Invite risk-taking and encourage a wider pool of candidates to consider applying in the process. Consider doing what many organizations are choosing to do to diversify their candidate pool, and add a statement like the ones below to your job descriptions.

Frequently cited statistics show that women and other underrepresented groups will consider applying for jobs only if they meet 100% of the criteria. We encourage you to break these statistics and apply. (Hazon)

Not sure if you meet 100% of our qualifications? Research shows that men apply for jobs when they meet an average of 60% of the criteria. Yet, women and other people who are systematically marginalized tend to only apply if they meet every requirement. If you believe that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply. We are dedicated to a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. Please use your cover letter to tell us about your interest in our work and what you hope to bring to this role. (The Whitney Museum)

A note on equity: Systemic inequities in hiring have caused many women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ people to apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. If you don’t have all of the qualifications listed on our site but are extremely organized, passionate about our mission, and believe you have applicable and transferable skills from other industries, we encourage you to apply for this position. (T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights)

And make room for questions that might apply to everyone to be shared with your candidate pool as well. You may choose to create a FAQ that describes your organization’s culture, what the standard process might look like, and the ways in which a candidate may contact HR or the hiring committee. You may also choose to have a space for the submission of candidate queries: this works for websites like Ebay, where users can ask questions before making a purchase. It can work well for the hiring process as well, where elements of the process may seem less than transparent and opening up some inquiries to the public may enable those questions to be useful to a larger population of job seekers. For example,

  • JPro seeks to increase equity in its hiring and therefore: To maintain an equitable process, responses to all questions about the position will be answered in this FAQ. Prospective applicants are encouraged to email questions to with subject: Program Manager FAQ. Responses will be posted within two business days. (Thanks to our colleagues at JPro for this excellent example!)

When we’re looking at the hiring process, we often take shortcuts because the entire scope of work is onerous and ends up taking a long time. So once we’ve brought together a committee or a team to revise a vision for the work and craft a job description, written that fantastic job advertisement, and designed a process and timeline, we just send the advert out there into the world, to everyone in our contact list and all of our professional listservs, and ask folks to “network.” We post the advertisement on a handful of websites whether they’re useful or not, and we share the posting with folks who we think have a significant reach and a broad and diverse network. Then we wait for the resumes to pour in.

Typically, we miss the mark. And what results? Our candidate pool is made up of folks who look just like us, or folks who know our organizations, know our work, or have similar profiles as the rest of our employees. We don’t end up reaching for diversity of people, ideas, or personal and professional backgrounds and connections, which likely will mean that we miss out on an opportunity to push our edges around new work, new thinking and new organizational learning, too. Then we say that we don’t have the “right” candidates, or we don’t have enough candidates, running the risk of making assumptions about who the “right” candidate is, and often creating a situation where a search is shut down in the middle or doesn’t come to fruition (no candidate is hired).

Consider widening your pool of candidates using what we call a networked approach to hiring. Do this by beginning with your social network, or your professional network, or even both in combination. Inside your networks, you’ve got two kinds of social capital. One is called bonding capital, and is the glue that holds community together and lives within existing groups. It’s the stickiness that keeps us together in groups: what makes the Jewish people a “people.” The other is called bridging capital, and it does exactly what it says: it bridges between networks, across social groups, social classes, race, religion or other disparate communities. We desperately need to access our bonding capital. Who are the folks building bridges who can help you reach across to other networks and social groups and help you find (or even make) valuable connections in new communities? Who can bridge from our narrow places, from our comfortable offices to new spaces and help us see things–and people–differently? Recall that this helps us to make better choices to diversify our pool of candidates across both gender boundaries and with other marginalized communities.

Let’s consider how all kinds of ways of identifying ourselves may play into this: gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, class identity and every other way we might find ourselves identifying might interact with the way we “see,” search out or find candidates in the world, or choose to look past them when we do receive their resumes. Can we bridge to new candidates by looking at these groups with a fresh eye? Do our processes shut them out or make it impossible for them to rise? Are our processes favoring those who already know how to navigate through searches, who understand how to move through patriarchal or hierarchical organizational structures, or are they already clear, well defined and scaffolded for those who are just orienting themselves to the world of work? Are groups of candidates being shut out as a result? Consider how your process might shut out particular groups of candidates, and how you might want to redesign for access to not just your “in-group” but also the groups of folks who are on the periphery of or adjacent to your network.

No, this approach won’t solve your diversity problems in one fell swoop. It won’t solve your gender issues and it won’t get you that star candidate right away who will save your organization. It will help you shift your mindset, though. Who are the connectors in your midst? Who helps to break down old patterns, demolish the old bridges that only turn inside, and who turns outward? Who does this not just within your community, within your already existing networks, but looks outside? Who are the connectors in your midst who build bridges to new communities, new people, new networks? We want to identify how we might be stuck in our ways, stuck inside our well-worn patterns of reaching inward to the same people. Instead, we encourage you to disrupt old patterns and push to the edges and the peripheries of your networks and find the folks who are able to connect you with people who think differently, act differently, look differently, learn differently, speak differently, and even more. This is the beginning of a networked approach to hiring. We’ll share more about this in later posts.

Make a commitment to show salary ranges for every position at every level of your organization. This is equally as important for C-suite employees as it is for associate level, since associate levels are often new to the workplace and may not feel empowered to negotiate. Including the salary range on a job posting is your organization’s evidence of a commitment to transparency, trust, and equity. When a job posting doesn’t include a salary range, it raises many red flags for prospective employees and they may be discouraged from applying. By sharing a salary range, you’re inspiring trust in your future employees and recognizing that transparency with employees (future--and current ones who may read this as well) improves motivation, loyalty, and performance.

At the same time, you’re acknowledging the nuanced process that is connecting job seekers with employment and helping people to find a healthy, appropriate match. Of course, including a salary range helps facilitate fair and equitable negotiations between employers and job seekers, especially for women and people of historically underrepresented communities such as Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Asian Americans, Latinx, LGBTQ+ people, disabled people, and other marginalized groups that have faced discrimination. It also allows candidates to self-select and creates a more exacting candidate pool - one that is likely to produce a candidate who says yes to a first offer. Today, we see a change across the United States and Canada toward pay transparency, honoring that salary ranges must be visible on job postings and advertisements in 21 states and 21 localities and growing. And don’t forget, New York City based organizations, May 15 is quickly approaching! May 15 is the date on which the NYC pay transparency law goes into effect, requiring all employers with four or more employees to post salaries for all jobs. That includes all of our national Jewish organizations based in New York as well. We don’t yet know that this guarantees equity for all, but we know that it’s a helpful start in the right direction.

As an added bonus, including the salary range on a job posting, guarantees both employers’ and prospective employees’ time is used most efficiently by streamlining hiring and filtering out candidates who are not a match. Employers, you deserve an effective process. Posting a salary range at this stage of your hiring process builds in a mechanism for screening candidates who are not the right salary match, and enables you to save effort and energy at the same time. Clarity helps, and the messages that this sends about your process and about your values is an invitation to prospective employees to consider joining your organization.

Looking for resources, language and more? Visit our Salary Range Transparency Toolkit. And if we don’t yet have what you need, drop us a line. We’re in the process of developing a new suite of tools and resources, and we’d love to hear what will make your work easier and more equitable.