These reflections led to a collaboration with UF Human Resources, which was simultaneously preparing to launch a universitywide Inclusive Hiring Hub that consisted of the Inclusive Hiring at UF training course, an Inclusive Hiring Toolkit and the Inclusive Hiring Badge program. These resources were designed to help faculty and staff gain the knowledge, skill and abilities needed to demonstrate inclusive practices during the hiring process, identify and mitigate biases that can affect hiring decisions, and support a more equitable workforce and candidate experience.
“We wanted to empower our hiring teams with resources,” said Audrey Gainey, the director of talent acquisition and onboarding with UF HR. “The Inclusive Hiring Badge provides frameworks that help with building inclusive job profiles and job descriptions, identifying barriers that might exist and implementing best practices for overcoming those barriers.”
Building on the foundation set by the Inclusive Hiring Badge, the College of Medicine created an equity adviser curriculum, designed to prepare faculty and staff to serve on hiring committees as advocates of best recruitment practices. The pilot launched May 3 with an initial test cohort of 14 individuals from across the college.
The program is organized around seven core competencies: inclusive hiring, driving a more inclusive workforce, effective communication, decision making and critical thinking, conflict management, self-awareness and relationship dynamics. Within these units, specialized sections are devoted to considerations of neurodiversity and veteran populations. After demonstrating competency in all seven areas, participants receive their inclusive hiring credentials.
This first cohort was officially certified in September, and its members have already started serving on committees and creating a culture of inclusivity within the college.
“I am excited to take everything we learned and apply it to the positions we are currently recruiting,” said Jason Dugan, a human resource generalist for the department of ophthalmology. “Getting to know others through the program was wonderful. Now we can pick up the phone and bounce ideas off one another. And because we have access to the curriculum, all the tools and resources are at our fingertips at a moment’s notice.”
Moving forward, the college is exploring scaling up the program to include representatives from every department, so that all units can have equity advisers lending their expertise and understanding to the hiring process.
“The feedback we’ve heard has been overwhelmingly positive,” McCaslin said. “This was just a trial, but we are excited to create a community alongside inclusive hiring processes. Recruitment and onboarding are never-ending, so having these champions of best practices who want to develop in this area will really advance the college’s mission.”