Inclusive Hiring Kit

Microlearning Unit 3: Hiring and Onboarding

Illustration of two hands clasped in a handshake

Unit Introduction

This unit focuses on inclusive practices and processes related to hiring and onboarding for professional positions within the higher education IT community. Once a candidate has been selected, the processes of negotiating compensation and onboarding the new hire are the employee's first formal experiences interacting with your organization. These steps are an important way to demonstrate the institution's commitment to the principles of DEI.

Unit Goals

Ensure Equitable Compensation between New and Existing Hires

  • Collaborate with the HR and payroll departments to offer an equitable compensation and benefits package that is consistent with what was posted in the job description.

  • Address pay equity issues:

    • Invest in a pay equity assessment to set baseline metrics.

    • Partner with institutional research team(s) to analyze trends in pay equity issues.

Make Onboarding a Welcoming and Inclusive Process

  • Communicate and collaborate with the team to ensure that new hires feel immediately welcomed and included:

    • Ask for pronouns and preferred names to introduce the individual.

    • Introduce the individual to all employee resource groups / affinity groups, even if you don't think they are interested in joining based on your perception of their identity. Do this over time, not just once. They might not have the bandwidth early on but might appreciate a reminder later.

  • Ensure that onboarding materials and training content are accessible and usable for all new hires such that they do not feel excluded or forced to self-advocate for equity and inclusion.

  • Ensure that the onboarding process provides access to new hires for resources and technology tools.

  • Provide opportunities for employees new to higher education to learn the ropes and network with key stakeholders, as well as to navigate the political landscape (e.g., in IT, campus politics, key stakeholders).

  • Consider creating onboarding resource checklists to share with new hires. Checklists might include the following resources:

    • Multicultural groups, groups for women, veterans groups, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), or affinity groups

    • Mentorship programs or opportunities

    • Career and professional development opportunities

  • Provide local resources external to the organization focused on community and cultural guides for specialized services, including churches, cultural centers, haircare, schools, and community events.

  • Schedule 1-on-1 meetings with leaders during the onboarding cycle to give new hires the opportunity to know leaders as people.

  • Pre-schedule additional check-ins with leaders on a periodic basis, at least in the first 90 days of employment.

Onboard Efficiently and Effectively

  • Consider the new employee’s experience in beginning a new role. Starting a new position is exciting. It can also be a bit scary. What are the office norms? If remote, how will I get connected to people? What is my day going to look like? What do I need to know to be successful? Whom do I go to with my questions?
  • Develop an onboarding plan to ensure a consistent and efficient process. Having an onboarding plan is one way to ensure that new employees are not dropped into a new position haphazardly. The hiring team has just gone to extensive lengths to hire the right candidate; having a positive experience on the first day in a new job contributes to retention.
  • Ensure that the new hire is supported and engaged but not overwhelmed. When planning Day 1 activities for a new hire, keep in mind that you are setting the stage for the weeks to come. How will you engage with your new employee? How will you involve the team in which the new employee is a member? Balancing an effective Day 1 schedule can be a challenge; think about how you would like to be greeted and welcomed to a new position.
  • Identify what the new hire needs to know and do to be successful, including their core duties as well as relationship building, connections with the team, and engagement with the broader organization. Beyond Day 1, having a schedule of meetings with team members, suggestions for activities to complete during other times, and having regular check-ins with the new employee can be helpful in a successful transition into the organization. If you are using an onboarding checklist, go back to that checklist at the end of your onboarding period and review with the new employee. This is an excellent opportunity for the new hire to give you feedback on the process and identify any gaps that still need to be discussed.

Additional Resources