“This handbook was created by the Department of Transportation as an initiative under the Special Emphasis Project – African American Males, it can be revised by individual agencies/universities to meet their recruitment needs”. RECRUITMENT HANDBOOK Special Emphasis Pilot Project Increasing Recruitment and Employment Opportunities for African American Males In NCDOT RECRUITMENT HANDBOOK Introduction The Special Emphasis Research Project has identified unfavorable trends in workforce representation of African American male employees. As a result of the study conducted by the Office of State Personnel (OSP), new programs and/or enhanced old programs were developed to address these unfavorable employment trends. The concept, strategies, and program components presented in this handbook are proposed and recommended for implementation based on the Special Emphasis Research Project Study. The recruitment initiative for African American males in pay grades 75 and above is one of the recommendations endorsed by the committee for implementation: had the lowest percentage of workforce representation of the four major demographic groups had the highest percentage of representation in the lowest salary grades (50-54); represented only 6.1% of the Management related and 6.7% of the Professional occupational categories had the highest percentage of disciplinary actions of the four major demographic groups; and were the only race-gender group to have disparity from the highest Performance Management in every Cycle since 1991 through 1999 Effective staffing and success in recruiting and selecting diverse capable people who will be an asset to the organization, requires a certain amount of time, effort, and careful attention to the employment process. This handbook is designed to offer assistance to hiring managers and offer recruitment strategies to effectively recruit and hire African American males for high level State Government occupations. OBJECTIVE The primary goal of this handbook is to offer specific techniques and suggestions to help hiring managers and supervisors identify and screen qualified African American male applicants needed to complete the agency’s diverse workforce. The handbook will define the practices, policies, and procedures used to meet this goal in an orderly and efficient manner within the framework of state and agency policy including the following: To seek high-quality African American male employees on the basis of merit, skill, experience and training, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, age, sex, handicap, veteran status or national origin. To do these things in a spirit of friendliness and cooperation, and with diversity in mind, so that NCDOT and State Government will be a better place to work. The objective of this handbook will be fulfilled if it results in increased employment opportunities for African American males in pay grades 75 and above and a better understanding by hiring managers of the concerns and problems experienced by African American male as evidenced in the study. TIPS TO GETTING STARTED Effective Recruitment and total success in recruiting and selecting highly qualified African American male employees in pay grades 75 or higher requires a certain amount of time, planning, and careful attention throughout the entire employment process. The handbook offers a more streamlined system to recruit and select highly qualified applicants promptly. Recruiting the best talent is critical, but it's only one piece of a staffing philosophy. Before you look outside to bring new employees into the agency, be sure you're not losing any of the valuable individuals who already work for you. Workforce Planning is process of ensuring that the right people are in the right place, and at the right time to accomplish the mission of the agency. More specifically, workforce planning is a systematic process for identifying and addressing the gaps between the workforce of today and the needs of tomorrow. This will assist in determining the long-term recruitment needs and identify ways to address skills and diversity gaps. Establish recruitment resources, workforce needs, and action plan: Build consensus - talk to supervisors and managers reporting to you to survey the diversity gaps in your unit/section as it relates to African American males to pledge your support and gain the commitment of your reports. Identify workforce needs- determine the long-range staffing needs of your unit or section and how you will incorporate African American males into those needs. Establish recruitment liaisons and action plan: contact Human Resources Recruitment for current list of college or university contacts design a plan to meet your employment goals either through outside recruitment or by surveying your employees to determine career or professional development requirements that will result in a promotion Document/evaluate current representation levels - survey your unit or section before you begin and document all efforts you make towards the promotion and/or recruitment of African American males at levels 75 and above. Track all recruitment procedures and referral sources. Track the entire selection process: including job requirements, job descriptions, job specifications, pre-employment inquires, and selection interview. Track upward mobility system: including job progression, transfers, promotion, and training programs. Conditions of employment - assure that they are consistent Track demotions, terminations, discharge and disciplinary actions Track skills being enhanced (career development) Managers and supervisors should adopt a policy of cross training staff to increase the opportunities for advancement. The Legal Aspects of Recruiting a Diverse Workforce: The courts are saying in the broadest possible terms that nondiscrimination in employment is the law. Job specifications Recruiting sources used to attract job applicants Screening and interviewing of job applicants Training and development programs Promotion, demotion, layoff, and discharge policies Employee compensation and benefit programs The courts have ruled that any employment practice or policy, however neutral in intent and however fairly and impartially administered, which has a "disparate effect" (i.e., an uneven or numerically disproportionate impact) on members of a "protected class," as specified in the law, or which perpetuates the effect of previous discriminatory practices, constitutes unlawful discrimination, unless it can be proved that such a policy is absolutely essential because of "business necessity." In that case, it is the responsibility of the employer to substantiate beyond any reasonable doubt that such a policy is necessary for the safe and efficient operation of the business or that a deviation from a policy is apt to have an extremely adverse financial impact. Equal Employment Opportunities/Affirmative Action Guidelines (EEO/AA) Understanding the vast number and broad array of laws, government regulations, federal guidelines, court decisions affecting the employment, and utilization of African American male employees is an important first step. The North Carolina EEO Policy Statement It is the policy of the State of North Carolina to provide equal opportunity in employment for all qualified persons and to prohibit discrimination in employment based on race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, or disability. In furtherance of this policy, the State of North Carolina and its various sub-divisions shall: 1. recruit, select, hire, place, train, and promote persons in all job classifications without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, creed, gender, age, or disability; 2. base selection, hiring and promotion decisions on valid requirements and criteria which are related and necessary upon entry at that level to perform the essential functions of the job; 3. administer all employment practices including compensation, benefits, promotion, training, tuition assistance, termination, transfer, demotion and reduction-in-force objectively without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, creed, gender, age, or disability; and 4. provide, when necessary, reasonable accommodations for applicants’ and/or employee’s disabling conditions when doing so will enable them to successfully perform job duties or benefit from training; 5. prohibit retaliatory actions against employees or applicants for employment who make a charge of employment discrimination or testify, assist or participate in any manner in a hearing, proceeding or investigation of employment discrimination; 6. assure a work environment that is free from discrimination. Therefore, employers must correct and avoid carrying forward unnecessary adverse impacts resulting from past discrimination. Employers must establish concrete goals and timetables that will remove vestiges of past discrimination, eliminate present and assure that non-existence of future barriers to full employment (diversity) in job opportunities. Establish specific goals and targets to improve representation in areas of under- utilization based on the size of your unit or section. Ensure targeted jobs are real, and where possible, pivotal to upward mobility. Assign specific responsibilities to hiring managers: Send memo to be certain that outreach methods are sufficiently diverse to reach African American male applicants and that qualification requirements do not inappropriately exclude them. For example: I am not satisfied with our progress in the placement of African American male employees in higher level positions (pay grade 75 and above) and managerial positions. Achieving these objectives is as important as meeting any other traditional business responsibility. It follows, of course, that a key element in each manager's overall performance appraisal will be his/her progress in this important area. Assure that all managers and supervisors under your supervision attend the Effective Interviewing Workshop conducted by the Training and Development Section Track level of participation by managers and supervisors. Senior staff should take the time to provide a yearly update on the efforts made to the diversity in their units. Managers and supervisors should attend workshops and training on the business aspects and benefits of maintaining a diverse workforce. Establishing Accurate, Realistic and Defensible Vacancy Announcements: Before recruiting, review qualifications, and the selecting process can begin, first we must obtain a precise description of the particular job to be filled and get a very clear idea of all relevant, essential and job-related aspects of the position. Are you writing a vacancy announcement with a specific person in mind or are you writing a vacancy announcement based on the needs and responsibilities of the position and the unit? Are all managers/supervisors using the same judgement when looking at experience? Understand your own beliefs and attitudes about the position that you are filling and the populations that you are targeting (African American males). Be aware of how this could affect both the way you write vacancy announcements, as well as how you screen and interview. Survey the diversity of your present staff Establish goals and targets to improve representation in areas of under-utilization. Ensure targeted jobs are real, and where possible, pivotal to upward mobility. Vacancy Announcements The vacancy announcement must be: Significantly related to successful job performance. Job related. It is vital that every job is critically analyzed to determine that all vacancy announcements are realistic and directly job related descriptions are realistic and directly job related. Vacancy announcements must not include: Excessive or unnecessarily high educational requirements Artificially high prior experience requirements Prerecruitment and Primary Recruitment Activities: Conduct publicity, promotion, and recruitment tasks, and find qualified applicants to match with specific positions: Cultivate organizational partnerships with groups that are in tune to the needs and interests of minority candidates. Incorporate nontraditional networking channels to produce a diverse applicant pool. A strong, diverse, informal network is a critical part of any successful recruitment effort. Consider using a variety of available recruiting and hiring sources. Finding and hiring African American male employees require special effort on your part. The first thing to remember is obvious: if you want to hire from the specialized group go where they are (see Recruitment Guide). This means specialized recruiting and focusing on the importance of an aggressive, imaginative, and continuous recruitment program. Take a close look at some of the more useful sources that might be utilized in locating qualified African American male employees. Make the proper contacts. Use minority employees as recruiters and interviewers, if possible. Encourage minority employees to refer their friends and relatives for job postings. Contact groups, organizations and African American leaders in the community. Inform them of the job opportunity and request their active assistance in referring qualified candidates to apply. Check with the agency human resources recruitment section to assist in reaching your desired targeted group i.e., the recruitment unit may already have specific contacts at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU'S) or other college or university minority affairs offices. Check with existing African American staff to ascertain their qualifications for a promotion. Let people in your target groups know about your specific employment needs. Advertise in selected magazines Feature articles in local and national publications Ask to attend recruitment career fairs with recruitment staff Monitor and evaluate recruitment efforts and results. INTERVIEWING PROCESS You have been successful in recruiting qualified African American male employees for your posted position. The next step is the interviewing process: Are you inadvertently screening out qualified African American male employees based on preconceived concepts or ideas? Interview Panels - When using an interview panel, make sure that it is culturally diverse to minimize potential bias. Caution against being biased by dress or grooming styles that may be racially or ethnically unique, such as the hairstyle - but has nothing to do with qualifications and ability to perform the job. All persons interviewing the job applicant should undergo an extensive interviewer- training program and should have an understanding of the requirements of the law and the agency's EEO/Affirmative Action policies. EVALUATING PROCESS Evaluating the Applicant - It is time for you to assess strengths and weaknesses based on information you have received during the interview process. You must assess the total qualifications of the applicant you have just interviewed to see how close he/she comes to having the qualifications you previously set for the candidate. Valuing diversity includes awareness, education, and positive recognition of the differences among people in the workforce. Valuing diversity is not solely based on changing the representation of your work unit or the workplace. As a manager or supervisor you are aware that you must treat all applicants without regard to race, religion, sex, color, national origin, age, or handicap. Failure to do so can result in a lawsuit. The inclusion of African American male employees in your unit is sound business. Under this scenario, capitalizing on inclusion is seen as a strategic approach to business that contributes to organizational goals including productivity. It should not involve any legal requirements and should not be implemented just to avoid lawsuits. It just makes good business sense. RETENTION The work doesn't stop after recruitment and hiring. With such a huge investment, turnover can be costly; it makes sense to protect the investment by developing ways to retain African American male employers in your unit.
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