Executive Service Corps'
A Dozen Ways to Hire More Inclusively
By Rachelle Jervis, President and CEO | July 2022
Utilize various special websites to invite a wide variety of candidates to apply. If your candidate pool is not representative of your community, you need to continue to expand your search and adjust your compensation and benefits. At the Executive Service Corps, we have used many platforms for our executive recruiting, including Ability Links, Association of Fundraising Professionals, C(3)EO Forum, Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium, Chicago Women in Philanthropy, Circa Jobs for Individuals with Disabilities, Development Leadership Consortium, HireAutism.org, National Black MBA Association, Native People's Recruit, NTI@Home Works, POCIT Jobs, Professional Diversity Network, Professional Women's Club of Chicago, Professional Women's Network Chicago Southland, and USAJobs.gov.
What to Include in Your Job Description
In addition to the job details, your job description should include an invitation to diverse candidates to apply, information on your nondiscrimination policy, and clear indication that ADA accommodations will be provided. When recruiting a new staff person, the Executive Service Corps includes the statement, "The Executive Service Corps is committed to diversity and inclusion within our organization and within the philanthropic sector. The Executive Service Corps' Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy is available on our website. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are highly encouraged to apply. ADA accommodations are available at no charge upon request to all applicants.”
What You Should Exclude from Your Job Description
Unintentional discrimination can occur by including requirements in your job description that really aren't necessary. Seriously consider if experience or professional certification can be an alternative to formal education requirements. Do not require credit checks unless the role requires it and you're operating a financial institution. Only request background checks or drug tests when you can prove that they are necessary for the job. Otherwise, you might be cutting out exceptional candidates unnecessarily.
If the job can be done remotely, that should be an option for all employees. Women and people of color are disproportionately more likely to have child, partner, and elder care responsibilities that make telecommuting important. Furthermore, the costs of living close to offices, traveling, and business attire are more easily borne by those with economic advantages.
Land Acknowledgment Statement
Wherever your office is, if you're reading this, your office is located on land that was once home to Indigenous peoples. Include a land acknowledgment at the bottom of your job description and on your website. Executive Service Corps’ land acknowledgment statement is: “The Executive Service Corps is located on the homelands of the Council of the Three Fires: the Bodéwadmi (Potawatomi), Daawaa (Odawa), and Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) Nations. Present-day Chicago has one of the largest urban Native American communities. The Executive Service Corps would like to acknowledge the Native peoples whose land—or ‘ki; ke’ in Bodéwadmi—we are situated on and honor their ongoing contributions to the heritage and culture of Chicago.” The Executive Service Corps would like to thank Jennifer Kasdin (Cattaraugus Seneca) for her input on the creation of our land acknowledgment statement. For more information on creating your own land acknowledgment statement, visit https://www.execservicecorps.org/howtodolandacknowledgements.
Office + Meeting Accessibility
Your physical office should be both ADA accessible and accessible by the public transit system. Both should also be true for any meetings or events that take place in person. Of course, interviews are included in the types of meetings that should be accessible.
Include a diverse and representative group of interviewers to help screen candidates. This minimizes cross-cultural miscommunications and provides multiple perspectives on the candidates, role, and organization.
All benefits should be offered to all employees starting from their first day, regardless of their position. This includes 403(b) contributions, health insurance, and disability insurance. Information on all benefits should be available during the interview process.
All employees should have the equipment they need to do their job regardless of level. Employees should be given as much personal discretion in the use of their equipment as possible. The equipment for the role should be communicated with discretion to candidates during the interview process.
The salary for the role should be equitable, fair, and clearly communicated to candidates as early in the process as possible. Note that in many states, including Illinois, it is illegal to ask candidates for their salary history.
Offers of employment should be provided in the form of a written offer letter that a candidate is given time to read and consider. The offer letter should include job title, type of employment (exempt, part-time, at-will, etc.), benefits, number of paid vacation days per year, number of paid physical/mental health days off per year, holidays that are paid time off, and an ADA accommodation statement. Your ADA accommodation statement is important if your organization does not have enough staff to make ADA accommodations a legal requirement, but you still provide them. Our ADA statement is short and to the point: “ADA accommodations are available at no charge upon request.”
If your office closes for holidays, you should include both federal holidays and local school district holidays to ensure that those with dependent children don’t have to use their vacation days for holidays. We do not want anyone to be discriminated against in any way at work, including in the use of vacation time. For those of us based in Chicago, that means closing for Pulaski Day.
It is important to avoid whitewashing your holidays by specifically listing the reason for the day off. Here is how the Executive Service Corps lists our office closure holidays: New Year’s Day (January), Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January), Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday (February), Presidents’ Day (February), Pulaski Day (March), Memorial Day (May), Juneteenth National Freedom Day (June), Independence Day (July), Labor Day (September), Indigenous Person’s Day (October), Election Day (November), Veterans Day (November), Thanksgiving Day (November), Day after Thanksgiving (November), Christmas Eve (December), Christmas Day (December), Day after Christmas (December), and New Year’s Eve (December).