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Inside HR

Diversity and inclusion toolkit


To diversify recruiting by identifying specific responsibilities for hiring committees. To follow best practices by demonstrating an understanding of compliance, cultural awareness, respect for differences, and coaching for positive change.



  • Recognize that creating a workplace culture of diversity and inclusion is an ongoing developmental process for individuals and organizations

  • Commit to building awareness, knowledge, and communication across cultures and teams.

  •  Encourage others to be open, flexible, and receptive of differences.

  • Assume that all people are individuals, who appreciate being treated with respect regardless of their ethnicity, race, nationality, religion, gender identity and expression, generational group, socioeconomic background, and other aspects of cultural identity.


  • Assume that only colleagues from traditionally oppressed groups benefit from a community that promotes a culture that values diversity and inclusion.  All staff, faculty, students, visitors would benefit from understanding and respecting the diverse identities of the VCU community.

  • Forget about elements of diversity that cannot be overlooked. Sexual orientation, age, gender identity and expression, religion, regional differences, country of origin, generation, and all other aspects of identity are also elements that impact communication and working styles for some of the different groups you come into contact with at your job.

How can we understand our own awareness of diversity and inclusion in our academic community?



1. Establish a Diverse Search Committee & Interview Panel

  • Ensure committee/panel is composed of three (3) total members, including at a minimum:

    • One search committee chair (two search committee co-chairs are allowable)

    • Two other non-search-committee-chair members

You may increase the diversity of your hiring committee by including other types of VCU employees such as graduate students, research staff, and faculty members from external, but related departments. This approach may help to balance the available perspectives of many different types of individuals, helping to ensure a more inclusive interview panel. However, each committee member must have experience that aligns to the purpose and/or qualifications of the advertised position.

  • Foster a commitment to diversity and inclusive excellence by having a minimum of one (1) committee/panel member have previously completed Inclusive Excellence (Making it Real) training, LGBTQ Diversity training, Language & Cultural Competency training, Inclusive Communities training, or Cultural Competence (Microagressions) training. Search all VCU training opportunities at

2. Create an inclusive position description

3. Diversify your Recruitment through Inclusive Advertisement(s)

  • Include proactive language (see VCU Non-discrimination Notice) in the vacancy posting to indicate VCU’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, and which shows expressed interest in qualified diverse candidates

  • Advertise in appropriate non-predictable professional publications including: newsletters of minority or women's groups, publications of minority and women’s caucuses or professional organizations (Out & Equal Workplace Advocates), contact minority and women’s groups on VCU campus to aid in recruitment efforts (Black Education Association\ADA Services), contact present and former minority and women members of your department, including VCU Alumni (HireVCURams) to network and inquire suggestions of possible candidates.

  • Advertise in publications and through methods that attract Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. Resources can be found at the Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) page of the The Department of Labor site and the Hiring People with Disabilities page of the Department of Labor site.

  • Advertise in diversity related websites.

  • Utilize a Global Job Board Directory to advertise in additional position related and local/regional/global markets.

4. Practice unbiased inclusive applicant review

  • Run an EEO report to review the diversity of your applicant pool (see Diversity and Inclusion in the Search Committee Toolkit). If your results show little diversity, reach out to your Human Resources contact for guidance on next steps.

  • Standardized criteria should be equal for all candidates when reviewing applications, attached documents (resumes), and letters of reference for each candidate. Be sensitive of your own indications of bias. Criteria against which each application should be compared with includes: Qualifications, Training, Level of responsibility and authority held, level of salary earned to date and/or expected, type and level of knowledge and skills, competencies, and all special skills or aptitudes specific to the position description.

  • Attempt to refrain from looking at individual's’ name(s), addresses, graduation dates (personal demographics), and length of service or experience (as this may result in indirect age discrimination) while reviewing applications/resumes.

5. Safeguard Equal Opportunity Interviewing

  • Develop evaluation criteria and evaluation/interview tools and questions to encourage inclusive, relevant interviewing and evaluation

  • Agree upon selection criteria before reviewing CVs, conducting interviews etc.

  • Ensure that the search committee chair is aware of steps to take if a candidate requests reasonable accommodation to participate in the candidate assessment process

  • Provide sufficient time for individuals to complete required background and fingerprinting check(s)

  • Use a template offer letter with no biased language (see VCU Offer Letter under )


Virginia Commonwealth University
VCU Human Resources
Lindsey House | 600 West Franklin Street | Box 842511
Richmond, VA 23284-2511
Phone: (804) 828-0177

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