Western’s Affirmative Action Plan:
- Faculty, administrative officer or manager, director, and academic support professional recruitments (Job Groups 11, 12, 13, and 31) require national searches.
- Professional staff recruitments for other administrative positions and for student support professionals (Job Groups 32 and 33) require statewide searches at a minimum, and regional searches are strongly encouraged.
- Classified clerical, administrative, technical, and skilled craft support (Job Groups 42, 43, 51 and 61) and protective service worker (Job Group 73) requirements require at a minimum statewide searches.
- Other classified position recruitments require at a minimum local searches.
Outreach to veterans and people with disabilities is required for all searches. Outreach specifically to people of color and women is strong encouraged in all searches, and is required when those groups are underrepresented in the relevant job group at Western. See Section VI, “Building an Excellent and Diverse Applicant Pool,” in Equity and Inclusion in Hiring: Best Practices for Faculty and Professional Staff Searches, for suggestions about how to build a diverse applicant pool.
In addition to the job announcement listed on our website, try these other ideas
Are you on Facebook? Twitter? LinkedIn? Share your open position with your friends and colleagues.
Are there publications that the candidates you are looking to recruit commonly read/subscribe? Advertise where your candidates are looking!
Utilize Your Business Contacts
Calling your business contacts can help you find other websites/avenues for recruitment where they have found their best employees. They can also give you referrals and feedback on candidates they may have interviewed in the past.
Hand out business cards when you are out in the community and notice someone who could be great for your department. If you are looking for someone with exceptional customer service, and you come across someone who has given you great customer service – share your business card and let them know you have an opening – or to be on the lookout for an upcoming opportunity.
Our current employees can be one of our best sources of recruitment! They are already know Western and can recommend people who they think would be perfect for the position – have them share with their networks, friends, and colleagues. Send your staff the job announcement via email so they can easily pass it along and share. You will also want to remind your employees if they are going to a conference or training to get the word out that we are hiring.
Add a link to your current job opening in your Outlook signature. You are already sending out emails, why not attach the link and let people know you are looking!
Similar Positions in Other Locations
Are there similar positions located at other Universities? Colleges? City/County? Send them an email letting them know that we have an opportunity open at Western. You can also look for other employees where your position would be a promotion and let them know of the opportunity available at Western.
Talent Acquisition and Inclusion
Talent Acquisition & Inclusion welcomes and advocates all aspects of diversity. Western has made enhancing diversity a strategic goal for our university, and we in Human Resources have recognized our opportunity to help attain that goal. Through our Six Steps to Cultural Inclusion Model, we hope to increase the number of diverse employees at Western and to enhance the climate for employees of all backgrounds and identities.
Outreach and Recruitment is just one step, albeit a very important step in Talent Acquisition & Inclusion. With many Job Groups underrepresented by women, ethnic minority employees, veterans, and people with disabilities, we make efforts to both reach far and wide in our outreach while focusing on areas of the state and country where we know diversity is concentrated.
If your search committee looking for nationwide diversity outreach, check out this list of national organizations focused on diversity.
If your search committee would like to contact Native American Tribes here in Washington, this list of Washington State Native Tribes can get you started.
We understand that the Strategic Goal of creating a positive diverse workforce is the responsibility of all of us and that we cannot do it alone. We thank all of our partners on and off campus who help us along with way with the work we do.
- Faculty & Staff of Color Council
- Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advocacy Council
- LGBTQ+ Western
- Western’s Veterans Office
- Department of Rehabilitation
- Marysville Naval Station
- Washington Women in Trades
- The Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance
- Bellingham Technical College
- Advancement Northwest