Improving equality and diversity data for academic job applicants

Rationale and benefits

The University will submit an institutional level application for silver Athena SWAN accreditation in April 2017 and an institutional Race Charter application in July 2017. The quality of these applications, and the ability of departments and the University to monitor progress in meeting the institutional gender equality targets, suffers from the absence of robust equality monitoring data for recruitment to academic posts.    

Applicants for non-academic vacancies are required to apply via CoreHR and complete an online recruitment form incorporating a mandatory equality data section.  This ensures that all applicants applying via CoreHR provide the requisite equality data as part of the standard application process. 

Currently, applicants for academic vacancies apply via e-mail or post and are then sent a form to complete and return confidentially with their equality data.  As this aspect of the academic process is difficult to enforce, the coverage of equality monitoring data is significantly lower than that for vacancies processed using CoreHR, where completion of the equality monitoring section is mandatory.

Utilising CoreHR for academic vacancies will address this issue and ensure that equality monitoring data for academic roles is captured in the same way as for all other vacancies.  

While the need for robust recruitment data for Athena SWAN is the impetus for this project at this time, the University has always planned to move academic recruitment onto CoreHR in order to realise other benefits, including administrative efficiencies and a more positive and consistent applicant experience.  The project will aim to realise some of these additional benefits, either in a first phase where practicable, or in subsequent phases once the primary objective is achieved.

Scope

The first phase of the project will focus on University-led academic recruitment and the design of an online application process that closely replicates the current offline process, but with applications submitted and received via the CoreHR system in order to support the capture of equality data.

By the end of this phase, all academic appointments will be managed on Core in a “light touch” way (i.e. not utilising all aspects of the CoreHR functionality).  A second phase of the project will follow, looking at additional benefits that could be achieved, including assessing, and if appropriate implementing, mechanisms for capturing equality data for joint appointments where the college is managing the recruitment process. 

As the functionality is improved by CoreHR, a final phase will reassess the potential for the system to support other aspects of academic recruitment, such as online references (requesting, gathering and tracking references via the system).

Timescales

The project aims to complete the first phase by 1 July 2016.  From this date, all new University-led academic vacancies will be advertised on CoreHR and the guidance on the University jobs and vacancies webpage and academic job description templates will reflect this.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

The use of CoreHR to receive academic applications will inevitably raise questions from those involved in administering academic recruitment, which may not necessarily be related to the recruitment monitoring aspect of the process.

In response to questions raised to date, we have drafted a set of frequently asked questions.  We will add to these as the project progresses.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions relating to this project, please e-mail hris@admin.ox.ac.uk