Applicant Pool Demographic Review FAQ

Why is this important?

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.

What is affirmative action (AA)?       

Affirmative action is legally required of the university and must be taken to recruit and advance qualified females, racial/ethnic minorities, individuals with a disability, and protected veterans.

Affirmative action regulations set forth specific requirements the university must follow in this area.

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.

How do affirmative action and EEO impact the recruitment and selection process?

Affirmative action regulations require the university to establish annual AA recruitment goals for job titles where the current rate of employment for racial/ethnic minorities, females, individuals with a disability, and/or protected veterans does not match the availability of qualified individuals in the marketplace. The university is required to implement good faith efforts to achieve the identified AA recruitment goals. 

  • AA Recruitment goals are NOT quotas and should only be used to inform recruitment efforts and ensure processes are nondiscriminatory and consistently provide equal opportunity to all applicants and employees.

Demographics can be considered when developing a recruitment plan or strategy, but cannot be considered in any interview, selection, or hiring decision. 

How do I know if there are affirmative action recruitment goals for my unit?

The current affirmative action recruitment goals will be posted on OIE’s website by July 1, 2022.

When is the preferred time to review applicant demographics?

The optimal time to review the demographics of an applicant pool is after the search has been completed and before the next search begins for a similar position. This allows for a review of the recruitment efforts and hiring and selection processes while ensuring the applicants in the current pool are not impacted.

Can applicant pool demographics be reviewed during the search process?

  • Acknowledging that diversity and inclusion are essential components of our mission and Shared Values, some units desire to evaluate the aggregate demographics of the pool while the search is in progress.
  • If the demographics of the pool are reviewed while the search is still in progress, it is imperative that the guidance provided in this document be followed to ensure that all applicants receive equal employment opportunities.
  • The review should occur while recruitment efforts are still ongoing to inform the focus of the continued recruitment efforts.
  •  No action should ever be taken that denies any applicant an opportunity based on their demographics.

How is a demographic report for an applicant pool requested?

A request for a demographic report must be submitted to the unit’s talent coordinator.

To protect the identity of applicants:

  • Only aggregate data for the pool can be disseminated
  • A pool must have a minimum of 5 applicants before the aggregate data can be shared.

Who has access to individual-level applicant demographic information?

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.

Can interview slots be reserved for individuals who belong to a specific demographic?

  • No action should ever be taken based on an applicant’s demographics, including the selection of applicants who will be interviewed and/or advanced in a search process.
  • Interviews must always be offered to the most qualified applicants without regard to their demographics.

What if the applicant pool does not reflect the established diversity and/or affirmative action goals?

  • The best ways to recruit a diverse applicant pool are to create an equitable and inclusive job description and engage in strategic recruitment measures. If, after doing so, the diversity of the applicant pool does not meet the established goals, recruitment efforts should continue and focus on attracting identified demographics.
  • Job postings should NOT be altered or canceled because of the demographics of the applicant pool.