“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”.
Special Emphasis Pilot Project
Increasing Recruitment and Employment Opportunities for African American Males
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
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
had the highest percentage of disciplinary actions of the four major demographic
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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 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.
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.