Best Practices for Equal Opportunity Liaisons
The work of Equal Opportunity Liaisons shall consist of assisting their administrators, deans, vice presidents, chairs, directors, in developing and implementing an effective and responsive Equal Opportunity and Equity Accountability Program. In addition to ensuring equal opportunity for all applicants in the search process, their work focuses on the recruitment and retention of underutilized persons in their respective colleges/divisions.
EOLs assist the Diversity and Equal Opportunity Office in the development, implementation and monitoring of diversity, equity and affirmative action programs. They are nominated by their Vice President or dean and appointed by the Associate Vice President for Diversity and Equal Opportunity. New appointees are required to attend a three-hour briefing conducted by DEO and the Provost's Office. Their participation in one of the two EOL annual sessions/workshops organized by DEO is required for reappointment.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Ensuring compliance with the USF Faculty, A&P, and USPS Recruitment and Selection Guidelines
- Know and Understand USF’s Equal Opportunity, Equity Accountability Policy and Affirmative Action Policy (DEO policy) as these policies pertain to the search, recruitment, and hiring processes.
- Convey USF DEO policies and procedures to faculty, staff and students.
- Conduct annual review of college/division’s diversity progress as recruiting plans are formulated.
- Encourage leadership from hiring officials.
- Assisting in the organization of the Search Committee
- Briefing Search Committee on the Equity Accountability Plan and Affirmative Action Plan of the Hiring Unit
- Know history of hiring in your college/division
- Know recruiting goals
- Know underutilization
- Know commitment level
- Know resource level
- Know about successes and problems
- Facilitating compliance of Hiring Authorities and Search Committees with Equal Opportunity policies
- Refer to DEO Web site materials defining and providing examples of unlawful discrimination.
- Refer to USF Diversity and Equal Opportunity Policy.
- Pre-employment inquiries (oral, print, or electronic) - Inquiries that directly or indirectly disclose the applicant’s race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, veteran status or disability may violate USF policy and are subject to an investigation. Questions that are likely to elicit information about an applicant’s disability are unlawful before the individual has been given an offer of employment.
- Advertising language - USF’s EO policy prohibits the use of language that reflects biases, stereotypes, or discriminates unless a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ) is established. The key to lawful employment inquires is to ask only questions that will provide information about the person’s ability to do the job, with or without reasonable accommodation. All advertisements print or electronic should be reviewed by the EOL.
- Assessing the acceptability of applicant pool.
- Job description
- Affirmative Action Data Forms
- Evaluation forms with criteria must match qualifications
- Clarity is important
- Consistency is important
- Assisting in the recruitment of members of the protected classes.
- College/Division’s goals in strategic plans, unit plans etc.
- Clear communication by leadership
- Use focus committee all year to engage in target recruiting
- Diversity on search committee
- Valid Job qualification including essential functions
- Develop hiring plans that include strategies
- Debunk the myths
- Examine hiring biases
- Examine the Methods to Solicit Applicants. Determine if the methods meet the good faith efforts required
- Before advertising or posting for open positions consider what you want an applicant to do to apply for the job. Consider the following:
- What documentation should a potential applicant submit to ensure fair evaluation? If you require a potential applicant to fill out a form, it must be reviewed to ensure that it does not solicit unlawful or improper information.
- Make sure advertised qualifications are designed to measure job success.
- Determine whether potential applicants who have disabilities can obtain applications. Federal and state law requires employers to accommodate the needs of applicants with disabilities.
- Educate personnel involved in the recruiting, screening and selection processes about EEO laws and requirements.
- Screening Applicants: Establish written criteria that can objectively measure job performance; apply the criteria consistently; make and keep a record of all screening instruments and how criteria was applied; review results of the selection process.
- Debunking the Myths - Various myths and stereotypes about people of color in the academe can inadvertently impede progress in hiring faculty and staff of color. Some are focused on the institution: “Our institution cannot compete for doctorates of color because everyone wants them or we cannot match the high salaries offered to faculty of color.” Others are focused on prospective candidates: “there are no qualified candidates of color for our open faculty/staff positions; “They will not want to come to our institution.” Other myths appeal to bias and prejudices “recruiting faculty of color takes away opportunities for white faculty.” Such myths and stereotypes can have an insidious effect on the search committee process and should be addressed as part of preparing search committee members for their work.
- Reviewing search plans for compliance with the Recruitment and Selection Guidelines and the Equal Opportunity Policy of the University. (see #1)
- Position Vacancy Announcement and Job Description or Class Specification.
- Search Committee Membership (Name, Job Title, Gender and Racial/Ethnic Background of each member).
- Efforts made to achieve a diverse search committee, if it is not diverse.
- Description of recruitment and hiring goals of the unit, as per Equity Accountability Plan (EAP) of the University.
- If the EAP indicates Underutilization, description of proposed Minority Recruitment Outreach Efforts (e.g. mailing of announcement to minority organizations and resource persons, etc.).
- If the EAP indicates Underutilization, description of proposed Female Recruitment Outreach Efforts (e.g. mailing of announcement to female organizations and resource persons, etc.).
- When, where, how the vacancy will be posted (e.g., internal and external media, recruitment sources, colleagues and other resource persons).
- Proposed Search Timetable (e.g., Application Review, Meetings, Interviews, etc.).
- Description of screening/evaluation processes, including instruments (e.g. screening form, rating form, interview schedule); and identification of the person(s) responsible for the initial screening of applications.
- Description of methods that will be used to check Reference/Work Experience.
- Identification of the person(s) responsible for clerical support to the Search Committee, and of the person designated by the EOL to receive the Affirmative Action Data Forms.
- Monitoring recruitment, screening, and interviewing processes.
- Be there
- Attend meetings
- Evaluate screening materials
- Keep applicants informed and answer questions
- If pool is not diverse enough notify hiring official
- Consistency in the interviewing process
- Collect and maintain evaluations
- Reference check process (no hearsay)
- Request candidate approval
- Certificate of Employability
- Referring to DEO applicants who believe that they have been subjected to discrimination.
- Provide copy of DEO policy and procedure (see Web site).
- Answer questions if possible
- Give applicant (s) Mr. Haven's or Ms. Pierce’s name, email and phone number.
- Reviewing Hiring Reports for compliance with Recruitment and Selection Guidelines and with college and university procedures.
- Document the search process
- Discrepancies must be corrected
- If you can’t understand it, auditors won’t be able to either
- In the investigation process search documents may be used as evidence
- Send hiring reports to DEO - This is MANDATORY