Why is this important?
In alignment with our Shared Values, our status as an Equal Opportunity Employer, and our Non-Discrimination Notice, The Ohio State University will not give preferential treatment or discriminate based on demographics or any protected class. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
The Ohio State University is committed to building and maintaining a diverse community to reflect human diversity and to improve opportunities for all. The university is committed to equal opportunity, affirmative action, and eliminating discrimination and harassment. This commitment is both a moral imperative consistent with an intellectual community that celebrates individual differences and diversity, as well as a matter of law. Ohio State does not discriminate on the basis of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, military status, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or protected veteran status, or any other bases under the law, in its activities, academic programs, admission, and employment. See below for inquiries regarding potential discrimination.
What is affirmative action (AA)?
Affirmative action is legally required of the university and requires us to ensure equal opportunity is afforded to all applicants and employees regardless of demographics. In addition, the university is required to conduct outreach and recruitment efforts to recruit qualified females, racial/ethnic minorities, individuals with a disability, and protected veterans.
Affirmative action regulations set forth specific requirements the university must follow to ensure the university is continually monitoring and reviewing its attainment of Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) in employment policies, processes, and decisions.
What is equal employment opportunity (EEO)?
EEO is also legally required of the university and requires that the university ensure all employment policies, processes, and decisions provide equal opportunity and are free of discrimination for all applicants and employees. EEO requires all employment decisions to be made solely based on the requirements of the job and qualifications of an individual, without regard to their demographics.
How do affirmative action and EEO impact the recruitment and selection processes?
Affirmative action regulations require the university to undertake outreach and recruitment efforts to consistently and proactively recruit qualified females, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with a disability, and veterans. Efforts should be made to recruit qualified individuals from these groups for every job posting.
In addition, affirmative action regulations require the university to establish specific annual affirmative action recruitment goals for job titles where the current employment rate for racial/ethnic minorities and/or females does not match the rate of qualified individuals in the marketplace. The university is required to implement and retain records of good faith outreach and recruitment efforts undertaken to achieve the identified AA recruitment goals.
- Affirmative action recruitment goals are NOT quotas and should only be used to inform recruitment efforts and ensure processes are non-discriminatory and consistently provide equal opportunity to all applicants and employees.
- Affirmative action goals do not prioritize or create a preference for the demographics of applicants. All employment decisions must be made without regard to an individual’s demographics.
Demographics can be considered when developing a recruitment plan or strategy but cannot be considered once an individual has applied or in an interview, selection, or hiring decision.
What is the difference between recruitment and selection processes?
Please note these defined terms are solely for the purposes of this affirmative action and EEO guidance.
Recruitment processes involve all the effort to reach out to qualified individuals, through formal and informal approaches, to generate interest in a position that is currently advertised or develop a recruitment pipeline. Recruitment processes can target specific demographics (see below) and should be as broad as possible.
Selection processes involve all actions and steps that occur once an individual has submitted their application in Workday and evaluates the qualifications of the applicant. For faculty, this is once the search committee and other stakeholders begin to engage with an applicant.
Selection processes cannot target specific demographics and should be standardized and consistent for all applicants in the pool.
When do we use “Applicant” and when do we use “Candidate” in the faculty recruitment framework?
Applicant refers to an individual who has completed an application in Workday for a specific search or position, possesses the basic qualifications for the position, has been reviewed or evaluated in any way for the position, and does not voluntarily withdraw from the process.
Candidate refers to an individual who has been selected to move forward to the first level of interview (either the virtual screening or in-person interviews) in the selection process.
Can recruitment efforts target specific demographics?
Yes. Affirmative action regulations require the university to continually recruit qualified underrepresented individuals including racial/ethnic minorities, females, individuals with a disability, and protected veterans. Therefore, efforts should be made to recruit qualified individuals from these groups for every open position.
Can we still use recruitment efforts to advance diversity?
Yes. Absolutely, you can make every effort to recruit qualified, talented, and diverse pools inclusive of individuals from a variety of backgrounds, demographics, and perspectives.
In addition, remember, under affirmative action obligations, you are required to make good faith efforts to recruit qualified veterans, individuals with a disability, and underutilized racial/ethnic minorities and females. These efforts should be documented and evaluated.
Can interview slots be reserved for individuals who belong to a specific demographic?
No. While every effort can be made to recruit qualified, talented, and diverse pools inclusive of individuals from a variety of backgrounds, demographics, and perspectives, interviews and next steps must always be offered to the most qualified applicants without regard to their demographics.
Can an applicant pool be required to include a certain percentage of diversity or a specific demographic?
No. You cannot require the applicant pool to include a certain percentage of diverse candidates or a specific demographic.
Example: It cannot be required that an applicant pool be comprised of 40% females. Even if there is an AA recruitment goal for females in this job title, diversity goals and/or demographic requirements cannot be applied to the pool.
Can a preference be provided to an applicant because their demographics would contribute to affirmative action goals or the general diversity of a unit?
No. A preference can never be given to an applicant because of their demographics. All employment decisions must be made without regard to an applicant’s demographics.
How do I know if there are affirmative action recruitment goals for my unit?
The affirmative action recruitment goals for all positions are currently posted on the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) website.
If there are affirmative action recruitment goals established for a position, can the applicant pool be reviewed during the recruitment process?
Yes, but the applicant pool can only be reviewed during the recruitment phase and if the position has an established affirmative action recruitment goal.
- The review must be requested and completed prior to the expiration of the original Workday posting.
- Can only be completed once.
- Must be completed by the Office of Academic Affairs, Office of Human Resources, or OIE.
- The review will focus on the impact of the recruitment efforts on the identified affirmative action recruitment goals. This is the only information that will be shared with the unit and/or search committee and must only be used to inform recruitment efforts.
- No action can ever be taken based on an applicant pool demographic review that would limit EEO or impact any applicants already in the pool.
- Example: The job posting cannot be altered or canceled because of a pool review.
How can I request an applicant pool review to evaluate progress toward an affirmative action recruitment goal?
To request an applicant pool demographic review, the hiring manager or search committee must:
- Confirm that there is an established affirmative action recruitment goal for the position.
- If yes, prior to seven business days before the Workday posting expiration date, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Include a subject line “applicant pool demographic review” and select the option that marks the message as high priority
- Position title
- Workday requisition number
- Within three business days of receiving the request a response will be provided and advise:
- Yes: The applicant pool reflects the affirmative action recruitment efforts.
- No: The applicant pool does not reflect the affirmative action recruitment efforts. Recruitment efforts should continue. However, no additional actions can be taken to affect the existing pool based on this review. For example, a search cannot be canceled or job descriptions cannot be altered.
Can the applicant pool be reviewed during the search if a position does not have an affirmative action recruitment goal?
No. If there is no affirmative action recruitment goal, no pool reviews can occur until after the position has been filled.
Can the demographic composition of the initial applicant pool and for each subsequent stage in the process be reviewed after a position has been filled?
Yes. The university is required to monitor its recruitment and selection processes to ensure EEO is provided to all applicants. This review must take place after the search has been completed.
For reviews that take place after a search has been completed, a unit can obtain Workday data from their HR representative to evaluate the effectiveness of their recruitment efforts and determine whether changes need to be made to the recruitment process.
Units should consult with OIE if they observe that the demographics of the original applicant pool did not progress proportionally through each stage of the selection process.
Example: If the original applicant pool was comprised of 60% females and the process provides EEO to all applicants, it would be expected that females represent about 60% of the pool in each subsequent stage.
Can individual-level applicant demographic information be accessed during a search?
No. To protect an individual’s identity and comply with applicable laws, individual-level demographic data should not be accessed or shared with anyone, including the search committee, hiring manager, interviewers, or anyone with hiring authority, during the search process or after an applicant has been hired.