Affirmative Action and EEO Recruitment Goals and Applicant Pool FAQ
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 any interview, selection, or hiring decision.
What is the difference between recruitment and selection processes?
For the purposes of these guidelines, these terms are defined as followed. 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 in any way evaluate the qualifications of the applicant.
Selection processes cannot target specific demographics and should be standardized and consistent for all applicants in the pool.
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?
Faculty affirmative action goals are provided to OAA and college leadership on an annual basis. Staff affirmative action goals are provided to OHR and OSUWMC HR on annual basis. These units and individuals are responsible for ensuring their recruitment strategies align with applicable affirmative action goals.
Can the demographics or diversity of an applicant pool be reviewed prior to the position being filled?
No. Demographic or diversity reviews cannot 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.
A unit can obtain Workday data from their Talent Acquisition consultant 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?
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.