This past year, more than 70 participants from 21 DCSC member schools gathered in our Communities of Practice (CoP) to develop resources for the field of diverse-by-design education practitioners. We’ll be releasing each CoP’s artifacts throughout this month (See Part 1 here). Keep an eye out for next week’s edition!
Connect as leaders. Grow expertise. Bring justice to education.
Like many industries, the education sector can be oversaturated with leaders who do not reflect the racial and social diversity of our broader community. Kevin Bryant and Ron Rapatalo of Edgility Consulting discussed their perspectives on how to reduce bias when hiring and retaining educators of color and of other non-dominant identities. In the wake of a global pandemic, DCSC members gathered in a Community of Practice to address the challenge of being competitive enough to attract diverse talent while working with limited, finite resources.
The group first considered the framework below, representing the process of talent acquisition:
Marketing Best Practices: Broaden visibility as a pathway to equity
Social Media Presence
- Join Facebook and LinkedIn groups focused on professionals of color
- Consider how the incoming generation of young professionals will engage with profiles like Twitter, Instagram, etc., on mobile devices
- Post content that is informational, showcasing the story, mission, or highlights of your school, rather than solely position-specific.
- Career fairs at diverse higher education institutions
- Conferences centering professionals of color or professionals from non-traditional backgrounds
- Brainstorm messaging with key stakeholders, including the voices from underrepresented communities at your school
- Gather information from your incoming class of hires and develop profiles based on targeted demographics
- Encourage individual staff to share content within their networks. Offer incentives for referrals.
- Job search sites and listservs
- Search firms can provide market research information, develop candidate pools, and have offline conversations which can be particularly helpful in recruiting for higher-level positions.
Selection Best Practices: Mitigate interpersonal bias
Hire to a rubric
- Ground in competencies related to education and experience.
- If there are necessary credentials, be transparent with applicants about submitting paperwork and providing documentation throughout the process.
- Include diverse stakeholders in the process of developing and auditing the rubric standards, so that they are thoughtful, inclusive, and equitable.
- Ask consistent interview questions for every candidate.
- Prioritize relationship-building, and reach out consistently via phone, video call, email, etc.
- Communicate and exhibit organizational culture and values
- Provide adequate space and time for candidates to be comfortable with any performance tasks
Prepare a Hiring Team
- Normalize bias, and provide a framework for discussing unconscious biases as a group.
- Be wary of influential factors unrelated to job performance such as likability, similar-to-me characteristics, nonverbal cues such as physical appearance or mannerisms, and stereotyping.
- If contacting references, make the same number of contacts for each candidate, and ask each reference a standard list of questions.
Outreach Strategy Tracker Tool
School leaders often have more on their plates than simply “talent” responsibilities. The tracker shown below is intended to help practitioners strategically align resources in terms of time, finances, and other efforts invested in recruitment. We encourage folks to download and customize the columns and details as they see fit to gauge ROIs on recruitment events, posting platforms, and other activities.
We just recently expanded our talent team with a new talent recruiter associate, so we’re very excited! As a team of three, it’s a very heavy workload, so having this tracker will improve on our existing tools and strengthen our ability to look into potential partnerships with other recruiting platforms and agencies.
Director of Recruitment & Strategic Initiatives
Special Thank You
Thank you to members who contributed their time, expertise, and ideas in 2020–2021 to develop strategies for equitable and inclusive talent development.
- Baltimore Montessori Public Charter School: Allison Shecter
- Blackstone Valley Prep: Alyssa Fatal
- Downtown Denver Expeditionary School: Katianne Glesne
- DSST Public Schools: Caitlin McElhaney
- Hebrew Public: Jennice Hyde
- High Tech High Schools: Maylynne Rayos
- Larchmont Charter School: Jennifer Gonzalez and Marline Plata
- The Museum School at Avondale Estates: Katherine Kelbaugh
- Two Rivers Public Charter School: Mary Gornick and Natalia Jones
- Valor Collegiate Academies: Natalie Morosi
- Yu Ming School: Sue Park