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Q: How Can Athletic Departments Be More Aggressive Recruiting Minority Staff in the Marketplace?

ANSWER:  Athletic Director leadership is everything when it comes to encouragement of minority recruiting.  Require the hiring supervisor for any open position to identify the top female and minority prospects regionally and nationally for that position and to personally call or visit those prospects to urge them to apply.  Waiting for “paper candidates” is simply not good enough when supply does not meet demand.  The process for developing a top recruiting list is as  simple as developing a scholarship prospect list – you must identify the talent.  Start by calling the top ten coaches or professionals you know working in the area for which you are recruiting, announcing that your institution is in the marketplace for a top candidate, and specifically asking for each person’s top three recommendations for the position (1) among women, (2) among non-whites and (3) overall.  Invariably the same names will keep coming up and rank order of candidates will become obvious.  Most important, the hiring supervisor and even the AD must be prepared to engage top prospects in cultivation meetings involving visits with the prospect to urge him or her to become a candidate.  The law of supply and demand also mandates that the institution be prepared to pay the higher marketplace price for minority candidates, especially if they are being “wooed” away from positions and urged to defect.  If athletic departments approach recruiting minority staff like they recruit top scholarship prospects, institutions would be much more successful.