Hiring Philosophy and Principles

Oregon State University Hiring Philosophy

 “The individuals comprising our extended university community are the source of our creativity, reputation, and vitality” (OSU mission statement). Every position at OSU is critical to our ability to achieve our shared institutional objectives. Each time we hire a staff member, administrator, faculty member or student employee, we are given a chance to enhance this community and to demonstrate our university’s values of accountability, diversity, respect, and responsibility. We do this by using fair, legal, inclusive, and effective hiring practices that support and comply with OSU policy and procedures in a way that is mindful of climate, culture and diversity, and by affirming the unique qualities of each individual throughout the hiring process.

Principles that guide our hiring practices:

  • Maintain confidentiality: Keep search committee deliberations, applicant information, and applicant identities confidential. Search committee members offer a wide array of perspectives to each search and selection process. They are expected to work together to bring these perspectives to consensus by ultimately producing a list of finalists that each member of the committee can support. When a committee member reveals selective details of the search committee’s thinking and discussion as they work towards that outcome, they may misrepresent the committee or damage the reputations of committee members and applicants. Similarly, an applicant can be irrevocably damaged by premature announcement of her/his candidacy for the position you intend to fill. Maintaining strict confidentiality in every search is a “must” for the hiring units, the candidates, the appointees, and the University’s reputation.
  • Use best practices in search and selection: Years of research and practical experience support the strategies to be utilized by OSU hiring managers and search committee members throughout the recruitment and selection process. The techniques outlined in this manual comply with relevant laws, rules, regulations, and contractual obligations, and align with the University’s mission and vision as a diverse public land, sea, space, and sun-grant institution.
  • Recognize and avoid or counteract bias: Present-day research demonstrates that unconscious cognitive bias and unintentional structural biases, even on the part of open-minded, well-intentioned decision-makers, unfairly disadvantages qualified applicants. We all have unconscious biases and cognitive schemas that we use to make sense of the world around us, but we are largely unaware of them. When we accept that we have unconscious cognitive biases, and commit to addressing them through self-awareness, committee discussions, and structural enhancements to the process, we reduce the chances that someone will be harmed by bias in the search process.