Equitable Hiring Practices
Your museum’s recruitment, hiring, and employment practices are a reflection of your organizational priorities and values. As museums are increasingly taking up the charge to be more inclusive and reflecting on the historical inequalities that have shaped the field, it is essential to critically examine and modify these practices to reflect a commitment to providing equitable opportunities for all.
The following practices can advance your museum’s commitment to diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion. Employers advertising positions through the Alliance’s Job HQ and other platforms are strongly encouraged to adopt these practices, both to promote DEAI and to demonstrate leadership in the field.
Be Transparent about Salary
There are a number of good reasons to explicitly list a salary or salary ranges for position openings. Chief among them: listing salaries makes better use of your time, and that of applicants, by letting people filter for jobs that meet their financial need, and helps reduce gender and racial discrimination in salary negotiations.
Do Not Ask for Salary History
By perpetuating historical inequities, basing compensation on salary history can contribute to the wage gap that disadvantages women, people of color, and people with disabilities. Instead, base your salary offer on a study of comparable positions. You may also want to check the living wage in your area.
Institute Fair Chance Practices
Do not ask applicants about criminal histories until a conditional offer of employment is made. At least 32 states and 150 cities and counties have passed laws mandating this practice, and DEAI advocates are strongly encouraging voluntary compliance by employers in areas not covered by such regulations. Fair Chance Hiring is one tool to prevent employers from treating all criminal convictions as a pre-emptive disqualification that effectively discriminates against minority applicants.
Take the Bias Out of Hiring
Review your current recruitment process and for areas of potential bias. You can broaden applicant pools and attract candidates with transferable skills if you eliminate industry jargon from job descriptions and ensure that job qualifications are skill-based rather than credential-based. Consider applying principles of “blind hiring” in your application review process to keep biases in check. To create a fair and consistent recruitment experience for all candidates, incorporate ways for candidates to demonstrate skills, and use the same script of questions for each interview.
- Compensation Philosophy Statement
American Alliance of Museums (August 2022)
- How Do You Design a Fair and Effective Compensation Program?
American Alliance of Museums (August 2022)
- Salary is Most Important Part of Job Ad
Society for Human Resource Management (Aug. 2018)
- Facing Change: Insights from AAM’s DEAI Working Group
American Alliance of Museums (May 2018)
- Recruiting a Diverse Workforce Through Unbiased Hiring
American Alliance of Museums (Jan. 2018)
- 7 Practical Ways to Reduce Bias in Your Hiring Process
Harvard Business Review (June 2017)
- 10 Things We’ve Learned About Unbiased Hiring Practices at AAM
American Alliance of Museums (June 2017)
- Rethinking Hiring: Walking the Walk
American Alliance of Museums (Jul. 2016)
- Taking the Bias Out of Hiring: Identifying and Eliminating Unconscious Bias in Recruitment Processes
American Alliance of Museums (Jan. 2017). Members only!
Additional resources on salary transparency
- When you don’t disclose salary range on a job posting, a unicorn loses its wings by Vu Le
- Leading by Example, Not by Mandate by Laura Lott
- Negotiating Workplace Equality: A Systemic Approach by Susan Sturm
- Research: Gender Pay Gaps Shrink When Companies Are Required to Disclose Them by Morten Bennedsen, Elena Simintzi, Margarita Tsoutsoura, and Daniel Wolfenzon
- Salary Range Transparency Reduces the Wage Gap from National Women’s Law Center
- Salary Transparency Linked to Smaller Gender Pay Gap from the American Association of University Women
- Does Pay Transparency Close the Gender Wage Gap? from Payscale
- Spreadsheets from Art + Museum Salary Transparency
- The Empathetic Museum Maturity Model
Additional resources on diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion