Inclusive Search and Selection

Wake Forest maintains a diverse and inclusive environment to enable all participants to contribute their full potential in pursuit of University objectives and personal success. With that in mind, online and virtual courses have been developed to assist in the search and selection of faculty and staff positions.

Begin the Inclusive Search and Selection Process by first completing the Online Module (asynchronous) and then joining a Virtual Inclusive Search Labs (synchronous) if you would like supplemental support in your search process.

Before, During, and After the Search:

  • Overview

    Wake Forest maintains a diverse and inclusive environment to enable all participants to contribute their full potential in pursuit of University objectives and personal success. This toolkit, which accompanies the “Inclusive Search and Selection” course in the Leading at Wake series, outlines practices for structuring searches that are consistent, transparent, and equitable. Use the tabs to explore each phase of the search, as outlined below:

    • Before: Search Committees; Job Descriptions; International Hiring; Advertising
    • During: Recruitment Tactics; Reviewing Application Materials; Pre-Screening; Interviewing
    • After: Offer; Demographic & Equity Data
  • Before

    Search Committees

    Form a committee with diverse representation, the proper training to lead an equitable search, and well-established timelines and roles, including:

    • Hiring Manager: Sets the tone for an equitable process; appoints the search committee Chair and members; collaborates with the Chair to determine who will review and narrow down applications.
    • Search Committee Chair: Guides the committee throughout the recruitment process; oversees the professional and timely operation of the committee; leads committee meetings; serves as a liaison between the committee, hiring manager, and the Recruiter (Human Resources); updates all parties throughout the search process.
    • Search Committee Members: Generate a strong pool of candidates; advise the hiring manager of candidates best qualified to meet the needs of the University and the school or department; play a major role in the recruitment, interviewing, screening, and evaluation of applicants; participate fully in committee activities.

    The search committee’s role is not to hire a candidate, but to recommend who should continue in the process.


    Job Descriptions

    Develop a job description that incorporates information about the job profile; diversity and inclusion; work performed; education, knowledge, and skills; physical requirements; accountabilities; and the application deadline.

    Evaluate whether the desired attributes are crucial. Writing the job description clearly and broadly (degree, certifications, and higher education experience preferred vs. required) attracts more candidates.

    The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to differentiate between the Essential and Other Functions of a jobA function may be considered essential for any of the following reasons:

    • The reason the job exists is to perform the function;
    • There is a limited number of employees available to perform the function;
    • The function requires highly specialized expertise or ability.

    Ultimately, the job description will be used for the Create Job Requisition process in Workday to begin posting the job internally and externally.


    International Hiring

    Each department should determine whether their budget can support Visa sponsorship. According to the Department of Justice, an employer is not required by law to sponsor an H-1B visa for a candidate who is not eligible to work in the United States. An employer may have a policy, applicable to all positions, that it does not sponsor employment visas, or it may list specific hard-to-fill positions that are eligible for sponsorship

    Only the following questions may be asked of the candidate, and only on the application:

    1. Are you legally authorized to work in the United States?
    2. Will you now or in the future require sponsorship for employment visa status?


    When a department creates a job in Workday, it is automatically posted to:

    • Diverse Jobs
    • Higher Ed Jobs
    • Indeed
    • Inside Higher Ed
    • Black Doctoral Network

    Human Resources can also assist with posting jobs through LinkedIn Talent Solutions, @WFUtalent social media accounts, and additional diverse and inclusive channels. HR can can also provide standard verbiage  to convey the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

    Recruiters attend strategic outreach events and job fairs that target underrepresented groups throughout the year. If you would like to join the HR team at these events, email

  • During

    Recruitment Tactics

    As the search committee identifies talent, there are immediate and ongoing recruitment tactics to consider.


    Reviewing Application Materials

    Beginning with the criteria in the job description, the search committee should decide how it will define and weigh each candidate’s essential knowledge, skills, and abilities. Creating an evaluation matrix or rubric will streamline the resume review. Recommendation letters should be reviewed and evaluated for unconscious bias and “doubt-raiser” language.



    Inevitably, search committees will encounter common social assumptions and biases that can influence the evaluation of applicants. Pre-screen the candidates via Spark Hire, WebEx or telephone, applying the criteria the committee agreed upon in the recruitment plan, to create a broad initial interview list. Avoid ranking candidates until after the interviews.



    Interviews, particularly on-campus visits, provide opportunities to showcase the department and the University community. Maintain equity throughout the process by establishing consistent logistics, providing a matrix for interviewers to record their impressions of each candidate, and referencing the following sample interview questions:

  • After


    Once the candidate is identified, it is time to extend the offer and welcome the individual to Wake Forest.


    Demographic & Equity Data

    It is important to track demographic and equity data, compare trends over time, and determine the success of referral pipelines. Additionally, evaluate whether the advertising channels produced diverse candidate pools, as this information will help the University evaluate where to invest in the future.

    Hiring managers and search committees are instrumental to enhancing the search process for future applicants.


Wake Forest University believes in providing a diverse learning community to develop the whole person – intellectually, spiritually and physically. Our motto, Pro Humanitate, and our mission for academic excellence guide the university’s intellectual and co-curricular pursuits. It also reflects the university’s emphasis on the importance of values, ideals, and community service. The heightened awareness and acceptance of difference through diversity and inclusion initiatives underscores the university’s commitment to make sure we shape informed leaders ready to serve humanity. Diversity and inclusion creates engagement. When diversity and inclusion are practiced, faculty, staff and students demonstrate engagement by promoting the university, supporting the mission and committing to do their best. (Excerpt, Office Of Diversity and Inclusion)

Unconscious Bias

Unconscious (or implicit) bias refers to social stereotypes about groups of people that individuals form outside their own conscious awareness. One’s age, gender, gender identity, physical abilities, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, socioeconomic status, geographic location, political affiliation, personality, education, family status, physical size, and many other characteristics are subject to bias.

Research studies indicate that women and underrepresented groups are more likely to face unconscious bias in the hiring process, which may manifest through phrases such as:

  • “The applicant isn’t a good cultural fit for campus.”
  • “The applicant doesn’t possess a degree from schools from which we typically hire.”
  • “There’s just something strange about the applicant that I can’t put my finger on.”
  • “The applicant’s accent seemed odd.”
pbj test
“Implicit Bias: Peanut Butter, Jelly and Racism” video from the PBS POV series.
Check Our Bias to Wreck Our Bias Video
“Check Our Bias to Wreck Our Bias” video from the PBS POV series.
“What is Unconscious Bias” video from Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion

Wake Forest University Human Resources

P.O. Box 7424, Winston-Salem, NC 27109 |  P 336.758.4700 |  F 336.758.6127