Update on Inclusive Hiring Practices

EDI Action Plan Spurs Changes


—From the desk of Executive Director, Human Resources, Stacey Matthews 

Last year, the college released its Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Action Plan. Around the same time, the college signed on to the 50-30 Challenge, a government initiative that challenges organizations to increase diversity and inclusion within their workplaces and highlights the benefits that brings. 

The HR Team has been busy responding to these commitments! We have started by focusing on our recruitment systems and hiring practices. I want to share some of the changes we’ve made. 

  • Communicating our commitment: At the very top of our careers page, we communicate the value we place on equity, diversity and inclusion, and we link to both the EDI Action Plan and the Indigenization Plan. This helps to set the expectation from the very start that these commitments are paramount at the college. On the careers page, we link to a “Working Here” page that includes a fuller expression of our commitment. We also reinforce this on each job posting—if someone clicks on one job posting, they are aware of this cultural cornerstone. 
  • Updating our hireserve applicant system: In our employee application system, we’ve updated the definition of disability to align with the Accessible Canada Act, and we’ve added a gender identification category. We’ve also made all the demographic questions mandatory, with the option for people to select “prefer not to say.” This helps give us better data to analyze our progress, while communicating respectfully to diverse individuals.  
  • Supporting hiring committees to counteract unconscious bias: If you’ve ever participated in a hiring committee at the college, you know that interview packages are distributed to each member at the start of the process. Last summer, we created a Selkirk College 50-30 Challenge Resource that gives examples of over a dozen types of unconscious bias, along with tactics to address them. Our hope is that this resource helps equip hiring committees to better mitigate their unconscious biases. 
  • Diversifying hiring committees: For exempt positions, we have implemented a practice of inviting a member from the EDI Advisory Committee to sit in on the hiring committee. This helps to bring more diverse perspectives to the table, which is crucial when recruiting and selecting candidates. 

This is a lot of work, and I know there is still more to do. If you are interested in helping to advance EDI at the college (and even, perhaps, sitting in on an occasional hiring committee through that work), consider joining the EDI Committee!