Case Studies

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HR Practices at UNIS Hanoi


Dismantling and Rebuilding Recruitment Practices through an Equity Lens

This article summarises UNIS Hanoi’s journey to ensure that our recruitment practices truly reflected our school mission, vision and values.  Our driving question was; How might we enhance our current systems and establish new protocols that help us achieve our aspirational goal of having better representation within our teaching teams?

We understand that we are better when we’re more diverse, but this quote from Mejias & Jana (2018) sums up our purpose:

“….a necessary step in building an inclusive culture and eradicating institutional bias ought to be building a more heterogeneous culture.  That means diversifying the team – at all levels – to ensure more heterogeneous perspectives and experiences can show up in the everyday interactions that create culture, and can add value to solving problems and seizing opportunities that create great organizations.” 
Mejias & Jana, 2018.


Heading into the 2021 recruitment season, the leadership team at UNIS Hanoi took time to recalibrate its hiring processes against some of its new school values (integrity, diversity, community) and its strategic directions around diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. Rather than relying on existing processes, several steps were taken to ensure that the recruiting team were metaphorically and literally on the same page when it came to anti-biased and anti-racist hiring practices.

Our team was fully ready to challenge and overhaul a system that was inherently flawed and built upon systems of bias and required us to do a significant amount of introspective work. Relying once more on the wisdom of Mejias and Jana: “Working against institutional bias…involves more than just increasing simple numbers. It includes the hard and often vulnerable work of making room at the table, on the board, and in the c-suite for those who have not historically been represented”  (Mejias & Jana, 2018).

Living our Values

Before posting vacant positions, the school’s new diversity statement was posted on the employment section of our school’s website.  In alignment with our values as a UN school, this statement was our public commitment to living our values and hiring for diversity.  We are proud of this statement – and we also don’t want to simply leave these words on a website, without making sure we act on it. To both showcase our values as an institution and also ensure our candidates understood our goals and values, we tweaked our interview process so that every candidate was asked to reflect on this statement and explain how this impacted their work. This was a rich and eye-opening experience – so many candidates spoke to being ‘seen’ by this statement and a few commented that it was what drew them in and inspired them to apply.

All of this raises the question – How would we know if we were successful? What do we measure against to know that progress has been made?

UNIS Hanoi Diversity Statement

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) work at UNIS Hanoi is ongoing. Every day, we are building a stronger school community through efforts to become a more diverse, equitable and inclusive school for all members of our school community. We believe that our students reach personal and academic excellence when they are part of a supportive community that values and champions diversity, equity and inclusion and advocates for social justice. This commitment is anchored by having a faculty and staff who reflect the diversity of our world. As such, we encourage applications from all educators with the relevant qualifications and experience, including those who identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of colour), educators with (dis)abilities, LGBTQ+ educators and others of diverse backgrounds, to apply to join our UNIS Hanoi community.

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