Advertising and Searching

Advertising is a key part of the recruitment process. Research analysing advertisements for faculty positions indicates that many ‘departments announce faculty vacancies in an amateurish fashion that may not accomplish desired recruitment goals’ (Winter, 1997: 22). Shortcomings identified included unprofessional display, lack of differentiation and the placement of ads too late in the recruitment period.

The purpose of advertising is to reach the largest qualified audience. Your process for searching and advertising should be determined by your early discussions with faculty members and the Search Committee. It is important to ensure that the wording of your advertisement does not work to exclude possible recruits. Your focus should be on inclusion rather than exclusion, particularly when attempting to diversify a department or faculty. Best practices at other North American universities emphasise the importance of using broad descriptors in your advertisement.

The HRSDC requires that academic positions must be advertised in such a way that qualified Canadians and permanent residents will have the opportunity to learn of the vacancy. Although they do not stipulate the form of the advertisement or dictate its placement, it does require the University to justify that the medium used is appropriate for that discipline.

Below we discuss some of the details of advertising before considering proactive recruitment and the search process.

Creating your Advertisement

The minimum requirements for advertising are outlined in the Policy and Procedures on Academic Appointments. Job postings for the UofT Academic Employment Opportunities website ( are created automatically through a web-based template which you submit ( Jason Phillips in the Provost’s Office (416 978 7296, can provide you with a username and password. The Provost’s Office reviews and approves all positions posted on the website and sends these to University Affairs and Academic Careers Online. This information is also available in the Academic Administrative Procedures Manual at

When drafting your advertisement try to use inclusive language and advertise for excellent scholarship in broad disciplines that may be of particular interest to diverse faculty. You may want to identify a range of disciplines or inter-disciplinary areas, rather than focusing too narrowly. The advertisement should try to include people who are working at the edge of their fields or in new and emerging areas of scholarship.

Details to include are:-

  • Position, title, rank, and tenure-status
  • Responsibilities and summary of essential duties
  • Degrees required or preferred
  • Experience or qualifications required or preferred
  • Salary range
  • Date of appointment
  • Application materials (in writing and including a CV, 3 letters of recommendation, sample publications, teaching dossier when relevant)
  • Closing date which is at least one month after publication
  • Contact details
  • HRSDC statement
  • Employment Equity Statement

You may also like to include some or all of the following:-

  • A description of the University of Toronto
  • Reference to areas that will be particularly attractive to women or visible minority candidates such as a focus on gender, critical race theory or ethno-specific areas of study.
  • A statement regarding dual career opportunities such as ‘The University is responsive to the needs of dual career couples’
  • A statement on the opportunity for inter-disciplinary study and programs, and the opportunity to work in collaborative or interdisciplinary areas such as Aboriginal Studies, ethnocultural and/or sexual diversity, gender or women’s studies specialisations.
  • Reference to the diversity of the student population
  • Details of Toronto as a one of the most diverse cities in North America.
  • The opportunity to work with a wide-range of public and private organisations, groups and institutions that reflect Toronto’s diversity.

You may find the following statements useful:-

“The University of Toronto offers opportunities for collaborative and interdisciplinary research and teaching, the excitement of working with a diverse student population, and actively encourages innovative scholarship”

“As the economic and intellectual hub of Canada, Toronto provides access to policy and decision makers at all levels. Opportunities are available to work with a wide-range of public and private organisations, groups and institutions that reflect Toronto’s diversity. Seen as one of the most multicultural places in the world, Toronto is also the safest city of its size in North America.”

"The University is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic faculty committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment."

Department of Human Resources and Skills Development (HRSDC)

The HRSDC supports human capital development and labour market development so that Canadians have the tools they need to thrive and prosper. HRSDC generally requires evidence of recruitment efforts to find qualified Canadians before applying to hire foreign workers, although in the case of academic searches the process of advertising locally and outside of Canada can occur simultaneously (see or details of the Simultaneous Recruitment Process). Because of its focus on Canadian workers, the HRSDC requires all advertisements to contain the following phrase:-

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

In your job search, you should be looking for the best possible candidate, whether they are Canadian or not. If you have two candidates of equal value, you must hire the Canadian. Sometimes the characteristics which determine the value of a candidate may go beyond their qualifications. In reflecting on proactive recruitment be sure to consider whether an individual’s ability to add to the diversity of your department or faculty may increase their desirability and level of excellence. In aiming for excellence in recruitment, remember that this is a socially constructed concept; employing diverse academics may offer the University of Toronto the opportunity to include new knowledge and expertise in its teaching and research. For instance, the use of language such as 'demonstrable excellence' in teaching or research establishes the qualifications for the position and may assist in distinguishing between candidates.

Full details of the process for hiring non-Canadians can be found in the Academic Administrative Procedures Manual while details of the HRSDC process for hiring foreign academics are available at Equity Statement

The Employment Equity policy at the University of Toronto requires that advertisements include specific wording to ensure that members of designated groups are encouraged to apply. All advertisements must include the following statement:-

The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

Statements such as this are widely used in advertising for faculty positions in Canada, the US, the UK and Australia/New Zealand. As Furedy et al. (1999) note, equity statements are used to ensure equality of outcome in the recruitment process, not just equality of opportunity. The statement recognises that, as discussed in the PowerPoint presentations provided, evaluation on the basis of ‘merit’ can unfairly discriminate. It also suggests a commitment by the institution to equity throughout an employee’s tenure (Powney, 1994).

Proactive Recruitment

While the University places advertisements on its websites and in University Affairs, it is important that you advertise widely both within your own field and in more general academic recruitment sites. For instance, the University maintains an Employer Profile on the website for the Chronicle of Higher Education which provides a discounted rate on display ads. Ads can be submitted online at quoting contract number 724. Further details are provided in the Academic Administrative Procedures Manual.

Our aim in proactive recruitment is to broaden and deepen the pool so that we can find recruits who are both excellent and diverse. While our own networks, professional organizations and email lists are a good starting place from which to identify potential candidates we should also try areas such as databases of grant holders; professional associations’ groups or listservs; and advertising in journals which target diverse candidates. Some general resources are suggested below, more detailed, discipline-specific resources can be found at You may consider working with other departments within your faculty to jointly advertise positions or to place ‘presence ads’ which suggest that there are a number of openings at the University of Toronto and direct potential candidates to the Job Opportunities website.


Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Directory – Women in Science & Engineering (WISE)

  • This directory lists women who have recently completed their PhD degree at a CIC University in the fields of science, engineering and mathematics. Each entry includes the student’s name, ethnicity, contact details, institution, department, field, optional specialization areas, dissertation title, date of degree and faculty advisor. The directory is indexed by field of study.

Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Directory – Minority Candidates

  • As above, but listing minority candidates

Diversity Network –

  • Site assists educational and non-profit organizations in increasing staff diversity. Employers may post open positions and browse resumes. Postings are searchable by classification, position type, salary range, city, state and/or organization. Registration required. There is an annual fee of $598.

Future Black Faculty Database (FBF) –

  • Developed at UC Berkeley, the FBF Database contains records of doctoral candidates, recent graduates, and professionals seeking positions in academia. All database members are of African descent and plan to obtain a tenure track faculty position within five to seven years. The focus of the database is on persons studying engineering or the natural sciences. Access to the database is free.

Minority & Women Doctoral Directory –

  • This directory lists approximately 4500 Black, Hispanic, American Indian, Asian and women students in nearly 80 fields. Each entry includes contact details, ethnicity/citizenship, department and areas of specialization, date of completion, dissertation title, and name and address of the faculty advisor. Entries are indexed by field of study.

Minority On-Line Information Service (MOLIS) –

  • The MOLIS website provides an opportunity for a department to search specifically for advanced degree programs offered through 164 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) and other academic institutions. Mailing addresses of these minority institutions are also available.

National Minority Faculty Identification Program (NMFI) –

  • Educational institutions join the NMFI Program for $200 per year. Four times a year, the program produces a computerized directory of the abbreviated resumes of candidates who have responded to a call published in The Chronicle. Member institutions may request up to 25 dossiers free of charge, thereafter, dossiers are $1.00 each. Currently the databank contains about 1000 dossiers.

UC President Postdoctoral Fellowship Program -

  • Started in 1987, the President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program offers postdoctoral fellowships which support the conduct of research and mentoring. The expectation is that many of the fellows will be seriously considered for faculty appointments at UC.

Professional Associations

Notices of faculty positions can be distributed to email lists, at conferences, through regional meetings and newsletters that inform professional organizations. These sites generally provide an email contact with a committee chair or coordinator who can be asked to distribute your posting.

Canadian Centre on Disability Studies -

  • The Canadian Centre on Disability Studies is a consumer-directed, university affiliated centre dedicated to research, education and information dissemination on disability issues. Email to post your job to their site.

Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women -

  • CRIAW is a research institute which provides tools to facilitate organizations taking action to advance social justice and equality for all women. CRIAW recognizes women’s diverse experiences and perspectives; creates spaces for developing women’s knowledge; bridges regional isolation; and provides communication links between/among researchers and organizations actively working to promote social justice and equality for all women.

Careers for Aboriginal Scholars listserv - North American listserv focusing on Aboriginal scholars within North America. Its purpose is two-fold – 1. To recruit Aboriginal scholars for faculty/research positions and also; 2. To recruit Aboriginal students into graduate programs.

Global Applied Disability Research and Info Network (GALDNET) -

  • This link takes you directly to the Job Posting site. GLADNET is a UN - ILO sponsored organization with an international scope. There is a fee of $200 US for the University to advertise across the 800 GLADNET organizations.

Mailbase (UK) Discussion Lists -

  • Mailbase is a service which runs discipline specific electronic discussion lists for the UK higher education and research community. When you have identified lists that may reach potential candidates for your positions, you can contact the list owner by sending a message, where 'listname' is the name of the list.

Scholarly Societies Project (UWaterloo) -

  • This searchable database provides links to scholarly organizations in many disciplines world-wide.

Senior Women Academic Administrators -

  • SWAAC was founded in 1987 to provide a forum and a collective voice for women in senior administrative ranks in Canadian universities. In 2002, the membership was expanded to include administrators from community colleges and technical institutes.

Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology -

  • The Society of Canadian Women in Science and Technology is a non-profit, voluntary association established in 1981 to promote, encourage, and empower women working in science and technology.

Publications or Websites

Academic Matters
  • Academic Matters is offering 10% off ads - Contact Jennifer DiIorio 905-886-6641 Ext. 309
Academic Keys -
  • A link to ‘Post Options’ can be found at the FAQ. Academic Keys contains discipline specific sites where many US state institutions and our peer institutions advertise. Single postings are $195, while multiple postings can be more cost effective.

Affirmative Action Register -

  • This monthly notice is distributed widely with the goal of reaching a diverse applicant pool. The minimum charge is $90 US for one column inch.

American Association of University Women -

The Canadian Journal of Native Studies -

  • The Canadian Journal of Native Studies is a highly recognized journal in the field of Native Studies. It comes out on a bi-annual basis. Research and Academic Network -

  • A nonprofit job board organised specifically for the international academic community for the posting of faculty, postdoctoral and graduate student positions FREE OF CHARGE.

Diverse (formerly Black Issues in Higher Education) -

  • Published every two weeks, Diverse is America’s pre-eminent news magazine for Black professionals in higher education.
Future Black Faculty Database (FBF) –
  • See details above -

  • A website dedicated to advertisement of jobs in Canadian colleges, universities and research centres. There is no charge to post jobs.

Graduate Women of Colour listserv

  • If you wish to post your position on the Graduate Women of Colour listserv, please forward the details to Sara-Jane Finlay at She will arrange for this to happen. –

  • was founded in 1996 to list open positions at colleges and universities. Today, has one of the largest job databases focused exclusively on college and university positions. While some employment web sites list open positions in every industry, concentrates on open positions in higher education. Single postings cost $145 for 60 days. Multiple postings are more cost-effective. -

  • The site is dedicated to providing career and self-development information to all minorities, specifically African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and women. It maintains a large database of available jobs, candidate resumes and information on workplace diversity. –

  • was created in 1997 by the University of Warwick and 36 other UK Universities to provide a cost effective solution to their recruitment advertising needs. is now widely recognised as the HE recruitment website for the UK.

The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education -

  • A print publication and weekly online bulletin.

The National Minority Employment Network -

  • Nemnet is a national minority recruitment firm committed to helping organizations in the identification and recruitment of minority candidates. It posts academic jobs on its website and gathers vitas from students and professionals of colour.

Top Higher Education Jobs -

  • is an internet higher education job marketplace. You can post jobs and search resumes. Jobs can be posted for 90 days free of charge.

University Job Bank -

  • Like Academic Keys and HigherEdJobs this is an academic recruitment site. Postings here are only $95 for 90 days.

Windspeaker -

  • Windspeaker, Canada's national Aboriginal news source is a magazine owned and operated by the Aboriginal Multi-Media Society (AMMSA) which serves Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal readers throughout Canada. With a circulation of 140,000 it is the largest Aboriginal publication in Canada. Queries about advertising can be made to or (780) 455-2700.

Women in Higher Education (WHE) –

  • Published monthly, Women in Higher Education mission is to improve higher education for women. It has a large advertising section for both faculty and senior administrative positions. Advertising information and rates is available through the ‘Career Centre’ link.


Advertising in newspapers can be costly – collaborating with other departments or faculties may be a cost effective way to reach a large international audience.

Globe and Mail -

New York Times -

The Guardian -

  • Based in the UK, The Guardian carries a widely-circulated, specialized education jobs section every week.

The Times Higher Education Supplement -

Discipline specific resources can be found at

The Search Process

Once you begin to receive applications for your position, it is important to constantly monitor the applications for indications that they may have been submitted by women or visible minorities. While name can be a good indicator of sex, it can be less useful in determining ethnocultural background. This may require a careful reading of cover letters and a close perusal of research interests or scholarly activities to reveal possible indications that an individual would provide diversity to a department. Do not actually close the search until you are sure that you have a number of women and visible minority candidates among your pool. It might be useful to keep a record of the gender and ethnocultural breakdown of the candidates (where possible) – if a shortfall in any of these areas becomes apparent, more proactive steps may need to be taken to widen and broaden the pool.

Some universities conduct a constant process of recruitment that ensures a list of potential candidates is available when a position becomes available. These long-term recruitment strategies are discussed below.

Long-term Recruitment Strategies

Long-term recruitment strategies are a means by which a department or faculty can begin to cultivate promising graduate students or under-utilised faculty members at other universities so that they see the University of Toronto as a potential employer. Strategies developed by universities across North America include:-

Faculty members:-

  • The University’s Visiting Scholar Fund is designed to bring international visitors of varying ethnocultural backgrounds to the campus to participate in the delivery of the curriculum. Please contact the Provost’s Office for details of applying.
  • Invite targeted faculty at other universities to come to the University of Toronto to give talks and then invite them to apply for positions in your department in the future.
  • Keep note of excellent faculty who have flourished in less prestigious institutions or who have earned less recognition in other prestigious institutions despite their excellence. When a position becomes available, approach them about applying.

Graduate or Postdoctoral Researchers:-

  • Present to your own graduate students reasons to consider an academic career. Encourage particularly promising students to consider returning to the University of Toronto after postdoctoral work.
  • Actively recruit graduate students at universities with a high proportion of women or minority graduate students.
  • California State University has developed a program that invites outstanding young minority and women graduate scholars or postdocs from different universities to visit their campus for a couple of days to encourage them to consider becoming faculty. Further details of this project are available from the Director, Faculty Renewal.
  • Northeastern University has created a consortium amongst its local colleges to promote faculty diversity by offering 12 months funding to a final year dissertation student to complete their dissertation and become acquainted with their host campus and department. Their objectives are to maximize the educational benefits of diversity, to increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students, and to enhance opportunities for academic careers to persons who are underrepresented in the professoriate and to persons who have demonstrated a commitment to the elimination of racial disparities in the academy. Further details are available from the Director, Faculty Renewal.