The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

Using Academic Research to Increase Workforce Diversity

Increasing workforce diversity at your institution might be at the top of your HR wishlist, but simply wishing for it won’t yield results. However, you do have a powerful resource right at your fingertips – your campus library database.

In her session at this year’s CUPA-HR annual conference in San Diego, Jennifer Stano from Towson University shared how to use academic and, scholarly articles to HR’s advantage when it comes to recruiting efforts. It’s as simple as logging into your institution’s library database, using keywords to perform an advanced search on how other institutions and organizations have increased workforce diversity, and applying these methods to your own recruiting process.

When conducting your search, Stano suggests using specific keywords like “Higher Education,” “Recruit,” “Hiring,” “Diversity,” and “Equality” to pull the most relevant articles. Once you’ve found several articles highlighting methods and strategies for increasing workforce diversity, read through them, jot down some notes, and discuss with your colleagues how HR can weave the methods used in the articles into employee searches.

For example, one article may have touched on how reaching out to women-based organizations and local Career Transition Centers for veterans increased the number of campus employees who represented those groups. Another article may have outlined the benefits of having one-on-one conversations with potential candidates at the campus job fair. By taking the time to talk with each candidate directly instead of clumping them together into one large group, the institution experienced higher levels of engagement from new hires.

Knowledge-sharing is a powerful and oftentimes free resource to learn innovative ways to improve current HR processes, and implementing best practices presented in academic articles will help you make decisions to continuously build upon those processes. To explore more helpful tips on recruitment and how you can promote workforce diversity at your institution, check out the Recruitment and Selection Toolkit and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Toolkit in CUPA-HR’s Knowledge Center.