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University changes Diversity Initiative hiring process and applicant tracking software

Laura Myers, executive director of the Office for Institutional Equity and Gwen Brooks, director of employment and recruitment in University Human Resources, recently sent this letter to Ohio University hiring managers. It addresses changes made to the Diversity Initiative and the upgrade of applicant tracking software.

The purpose of this memo is to inform you of two important changes that affect the hiring process used by both academic and academic support units.

First, the impact of recent changes in the Ohio University Diversity initiative on the hiring process workflow. Second, changes to applicant tracking software and available training tools.

1. Diversity Initiative Changes

Ohio University's Diversity Initiative has been in place since 2004. In response to feedback from Deans and administrative leaders, Institutional Equity proposed and President McDavis and Executive Vice President and Provost Benoit have approved a work-flow revision of the Initiative as follows: for administrative and faculty searches, Institutional Equity will review the requisition after the close of the job posting and initial screening of applicants, prior to on-campus interviews. Institutional Equity will review the final interview pool to ensure that at least one woman or person of color will be invited to campus for interviews. If the Diversity Initiative is not met, a unit will have an opportunity to reconsider the applicant pool or re-open the search.

The advantages of earlier placement of a Diversity Initiative review in the process include:

1)    The ability to provide information to the unit leaders while there is still opportunity to add qualified individuals to the interview pool; 

2)    Increased agility in the offer and negotiation stages. 

By approving the interview pool rather than evaluating the completed search, Institutional Equity is, in essence, approving for hire any of the qualified applicants identified for the final interview pool. As always, the choice of who is the best individual candidate remains with the hiring unit. An affirmative action program cannot dictate outcomes, but must focus on strategic improvements to recruitment and outreach, and to ensure equal opportunity and fair consideration of qualified applicants, without discriminatory impact.

As an additional service and effort towards increasing the diversity of applicant pools, the Office for Diversity, Access and Equity (DAE), under the direction of Brian Bridges, will play a consultative role to deans, department and search committee chairs early in the search process in crafting a recruitment plan that demonstrates "innovation, exhibit(s) creativity, and reflect(s) an aggressive effort to recruit qualified persons from underrepresented groups." DAE's role is collaborative and will not absolve colleges, departments and search committees from putting forth a full faith effort to meet the requirements of the diversity hiring initiative. 

Questions on Diversity Initiative changes should be sent to Laura Myers at myersl@ohio.edu or 740-593-2620.

2. Upgrade of PeopleAdmin

University Human Resources is excited to announce that our applicant tracking/hiring system (PeopleAdmin) is going to upgrade in both look and functionality. We anticipate that these changes will make a significant impact on the quantity and quality of candidates available to hiring managers, as well as streamlining the hiring process.

Enhancements include:

•    A more modern, intuitive, task-oriented user interface that reduces the amount of clicks required to get to the activities that matter most. It is clean, well-organized and very easy-to-learn, allowing most users to become productive almost immediately.

•    Integration of the Hiring Freeze Exemption form to include electronic approvals

•    Updated workflow to incorporate the Diversity Initiative changes (above)

•    Advanced Applicant Assessment and Ranking capabilities

•    A robust reporting and analytics environment that provides extensive ad-hoc reporting capabilities, a full array of pre-configured standard reports, mass data import and export capabilities, role-based queries, and report generation for non-technical users.

•    Enhanced candidate searching capabilities that enables you to include applications and all related documents in your search. This delivers a more thorough view of the applicant pool and improves selection capabilities.

Anticipated go-live for the upgrade is scheduled June 28. A reminder notice will be sent to all users prior to the go-live. UHR will work one-on-one with units with searches in progress to prepare for the transition. 

Training for Hiring Managers will be available both online as well as classroom style. If you have searches that are accepting applications beyond June 28, or a search that will begin within the next 30 days, please view the online training video available here

As an additional option, classroom style training is available by contacting UHR at 740-593-1636 to register for an open computer lab session. Questions can be directed to Gwen Brooks at brooksgk@ohio.edu or 593-1226.