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  3. REPORT ON THE HISPANIC EMPLOYMENT CHALLENGE IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT by The Federal Hispanic Work Group

REPORT ON THE HISPANIC EMPLOYMENT CHALLENGE IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT by The Federal Hispanic Work Group

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

On May 21, 2008, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chair Naomi C. Earp, in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) Commissioner Michael J. Astrue, announced the creation of a Federal Hispanic Work Group. This event marked the culmination of a series of discussions between the Chair and representatives of the Hispanic federal and EEO communities.

The Hispanic Work Group was directed to examine concerns about federal sector employment including, but not limited to, hiring, leadership development and retention. More importantly, the Work Group was given the responsibility of formulating recommendations designed to enhance and refocus federal Hispanic employment plans, and to remove barriers and level the playing field to encourage greater opportunities for Hispanic applicants and employees throughout the federal government. The Work Group was tasked with issuing a report containing both assessments of the problems, as well as issues and recommendations on how to resolve them. The enclosed report constitutes the Work Group's recommendations to the EEOC Chair.

The Work Group divided itself into a series of sub-groups to focus on specific aspects of this problem. The sub-groups included: (a) recruitment and hiring; (b) retention; (c) leadership development; (d) Hispanic Employment Program Managers; (e) accountability; and (f) science, technology, engineering and mathematics. These sub-groups examined data and various facets of the issues, interviewed stakeholders and experts, and developed recommendations to the EEOC Chair.

The Work Group also considered a host of creative ideas and concepts that fell beyond the purview of either the Commission or federal agencies to implement. Included among these are the following: require an agency's annual budget appropriation to be contingent upon satisfactory EEO performance; pass the Senior Executive Service Diversity Assurance Act; and expand federal employment opportunities to those who are not citizens. These concepts, though noteworthy, could not be included in this report inasmuch as they would require action by the Legislative branch of government.

Examples of the groups' recommendations are listed below.

  • Develop a Hispanic Media Outreach Strategy and branding tool to assist agencies in marketing various types of federal employment;
  • Establish a consortium of federal agencies whose mission-critical occupations include science, technology, engineering and mathematics to coordinate recruitment efforts;
  • Better utilize intern programs;
  • Create a government-wide mentoring program;
  • Create full-time Hispanic Employment Program Manager positions to address Hispanic employment initiatives and programs; and
  • Include EEO/diversity requirements in all hiring officials' critical performance elements.

In sum, the enclosed report is designed not only to discuss the problem, but to offer practical, comprehensive solutions that can be adopted by agencies in their effort to enhance employment opportunities for Hispanics.

The Work Group offers its heartfelt thanks to EEOC Chair Naomi C. Earp for her leadership in establishing this Work Group, her continued support and guidance, and enabling us to contribute to this vital endeavor.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

The Federal Hispanic Work Group is predicated on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC or Commission) oversight authority for federal agency equal employment opportunity (EEO) programs conferred upon it by Section 717 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII).[1] Unlike its role in the private sector, the EEOC has dual responsibilities in the federal sector: processing complaints of discrimination and conducting policy coordination and oversight of federal agencies' EEO programs.[2] EEO Management Directive 715 (MD-715)[3] is the policy guidance developed by the Commission for use by federal agencies in establishing and maintaining effective EEO programs pursuant to Section 717 of Title VII and Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act).[4] By virtue of this authority, the EEOC reviews issues pertaining to agencies' EEO programs and assists them in attaining model EEO status.[5]

In the winter of 2007, EEOC Chair Naomi C. Earp initiated a dialogue with representatives of the Hispanic federal and EEO communities, such as the National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Mangers (NCHEPM), the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), and the Council of Federal EEO and Civil Rights Executives.[6] During these discussions, anecdotal information illustrated problems that Hispanic employees face in the federal workforce. The concerns raised by the groups included low participation rates for Hispanics in federal employment, especially at the higher series and levels; the frequency of Hispanic employees leaving the federal sector for private sector positions; and lack of leadership development for Hispanic employees seeking entry into the Senior Executive Service (SES). To examine and address these concerns, the Hispanic Work Group was established in April 2008. The Work Group was charged by Chair Earp with identifying solutions to federal Hispanic employment issues as they pertain to hiring, retention, and leadership development. Thereafter, EEOC formed a partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA), one of the leaders in the federal employment of Hispanic individuals, in order to share information and insights.

The Work Group was initially comprised of ten federal employees. These ten members were diverse in race, ethnicity and gender, as well as grade levels, occupational categories, levels of management, and professions. The agencies represented included the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Social Security Administration, the Department of Commerce, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the United States Postal Service, the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Air Force, the Department of Labor, the Department of Interior, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Department of Energy.

The initial Work Group developed primary recommendations and thereafter called upon more individuals to add their expertise and experience. Six major sub-groups were formed: (a) recruitment; (b) hiring; (c) retention; (d) leadership development; and (e) accountability. Another sub-group was temporarily formed to explore and define the roles and responsibilities of the Hispanic Employment Program Manager throughout the federal government. Finally, a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sub-group was formed to address the unique concerns expressed by Hispanics seeking entry into federal employment in these fields. These sub-groups examined various facets of the issues, interviewed stakeholders and experts, and reviewed data with the ultimate goal of preparing and refining recommendations.

As a result of numerous interviews and fact-gathering efforts, the Work Group developed recommendations to the EEOC Chair that are intended to enhance and refocus federal Hispanic employment plans, and to remove barriers and level the playing field to encourage greater opportunities for Hispanic applicants and employees throughout the federal government.[7] Although the recommendations are offered as a means to address the several concerns and issues raised by members of the Hispanic community, they are not being offered as the sole solution. Rather, they provide a foundation for further action.

The Work Group has divided this report into seven sections: (1) Hispanics and the Federal Workforce; (2) Recruitment and Hiring; (3) Retention; (4) Leadership Development; (5) the Role of the Hispanic Employment Program Manager; (6) Accountability; and (7) Additional Recommendations for the EEOC. Social Security Administration best practices appear throughout the report, as do recommendations specific to the STEM fields. Practice Tips are located in Appendix A.

I. HISPANICS AND THE FEDERAL WORKFORCE

Historical Perspective

Concerns regarding the existence of discrimination in federal sector hiring and retention are not a new phenomenon. Indeed, attempts have been made to eradicate discriminatory practices and thereby improve Hispanic federal employment for many years. The first executive order concerning discrimination in federal employment was issued in July 1948, by President Harry S. Truman. Executive Order 9980 prohibited discrimination in federal employment on the bases of race, color, religion, or national origin. Thereafter, Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon each issued Executive Orders expanding those protections.[8]

On November 5, 1970, the Nixon White House issued a comprehensive Sixteen-Point Federal Employment Plan aimed specifically at increasing employment of Hispanics in the federal workforce.[9] The program outlined 16 steps that the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and other agencies could undertake to ensure equal opportunity in federal employment for Hispanics. On January 23, 1973, the program was renamed "Spanish-Speaking Program" to emphasize bilingual skills; and on February 28, 1978, the program was again renamed to what it is known as today, the "Hispanic Employment Program" (HEP).

In 1971, Congress conducted public hearings on proposed amendments to Title VII and found widespread discrimination in both the private and public sectors; little progress by blacks, Hispanics, and women in any occupational field; continued concentration of all these groups in the lowest paid positions and in the lowest paid industries; discrimination and exclusion of these same groups from higher paid jobs and occupations; and significant pay disparities traced to such discrimination.[10] Based on these findings, Congress passed the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of l972, which, among other things, expanded Title VII's coverage to include the federal government. At that time, Hispanics, then referred to as "Spanish-surnamed," made up 2.9 percent of the federal workforce.[11]

Later that decade, President Jimmy Carter issued the Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978, which, among other things, transferred the functions of the Equal Employment Opportunity Coordinating Council (EEOCC) to the EEOC. [12] Following this issuance, he conducted 16 town hall meetings in seven states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to address issues and concerns raised by Hispanics.[13] Based upon these meetings, the Executive Office of the President released the Carter Administration and Hispanics Report: A Partnership to Progress, in which employment was one of eight issues analyzed. In his effort to address the problem, President Carter placed 186 Hispanics in high-ranking positions throughout the federal government.[14]

In 1997, OPM launched its Nine-Point Plan to recruit qualified Hispanics for government service and improve their opportunities to advance into management and SES positions. Then, in October 2000, President Bill Clinton issued Executive Order 13171, entitled "Hispanic Employment in the Federal Government."[15] This Order instructed federal agencies to ameliorate disparities in Hispanic employment in the federal government by implementing the following five initiatives: (1) increase the representation of Hispanics in the federal government; (2) establish and maintain recruitment and retention programs oriented towards enhancing Hispanic employment; (3) develop cooperative alliances with external stakeholder groups to formulate long-range programs to eliminate disparities in Hispanic employment; (4) institute a government-wide minority recruitment effort that includes, in particular, Hispanic employment; and (5) ensure that all rights or entitlements addressed therein are predicated on already existing legal rights, and do not confer any additional rights that do not already exist.

In furtherance of Executive Order 13171, OPM has issued annual reports to the President on the progress of efforts to increase Hispanic employment in the federal government. These reports, which are primarily generated from Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program (FEORP) data, have shown gradual improvement in the hiring and retention of Hispanics in the federal government.

The Hispanic Population in the U.S.

The Presidential initiatives discussed above were often based, in large part, upon a recognized and largely undisputed statistical discrepancy between the rates of Hispanic participation in the U.S. civilian labor force and the federal labor force. As of July 2007, 45.5 million, or 15 percent, of the nation's total population was Hispanic, representing the largest ethnic or racial minority.[16] The median age for Hispanic Americans is 27.6 years compared to the overall population of 36.6 years.[17] At the current rate of growth, 30 percent of all Americans will be of Hispanic heritage by the year 2050.[18]

Hispanics make up approximately 19 percent of the nation's elementary and secondary school students.[19] In 2007, 60 percent of Hispanics age 25 and older had at least a high school education, and 13 percent had a bachelor's degree or higher.[20] Furthermore, 811,000 Hispanics age 25 years and older had advanced degrees in 2006 (e.g., master's, professional, and doctorate).[21]

Although Hispanics are represented in a wide variety of occupations, less than one in five (17 percent) works in managerial, professional, and related occupations.[22] Hispanics instead are disproportionately employed in service and support occupations. Twenty-four percent work in service occupations; 22 percent work in sales and office jobs; 18 percent work in production, transportation, and material-moving occupations; 17 percent work in construction, extraction, and maintenance jobs; and 2 percent work in farming, fishing, and forestry occupations.[23]

The Federal Workforce and Hispanics

Counterbalanced against the population statistics are the rates of hiring, retention, and participation of Hispanics in senior managerial levels in the federal workforce. While the Hispanic population has grown by 50 percent since 1990,[24] Hispanic employment rates have not. Hispanic participation in the federal workforce has increased marginally from 6.4 percent in 1997 to 7.79 percent in 2007.[25] Data also indicate that Hispanics are in occupational niches in the federal sector and are disproportionately hired in some agencies and occupations more than others.[26]

An examination of new hires reflects an ongoing disturbing trend. In FY 2007, new Hispanic hires into top professional occupations were 3.7 percent and into top administrative positions were 5.7 percent.[27] Overall, the percentage of new Hispanic hires into professional and administrative positions decreased from 5.2 in FY 2006 to 4.8 percent in FY 2007.[28] Moreover, according to the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, the total number of new Hispanic hires in the federal workforce from FY 2001 to FY 2005 was 47,381, while the cumulative number of separations of Hispanic employees during this time period was 20,410. Therefore, taking into account the number of Hispanic employees leaving the federal service, the net cumulative growth of Hispanic employees from FY 2001 to FY 2005 was only 26,971. This means that the number of separations reduced employment gains by 45 percent.[29]

When members of the Hispanic community were asked why they believe Hispanics are leaving federal employment at these rates, many expressed the view that Hispanics in federal employment are not advancing in their federal careers and are being subjected to discrimination. This concern is illustrated in the SES, where the percentage of Hispanics is only 3.63 percent.[30]

In order to attain model EEO status, the federal government must attract, develop, reward, and retain Hispanic employees at all levels and in all agencies. However, over the past 40 years, the federal government has posted an average annual hiring rate of 0.13 percent for Hispanics.[31] Moreover, the disparity in Hispanic participation compared to overall minority participation has widened by 29 percent between 2000 and 2005, and is expected to increase from 10 to 13 percent by 2010.[32]

Like hiring and attrition rates, statistics regarding discrimination complaint activity raise concerns. A Gallup survey released in December 2005 indicated that, while 15 percent of all employees reported discriminatory treatment, 18 percent of all Hispanic employees reported having been discriminated against.[33] Of the more than 16,000 complaints of discrimination filed by federal employees in FY 2007, approximately 4.2 percent were filed on the basis of Hispanic national origin.[34] This represents a decrease from FY 2006, when 6 percent of approximately 16,000 complaints were filed on this basis.[35] Of the formal complaints that were filed in FY 2007, the issues most often raised were harassment (non-sexual) and non-promotion/non-selection.[36]

The Benefits Derived from Hispanic Employment

Increased employment of Hispanics in the federal workforce benefits not only individual employees, but hiring agencies as well. There is no question that the American workplace is undergoing tremendous social, demographic, economic, and technological changes. In order for the federal government to keep pace with these changes, it must draw from the pool of talent that is reflective of the nation itself. Federal agencies can achieve these transformative changes once their leaders and managers reflect on precisely whom federal agencies serve: the American people.

Hispanics constitute the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. As previously stated, Hispanics are 15.1 percent of the U.S. population, or over 45.5 million people, as of July 1, 2007. Given these changes, federal agencies must reflect their diverse and changing customer base and thereby become more effective in achieving their respective missions. In its strategic plan, the EEOC found that keeping pace with this rapidly changing demographic will require a sustained, unprecedented level of coordination between the EEOC and its federal sector stakeholders. Insofar as the federal government is concerned, the EEOC is poised and prepared to help create policies and strategies aimed at expanding employment and advancement opportunities for Hispanics.

In addition, retirement trends identified by OPM provide both a challenge and an opportunity to create a more diverse workforce. At present, it is estimated that approximately 61 percent of all employees will be eligible for retirement in the next eight years. [37] Juxtaposed against these statistics is the increasing number of Hispanics who are receiving bachelors' and higher degrees. For example, in 2007, thirteen percent of the Hispanic population 25 and older had a bachelor's degree or higher. Hence, as the present population of federal employees decreases, there exists within the Hispanic community a potential pool of eligible talent to fill those slots. The government can remain strong and effective by fully utilizing this talent to help in the pursuit of its many goals and objectives in the future.

Successful private enterprises have learned that their competitive edge is contingent upon the success of their employees, and the Work Group urges agencies to practice this same model. Agencies must ensure that their Hispanic employees have equal opportunities to build successful careers, and actively engage in leadership training, career planning, and other initiatives to incorporate these employees into their organizations. Having successful Hispanic executives is, in and of itself, a strong recruitment tool that enables employers to attract highly skilled employees. Inasmuch as competition for highly skilled staff is at a crucial point for federal employers, agencies must show that they will advance and promote talent from all groups.

Finally, workplace diversity encompasses and goes beyond the traditional concept of equal employment opportunity. In its broadest sense, diversity adds differing skills, family structures, educational levels, ages, and cultural and social backgrounds. An emphasis on diversity encourages organizations to address more thoughtfully and thoroughly the needs of their employees from all groups, as well as the public they serve.

II. RECRUITMENT AND HIRING

Background

For eligible candidates who are making their initial forays into federal service, locating positions and preparing competitive application packages is more often than not a process fraught with confusion and frustration. Although the putative efficiencies derived from a centralized application system are laudable, as noted by the Partnership for Public Service, "current recruitment and hiring regulations, policies and practices are inadequate. In too many cases, the process takes too long, is too complicated, lacks transparency and fails to produce the right talent for the job."[38] Recruitment and hiring impediments, which affect all applicants, can be particularly difficult for Hispanics to overcome because their lower participation rates in federal service results in fewer experienced Hispanics being available to provide guidance to first-time applicants.

The Work Group conducted interviews and met with various organizations, and found that applicants, federal employees, and selecting officials expressed very similar concerns with regard to recruitment and hiring in the federal government. First, the USAJobs website, as well as other websites used by federal employers, were described as "user-unfriendly" and in need of improvement. Second, selecting officials, as well as applicants, have repeatedly suggested that selections should be based on eligible resumes, as is done in the private sector, rather than the USAJobs website, with its Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) or Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs). Third, the current grade and pay schedule that is utilized by federal agencies as it pertains to college graduates is considered outdated and pays too little to be competitive with private sector employers. These hiring practices were described as posing significant impediments to attracting top Hispanic talent to the federal government. The existing recruitment and hiring regulations, and policies and practices, once designed to assist Human Resources personnel in evaluating applications, have instead discouraged many qualified Hispanic candidates from applying for government jobs, and have deprived the federal government of talented employees.

Moreover, the federal government must foster fair and open competition and ensure that applicants who are first-time candidates for positions have ready access to vacancy announcements.[39] Progress toward obtaining these objectives can also be made through the use of a multifaceted approach which includes, among other hiring authorities, the Federal Career Intern Program, the Student Career Experience Program, Schedule A Appointing Authorities, the Presidential Management Fellows Program. In its recent report entitled, Federal Appointment Authorities: Cutting through the Confusion, the Merit Systems Protection Board's (MSPB) found that "for white-collar jobs, the use of the competitive examining authority that is open to all qualified applicants is generally declining, while the use of exceptions to fully open competition is proportionally increasing." [40] In FY 2005, more people were hired for white-collar positions under authorities that permit the exclusion of some otherwise qualified applicant than were hired under traditional competitive examining authority. The MSPB found that this shift may have an impact on the government's ability to achieve an inclusive workforce, as the demographic composition of those hired under different authorities varies.

Findings

According to the EEOC FY 2007 Annual Report on the Federal Work Force, men comprise 56.83 percent of the federal workforce, of which only 4.67 percent are Hispanic men; women make up 43.17 percent of the federal work force, of which only 3.12 percent are Hispanic women.[41] Government- wide, the percentage of permanent new hires from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007 that were Hispanic was 8.6 percent.[42] Many agencies, however, do not track or possess a reliable data tracking system to identify an applicant's race or national origin. As a result, a lack of data on the candidate feeder pools may be hampering the ability of various agencies to identify the reasons for the lower than expected participation rates for Hispanics.

Furthermore, Hispanic participation is lacking in the major (mission-critical or dominant) job series at most agencies, according to the MD-715 data. Although some agencies have excellent Hispanic participation numbers, upon closer examination, MD-715 reports reveal that Hispanics are not equally participating throughout the organizations. Instead, Hispanics are clustered within specific job categories, or occupational niches, that interact largely with the Hispanic public.[43]

The federal job series and titles with Hispanic participation rates higher than 8 percent were very few. They include the following job series and titles:

Job Series Job Title Participation Rate

07

Correctional Officer

12.85%

19

Safety Technician

13.98%

83

Police

8.20%

105

Social Insurance Admin.

15.27%

303

Miscellaneous Clerk

8.11%

592

Tax Examining

9.33%

962

Contact Representative

16.76%

1801

General Inspection, Investigation and Compliance

14.17%

1811

Criminal Investigation

9.47%

1895

Customs & Border Protection

27.38%

1896

Border Patrol Agent

52.84%

2005

Supply Clerical & Technician

8.18%

4749

Maintenance Mechanic

7.95%

5803

Heavy Mobile Equipment Mechanic

8.61%

8852

Aircraft Mechanic

9.39%

Source: GAO-07-493R Hispanic Representation Data of the Census Special EEO File.

Recommendations for recruitment and hiring

The following recommendations are offered as a means to address the several concerns and issues regarding recruitment and hiring separately. They, however, are not offered by the Work Group as the sole solution to low Hispanic employment and retention. More importantly, none of the recommendations will be successful without a high level "Champion" of Hispanic recruitment and hiring at each agency. This Champion must usher in a results-oriented approach to targeted recruitment and hiring of Hispanics, including metrics, and report to the head of the agency. Having a functioning Champion will allow agencies to achieve measurable results in these areas.

Recruitment Recommendations

1. The EEOC, in partnership with other federal agencies, should develop a Hispanic Media Outreach Strategy and branding tool to assist agencies in marketing various types of federal employment.

The Work Group recommends that the EEOC, in partnership with various federal agencies, develop a Hispanic Media Outreach Strategy (Outreach Strategy) and branding tool to assist agencies in marketing various types of federal employment through all types of media (television, radio, publications, websites) and through Public Service Announcements (PSAs) in English and Spanish. The Outreach Strategy should "highlight opportunities to 'do good and do well' through government service (including practical advantages such as the opportunity to work on interesting and important issues, competitive benefits and a good work-life balance)," and should "focus on young audiences, mid-career candidates and retiring boomers."[44]

Although the EEOC should serve as the central clearinghouse, the Outreach Strategy should be sufficiently broad to allow for branding by agencies with differing missions and should highlight the broad variety of work performed by federal employees. Moreover, it should provide agencies with information about Hispanic media such as targeted audiences, frequency of issue, circulation or audience data, and costs. Costs should be defrayed by utilizing already existing successful media outreach developed by local, state, and federal government, and working with colleges and universities.

STEM Fields: The STEM sub-group recommends further tailoring of the Outreach Strategy. Specifically, a consortium of STEM agencies should sponsor a series of Public Service Announcements (PSA) communicating the message that the federal government is in need of individuals having degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The PSA campaign should tout the benefits of working for the federal government and refer interested parties to a website that will direct the candidate to any number of agencies whose missions are STEM-oriented, and provide background on the agencies' missions and the types of positions that are available.

2. Agencies and the EEOC should coordinate with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to increase the visibility of federal service at Hispanic Serving Institutions.

The Work Group recommends that agencies and the EEOC coordinate with OPM to increase the visibility of federal service at Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs). HSIs are defined in federal law as accredited and degree-granting public or private nonprofit institutions of higher education with 25 percent or more total undergraduate Hispanic full-time equivalent student enrollment. [45] Once a presence is established at HSIs, signing bonuses, relocation expenses, student loan repayments, and superior qualifications appointments should be better utilized. Moreover, OPM should provide assistance to agencies working with HSIs to utilize On-the-Spot Hiring Authority, which allows agencies to hire on-the-spot to meet mission-critical staffing needs or severe shortages.[46]

In addition, OPM should consider the use of Federal Hispanic Liaison Officers at HSIs similar to the structure used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) 1890 Scholars Program.[47] The USDA/1890 Liaison Officers are USDA employees who are assigned to the 1890 institutions as USDA representatives. Liaison officers provide coordination between USDA and the 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Institutions and Tuskegee University. They also recruit high school students to attend one of the eighteen 1890 Historically Black Land-Grant Institutions and Tuskegee University. As USDA representatives on the campuses, the liaison officers counsel students on USDA employment opportunities and develop new approaches for USDA to reach small-scale, limited-resource and minority farmers.

3. Agencies should develop targeted recruitment campaigns at Hispanic Serving Institutions and Hispanic organizations at colleges and universities, and utilize the Presidential Management Fellows Program.

The Work Group recommends that agencies develop targeted recruitment campaigns in collaboration with HSIs and Hispanic organizations at colleges and universities. These efforts should include coordination of "publicity" and outreach campaigns with HSIs and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), prior to and during the vacancy opening period for the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program, to engage more Hispanic graduate schools to apply and compete for the Program. Typically, Hispanics have not been well represented among the applicants or "finalists," and a more targeted recruitment approach and engagement with HSIs and Hispanic organizations is needed. Accordingly, the Work Group further recommends that OPM track the applicants and selectees for the PMF by their race and national origin (RNO).[48] Although this recommendation highlights the PMF Program, targeted recruitment works for all vacancies.

4. Agencies should regularly hold Hispanic Outreach Advisory Forums where they interface with external Hispanic organizations and the community to obtain feedback and advice on the effectiveness of Government recruiting and outreach efforts to Hispanics.

The Work Group recommends that agencies hold Hispanic Outreach Advisory Forums where they interface with external Hispanic organizations and the community. Initially, EEOC should coordinate these efforts and assist agencies throughout the country in gaining feedback and advice on the effectiveness of government recruiting and outreach efforts for Hispanics. During the Forums, participants can share information about barriers and what practices work best in their regions. Agencies through their employees, including Hispanic Employment Program Managers, can share information about the occupations and careers at their agencies, such as how to apply for federal employment.

5. STEM Fields: Agencies should establish a consortium of federal agencies whose mission-critical occupations include science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to coordinate recruitment efforts and work with private sector and not-for-profit organizations to develop better recruitment strategies.

The Work Group recommends that agencies with STEM mission-critical occupations establish a consortium of federal agencies and conduct coordinated recruitment efforts at HSIs and targeted recruitment at non-Hispanic serving colleges and universities. The consortium should create a series of forums where agencies collaborate to attract and select eligible Hispanic students.

The consortium should further establish an advisory committee, composed of private sector and not-for-profit community-based organizations, to guide and consult with federal agencies in developing state-of-the-art recruitment strategies. The advisory committee should simultaneously identify local sources of eligible Hispanic candidates and act as a liaison between agencies and the Hispanic community.

Hiring Recommendations

1. Agencies should create a system of pay incentives where language requirements exist for mission-critical positions.

The Work Group recommends that agencies create a system of pay incentives where language requirements exist for mission-critical positions. In order to communicate effectively with non-English-speaking members of the public, an employee with foreign language skills must be proficient in both the oral and written form of the second language. The skill and proficiency required to accomplish these functions in a second language on a daily basis places added responsibilities and larger workloads on the employee. In light of the necessity to be proficient in reading, writing, and speaking a second language in certain mission-critical positions, agencies should provide their foreign language skill employees with compensation incentives.[49] These incentives will better enable agencies to provide services to the non-English speaking public.

2. Agencies should better utilize intern programs for Hispanic students.

The Work Group recommends that agencies better utilize intern programs for Hispanic students. This translates into ensuring that meaningful work is provided during the internship. In order to accomplish this goal, managers/supervisors/mentors must be trained regarding their roles and the importance of fostering a positive environment for interns. Moreover, once the internship is over, agencies should track the students to find out whether they have interest in employment in the federal sector. Most importantly, agencies should utilize the already existing hiring authority to retain student interns and recent college graduates on the spot, without competition.[50]

Sources for recruiting interns include, among others, the Federal Career Internship Program (FCIP), the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), the Hispanic Alliance for Enhancement of Careers, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation's Latinos on Fast Track Program, the National Society for Hispanics with MBAs, the Association for Latinos in Finance, The Student Career Experience Program, the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP). See also Appendix A.

STEM Fields: The STEM sub-group recommends that agencies establish a federal-wide STEM Intern Program that places Junior and Senior-level Hispanic students in internship positions, and utilizes the already existing hiring authority to retain these interns, without competition, upon completion of their degrees.

3. Agencies should re-advertise positions when the Best Qualified list lacks diversity.

The Work Group recommends that agencies re-advertise positions when the Best Qualified list appears to lack diversity, particularly for GS-14, GS-15, and SES level managers and supervisors. When a position is advertised for the second time, the agency should expand the area of consideration. This can be done in accordance with 5 C.F.R. § 720.204, which allows the agency's human resources department to re-advertise the position to ensure an adequate pool of candidates.[51]

4. Agencies should hire Hispanics with targeted disabilities through Schedule A and Hispanic veterans.

The Work Group recommends that agencies utilize flexibilities of special entry programs, such as Schedule A Hiring Authority (5 C.F.R. § 213.3102(u)) for people with targeted disabilities, the Veterans' Recruitment Appointment (VRA) Authority (5 C.F.R. Pt, 307) and Always a Soldier Program. These hiring authorities should be reemphasized to assure that they are fully understood and used in opening avenues for Hispanics to federal employment.

The following websites provide more information on this topic:

5. STEM Fields: Agencies should create research grants at HSIs, develop students with exhibited interest, and hire these students for permanent positions.

The Work Group recommends that agencies create research grants at HSIs. Through these initiatives, the agencies can identify talented students and those who have developed interest in the particular field of work. The agencies should then gain authorization to staff hard to fill positions on-the-spot, and send recruiters to these HSIs to seek applicants.

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
Best Practice

SSA's national recruitment efforts have evolved over the years. Following the downsizing of the 1980's, SSA began employing centralized and professional recruitment techniques in the 1990's. The agency established the National Recruitment Coordinator position to work with SSA Executives and Human Resources Directors to develop the Ten Point National Recruitment Strategy, which includes:

1) A Marketing Plan and Campaign – SSA developed a strategy focused on the slogan
"Make a Difference in People's Lives and Your Own."

  • SSA uses appealing recruitment materials at career fairs and information sessions nationwide. Some of these materials include exhibits, bookmarks, posters, brochures, CD-ROMs, and more.
  • These materials emphasize attracting diverse candidates, including veterans and individuals with disabilities.

2) Coordination of Nationwide Recruitment

  • The National Recruitment Coordinator has oversight for all recruitment activities.
  • Each region has a Recruitment Lead who oversees the regional recruitment cadre.
  • This structure allows SSA to recruit effectively throughout the nation with consistent messaging.

3) On-Campus College Recruitment

  • Recruiters spend years building relationships with colleges and universities. As a result, SSA maintains a presence on hundreds of campuses throughout the year.

4) Internet Strategy

5) Intranet Strategy

  • SSA's internal recruitment site is used by employees and recruiters and acts as an important recruiting tool with tangible resources.

6) Automation of Staffing and Recruiting

  • All Jobs are posted online through USA Jobs.

7) Work with OPM on Improvements in the Hiring Process

  • SSA employees work in partnership with OPM to strengthen government-wide recruitment initiatives.

8) Maximum Use of Recruitment and Retention Flexibilities

9) Maximum Use of Hiring Authorities

10) Diversity

  • SSA is committed to having a workforce that reflects the public they serve; therefore, its recruitment strategies are designed to build and maintain a diverse and highly qualified workforce.

SSA measures its success by the number of hires, the retention rates, and the increased diversity. Its retention rate is 93 percent, and it is one of the most diverse workforces in the government.

III. RETENTION

Background

The retention of Hispanic employees starts when the employee is first brought onboard. Initial impressions regarding employment orientation, assignments, performance ratings and working conditions, as well as quality of life issues, all influence whether the employee remains with an employer. For these reasons, it is vital for agencies to recognize the value of having a cadre of managers and officials with the right knowledge, skills, and attitude to effectuate EEO model workplaces in achieving their missions. Moreover, the work environment must be viewed as inclusive and one where Hispanic employees are valued, mentored, recognized and provided with support and opportunities to reach their maximum potential. As a result, agencies will be able to reap the benefits of incorporating diverse groups and views into their hierarchy.

Findings

Separations are offsetting the limited gains for Hispanic employees. As discussed in Chapter I, separations have reduced employment gains by 45 percent.[52] There is no definitive study measuring attrition in the federal sector by national origin to determine the causes (indicators) of the turnover affecting Hispanic employment. Notwithstanding, lack of advancement opportunities and awards may be contributing to the high attrition for certain historically excluded groups, possibly caused by the stereotypical and cultural misconceptions that negatively impact decisions regarding discipline, evaluations, and advancement. For example, Hispanic and African-American employees receive disproportionately lower amounts of the cash awards and bonuses over $500, as reflected in MD-715 reports. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that Hispanics are leaving federal service because they do not perceive themselves as advancing in their federal careers and believe that they are being subjected to unlawful discrimination.

Attrition represents a complex organizational challenge for most agencies, and the Work Group recommends that agencies gain better understanding about their workplaces through, for example, advisory councils, exit interviews, and climate surveys. Moreover, the Work Group urges agencies to use advancement opportunities and succession planning to improve the retention of Hispanics. See also, Chapter IV, Leadership Development, infra.

Recommendations

1. Agencies should determine whether a pattern exists for voluntary and involuntary separations of Hispanic employees and require exit interviews of all employees.

The Work Group recommends that agencies require exit interviews of all their employees, and use that information to determine whether a pattern exists for voluntary and involuntary separations of Hispanic employees.[53] Agencies should also measure retention by race, national origin and sex to determine the causes (or predictors) of the turnover and look for trends, such as increases in the use of unscheduled leave, accidents as indicators for stress, and findings of national origin discrimination in EEO complaints and grievances. When employees leave the agency due to EEO related deficiencies, the agencies should hold supervisors and managers accountable.

2. Agencies should increase focus on developing well-qualified candidate pools through broad-based initiatives and make this part of their succession planning.

The Work Group recommends that agencies focus on developing well-qualified candidate pools that include Hispanic candidates, both within and across agencies, and that these efforts be incorporated into succession planning at the agencies. Notably, some agencies focus on developing a single employee for a particular position and fail to adequately develop and/or consider other employees from that agency or other agencies. To address this concern, agencies should identify and develop well-qualified candidate pools (feeder pools) that include Hispanics for promotional advancement, especially for those at the GS-11 level and higher. Using initiatives such as detail assignments, both internal and external, and leadership training, on a broad based scale that is incorporated into each agency's succession plan, will increase the advancement opportunities for Hispanic employees.

Moreover, to accomplish this recommendation, agency EEO Directors should be involved in agencies' strategic and succession planning, as well as engaging in a workforce analysis of pay and bonus distributions, in order to maximize current Hispanic employees' opportunities and to address the issue of employee attrition.

3. Agencies should create advisory councils that provide feedback regarding the work environment for Hispanics, and other historically excluded groups, and foster inclusion as critical to accomplishing the agencies' missions.

The Work Group recommends that agencies create advisory councils. The objective of the councils should be to identify barriers to effective recruitment, upward mobility, and retention of Hispanics and other historically excluded groups; promote participation of Hispanic employees in management, leadership, and career development programs; assist in program efforts addressing the low participation rates of Hispanics within the workforce; and improve outreach efforts to include organizations/affinity groups outside of the federal government in order to increase the number of Hispanic candidates in the selection pool and better understand the concerns of the community. Moreover, members of the advisory councils should coordinate with Hispanic Employment Program Managers and be empowered to make recommendations to agency leadership, EEO Directors, and Human Resources Directors regarding hiring, retention, and leadership development of Hispanics. In order to accomplish these objectives, members of the advisory councils must be provided with relevant data on an on-going basis.

Various models exist for designing the membership of advisory councils. For example, some agencies have allowed employees to self-nominate, while others have allowed agency leadership to appoint employees. In either case, for the advisory councils to be successful, employees must be provided with sufficient time to accomplish their work.

4. Agencies should conduct employee opinion (EEO climate) surveys and 360-degree evaluations, and recognize supervisors and managers who are successful with strategic EEO.

The Work Group recommends that agencies conduct employee opinion (EEO climate) surveys and 360-degree evaluations to help them assess the pulse of their workforce and make changes before employees decide to leave. Then, agencies can use these tools to hold supervisors and managers accountable for low ratings and reward them for high ratings when they are successful with strategic EEO.

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
Best Practice

The Social Security Administration has six Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) advisory groups that work with the Commissioner and the Executive Staff to help provide service to the diverse public we serve and to our employees. The six EEO advisory groups are:

  • American Indian and Alaskan Native Advisory Council;
  • Black Affairs Advisory Council;
  • Hispanic Affairs Advisory Council;
  • National Advisory Council for Employees with Disabilities;
  • National Women's Advisory Committee;
  • Pacific Asian American Advisory Council.

These groups assist the Agency to better address our employees' concerns and to better serve persons with disabilities, women, minorities and the non-English speaking public. They also promote SSA's programs in their respective communities and assist the Agency in recruitment initiatives. The groups are involved in a variety of projects, including outreach programs and employee training conferences, which address public service and employee issues. The advisory groups help ensure our policies are carried out in a manner that reflects our sincere determination to provide full and fair service to the public and a work environment that provides opportunity to every employee and to every applicant for employment.

IV. LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

Background

As expressed in the Retention chapter of this report, employee retention is inextricably linked to employee development and advancement. Employees who do not advance or who do not find the possibility of advancement within their organizations will seek opportunities elsewhere. This is especially true for those employees who have skills and abilities that are in demand. Leadership development, therefore, is an important means by which the organization can advance its interests and perpetuate its goals and objectives by developing its pool of talent from within. As this is true for all employees, it is similarly true for Hispanics.

Due to retirement trends and shifting demographics, agencies must implement aggressive employee development programs at all levels to develop meaningful succession plans. Moreover, agency leadership must establish their commitment to maximizing the potential of high performing Hispanics by, among other things, (1) providing these individuals with high visibility assignments that will bolster their Executive Core Qualifications, and (2) ensuring that they appear on succession planning lists.

Leadership development does not start at the SES level; rather, it begins far earlier in employees' careers. It is at the early stages where employees are most in need of mentoring, coaching, and guidance to help them strategically navigate their careers. Employees who are identified as having potential should be offered the challenges of expanded responsibilities and growth opportunities. In this way, they may be better prepared to take up the mantle of leadership when opportunities arise.

Findings

Where a group has a low participation rate in the feeder grade/candidate pool, there is a strong likelihood that the group will be absent or have a low participation rate in the next higher grade.[54] In FY 2007, Hispanic employees were 7.79 percent of the permanent federal work force, but represented only 4.5 percent of those in the "feeder grades" to Senior Pay Level positions (GS-14 and -15 levels), and 3.6 percent of those in the SES.[55] Men accounted for 70.9 percent of the SES positions, but Hispanic men were only 2.7 percent.[56] Similarly, women accounted for 29.1 percent of the SES positions, but Hispanic women accounted for less than 1 percent.[57]

According to a General Accounting Office (GAO) report, the vast majority of potential successors for career SES positions come from the general schedule (GS) pay plan for grades GS-14 and GS-15.[58] Hispanic participation, however, has only increased marginally in the feeder positions (GS-13 through 15) that lead to the career SES. GAO looked at the demographic profiles of career SES, GS-15 and GS-14 employees government-wide and at the 24 Chief Financial Officer Act Agencies, and found the following percentages:

Group SES GS-15 GS-14

Hispanic men

2.7

2.8

3.0

Hispanic women

0.9

1.3

1.6

African-American men

5.0

3.6

4.8

African-American women

3.5

4.1

7.4

American Indian men

0.9

0.6

0.6

American Indian women

0.4

0.3

0.4

Asian Pacific men

1.5

5.0

3.7

Asian Pacific women

0.9

2.8

2.1

White men

60.7

56.5

51.5

White women

23.3

22.9

24.6


Source: table 7, Appendix 1 of the GAO-08-609T, Page 19 (based on the OPM Central Personnel Data File).

Based upon this evidence, the Work Group recommends that agencies focus on creating well-qualified candidate pools of Hispanics by ensuring that Hispanics receive mentoring, training, and developmental opportunities, and that they fully integrate these employees into the agencies' succession plans.

Recommendations

1. The EEOC should create a government-wide mentoring program through which Senior Level Officials mentor GS-15s and GS-14s.

The Work Group recommends that the EEOC create a government-wide mentoring program through which Senior Level Officials mentor and advocate for GS-15s and GS-14s who are on the brink of reaching SES. The mentors should be diverse in their makeup in order to ensure many perspectives, and will offer guidance, support, and encouragement aimed at developing the competence and character of the mentee. Moreover, the mentoring should include, among other things, assisting with the preparation of the Executive Core Qualifications and engaging in practice interviews. Finally, funding should be provided to train mentors.

2. Agencies should increase the number of Hispanics selected for agency leadership and management training, as well as detail assignments to prepare them for career advancement.

The Work Group recommends that agencies increase the number of Hispanics selected for agency leadership and management training, as well as detail assignments to provide them with the necessary skills to advance in their respective agencies, other agencies, and/or other career fields, and prepare them to compete in appropriate occupation series for SES positions. Although many agencies offer leadership and management training, as well as detail assignments, Hispanics are often not selected to participate in these opportunities because of limited slots. Therefore, agencies should select individuals for training and detail assignments in a fair and equitable manner and ensure that the training be inclusive and reflective of the workforce.

Agencies should consider utilizing some of the following practice tips: open leadership development courses to GS-14 and GS-15 employees; offer a catalog of leadership development courses and detail assignments; rotate supervisory responsibilities to allow multiple employees the opportunity develop their skills; inform employees of educational opportunities within the workforce, and incorporate these opportunities into employees' individuals development plans (IDPs); and e-mail information about leadership training to all employees. See Appendix A, Practice Tips, infra.

3. Agencies should examine the employment information of employees at regular intervals to determine promotion potential for mission-critical occupations as part of succession planning.

The Work Group recommends that agencies examine the employment information of employees at regular intervals. In so doing, they can determine the promotion potential of Hispanic employees, as well as others, for mission-critical occupations as part of succession planning. Employment information should include ratings, awards, promotions, and educational levels, among other things. Senior managers should periodically review their top Hispanic managers and those in the next lower level to determine several backups for various senior positions. This step is necessary because employees require years of grooming to develop into effective managers, to receive adequate training, and to develop relevant experience. Moreover, considering retirement trends identified by OPM, this mechanism provides an opportunity for agencies to develop middle and top level Hispanic supervisors and managers. A well-executed plan will ensure an inclusive workplace with an agency leadership reflective of the public and enhance the organization's effectiveness.

4. Agencies should include Hispanics and/or EEO practitioners on the selection panels for GS-14, GS-15, and SES positions.

The Work Group recommends that agencies include Hispanics and/or EEO practitioners on the selection panels for GS-14, GS-15, and SES positions. The make-up of the selection and interview panels must reflect diversity factors such as sex, race, age and ethnicity. Those involved in the selection process carry a responsibility for ensuring that the choice of a successful candidate is soundly based on merit and non-discriminatory criteria related to the nature of the job. Each interview panel should consist of at least three members, of whom at least one should be Hispanic and/or an EEO practitioner. In so doing, agencies will be better able to create a more inclusive SES membership.

5. Agencies and OPM should conduct 5- and 10-year trend analysis of participation rates by race, national origin, and sex for government-sponsored leadership development programs.

The Work Group recommends that a 5- and 10-year trend analysis by race, national original, and sex be conducted to ascertain the participation rates of Hispanics and other historically excluded groups in government-sponsored leadership development programs, such as the Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Programs, the Federal Executive Institute's Leadership for a Democratic Society, and agencies' leadership development programs. This analysis would reveal any possible disparate impact or treatment of Hispanics or any other historically excluded group in selections, graduations, and eventual promotions.

RECOMMENDATION TO HISPANIC EMPLOYEES:
SEEK OUT DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Numerous federal agencies have partnered to offer the Annual Federal Hispanic Career Advancement Summit (Summit). The Summit is the first of its kind to address the shortage of Hispanics in senior executive and management positions in the federal government. The Summit's purposes are to:

  • Champion the advancement of groups with low participation rates, particularly Hispanic Americans, in the federal workforce;
  • Target and enhance leadership skills among federal employees;
  • Serve as the key federal government event for National Hispanic Heritage Month; and
  • Develop leaders in areas of emerging need, including national security professionals.

The Annual Summit has qualified as federal training in compliance with 5 U.S.C. Chapter 41. The Work Group calls on all agencies to support this important effort and to encourage participation on the part of their employees.

For more information, see the Summit's website at: http://www.federalhispanicsummit.org.

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
Best Practice

SSA's National Leadership Development Programs (NLDP or Programs) are the primary agency mechanism for identifying, developing and placing into leadership/management positions employees who have high potential for becoming future agency leaders. The NLDP consist of four formal SSA leadership development programs that address the agency's need to identify and develop top-quality personnel for leadership and management careers. Participants can be recruited externally and internally depending upon the goals/objectives of the program.

Highlights of the NLDP include:

  • The Programs are competency-based; provide potential for career path change; and consist of a variety of developmental activities including: training, rotational assignments, executive interviews, and shadow assignments.
  • Some Programs offer a three-year certificate that affords one non-competitive promotion, while other Programs afford temporary or permanent promotions.
  • The Program participants develop an Individual Development Plan covering the length of the program.
  • The Program participants receive guidance through a Mentoring Program, made up of volunteer managers and senior analysts at the GS-14 level or higher.

V. ROLE OF THE HISPANIC EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM MANAGER

Background

The primary role of the Hispanic Employment Program Manager (HEPM)'s is to advise senior managers as a part of the management team on matters of recruitment, hiring, retention, and advancement of Hispanic employees. In order to do so, the HEPM identifies potential discriminatory practices insofar as they affect Hispanic employees and applicants, and monitors workforce data for areas of low participation or underutilization of Hispanics. Moreover, applying MD-715 principles, the HEPM evaluates policies and practices to assess their effect upon Hispanic employment, and recommends changes to managers to eliminate known barriers and inequitable policies and practices. In addition, to achieve his or her objectives, the HEPM must, among other things, collaborate with Human Resources and outreach professionals to develop recruitment and succession planning goals, and form partnerships and working relationships with external Hispanic organizations and the community. Inasmuch as the HEPM function requires outreach to the Hispanic community, written and oral fluency in Spanish sufficient to interact with internal and external stakeholders is useful.

The HEPM serves in either a full-time position, focusing solely on Hispanic employment initiatives and programs, or in a collateral-duty position with no more than 20 percent of his or her time being applied to Hispanic employment initiatives or programs. The remainder of a collateral-duty HEPM's schedule is dedicated to Special Emphasis Program Manager (SEPM) duties or other agency duties.

Findings[59]

Based upon results from the National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Manager's Survey, few agencies provide formal Title VII training, funding, time or the dedicated staff required to identify and eliminate discriminatory practices that impede the progress of Hispanic employees. The majority of respondents reported that they were serving in collateral duty positions, with few cabinet-level and other major federal agencies having full-time HEPMs at the headquarters level.[60] Of the collateral-duty HEPMs, most are designated or appointed and, for the most part, do not have specific duties or performance elements. Furthermore, few HEPMs have reported having access to Assistant or Deputy Assistant Secretary-level officials, which may be the reason why most agencies are not implementing accountability measures to address Hispanic low participation rates on a strategic basis.

The Survey also shows that funding for the HEP Program is usually on a task-by-task basis through the Offices of Human Resources or Civil Rights, and some agencies and sub-agencies fund Hispanic-related activities only if they determine that these activities are related to mission-critical objectives. Notwithstanding, many HEPMs do not receive sufficient time to work on HEPM duties and are often denied the allotted 20 percent time required.

Recommendations

1. The EEOC should coordinate with agencies to create a government-wide Director of Hispanic Employment Programs position.

The Work Group recommends that the EEOC create a government-wide Director of Hispanic Employment Programs position to oversee and coordinate the HEPs. The position should be a rotational assignment staffed by a senior-level employee and funded by a sister agency for a two-year appointment. The Director will offer uniformity and consistency in addressing Hispanic employment issues. He or she will further ensure that Hispanic employment initiatives and programs are adequately funded and receive the full scope of resources required to impact outreach, recruitment, retention, and development of Hispanics in each federal agency where low Hispanic participation exists. The Director should also oversee a mandatory HEPM training requirement of no less than 40 hours per year. This training should include topics such as targeted outreach and recruitment; hiring authorities and procedures; development and retention strategies; workforce demographics and barrier analysis; communication and negotiating skills; EEO and HR law and regulations; and report writing.

In the alternative, the Work Group recommends that the EEOC create a government-wide Director of Special Emphasis Programs (SEP) position to oversee and coordinate HEPs and other SEPs.

2. Agencies should have full-time HEPM position(s) to address Hispanic employment initiatives and programs, grade these positions commensurate with the work performed, adequately fund the programs, and ensure access to, at a minimum, the Assistant or Deputy Assistant Secretary-level officials.

The Work Group recommends that agencies, with indicators of low participation, underutilization and attrition of Hispanic employees should increase the number of full-time, dedicated staff (HEPMs) to focus on barriers impacting Hispanic employment. Inasmuch as Hispanics constitute the only ethnic minority group with low participation rates in the federal workforce, more resources should be devoted to special emphasis programs that are tailored to advancement of Hispanic employment. Therefore, large and mid-sized agencies should designate full-time HEPM position(s) consistent with 29 C.F.R. § 1614.102(b)(4) to address Hispanic employment initiatives and programs; grade these position(s) commensurate with the complex work performed as noted in the HEPM background section; and provide them with access to the Assistant or Deputy Assistant Secretary-level officials to fully advise agency leadership and evidence leadership's commitment to the HEPM program. Finally, to achieve results, agencies must adequately fund Hispanic employment initiatives and programs. In order to fully achieve the objective of an inclusive environment for Hispanics, agencies must provide HEPMs with the resources necessary to influence outreach, recruitment, retention, and development of Hispanics in each federal agency where there is low Hispanic participation.

VI. ACCOUNTABILITY

Background

Management accountability must be increased and emphasized in order for progress to be made in employing, retaining, and developing Hispanics in the federal government. Equal Employment Opportunity is a management program, like any other mission-oriented program, and must be recognized accordingly. Moreover, Section 717 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act requires effective EEO programs, and the MD-715 requires that agency heads demonstrate commitment (leadership commitment) to equality of opportunity for all employees and applicants for employment.[61] EEO is to be strategically integrated and aligned with the organization's mission, goals, objectives, staffing and budgets; and managers and supervisors at all levels of an organization must be required to make measurable, sustainable progress toward established goals and objectives.

Hiring, development, and retention go hand in hand, and agencies must succeed in all three to achieve progress. Once Hispanics are brought on board, it is imperative that they be provided with opportunities for development and advancement, allowing each individual to reach his or her full potential at all grade levels, and for equity to be achieved at all grade levels. Hispanic representation at higher levels will place Hispanics in key policy, decision-making and implementation positions to ensure that equal opportunity is afforded to this group and all others. Development and advancement of Hispanics will also positively affect retention percentages. For these objectives to be achieved, accountability must be placed squarely with agency leadership and hiring officials and managers and supervisors at all levels throughout each agency. To this end, we make the following recommendations:

Recommendations

1. Agencies should establish periodic meetings between agency heads and top management officials where EEO goals and accomplishments are discussed and emphasized as required by MD-715.

The Work Group recommends that agency heads and top management officials establish periodic meetings where EEO goals and accomplishments are discussed and emphasized in compliance with MD-715.[62] Indeed, reporting to agency leadership regarding initiatives and progress for improving Hispanic participation at all levels is a necessary step in accountability, and through the setting of objectives and evaluation of accomplishments, agency heads will be better able to, and must, hold supervisors and managers accountable. Furthermore, it is imperative that EEO/Civil Rights Offices be included in these meetings to add their knowledge and expertise. Notably, EEO/Civil Rights officers are often made to report and answer to the agency head regarding workforce makeup, despite the fact that they are not empowered to effect change.

Reporting should include a review of trends, hiring, development and advancement, as well as separation data. In addition, participants must have discussions regarding potential barriers to EEO and the strategies and initiatives being instituted to address these barriers. These meetings should occur on at least a quarterly, if not monthly, basis.

The U.S. Department of Transportation, for example, has meetings every four months with senior-level officials, career and politically appointed, as well as the Directors of Human Resources and Legal Counsel, to review data relating to groups with low participation rates at the Department. Components are asked to report on progress relating to plans to address barriers to EEO.

2. Agencies should include EEO/diversity requirements as a critical element in the performance plans of all managers and supervisors.

The Work Group recommends that agencies include EEO/diversity requirements as a critical element in the performance plans of all managers and supervisors. Common elements in performance ratings include requiring hiring officials to (a) participate in recruitment efforts for groups with low participation rates, and specify which groups are being targeted; and (b) ensure that the best qualified list is inclusive of groups with low participation rates, and where it is not, expand the list to include "qualified" applicants where necessary for inclusion and/or ask that the position be re-advertised.[63] See Recommendation 4, infra.

It is further recommended that the term "groups with low participation rates" be used rather than the terms "minorities" or "women," which are too general, do not lend the required focus, and do not appear in Title VII. The EEO/diversity/inclusion element should also represent a significant portion of officials' ratings.

Appendix E provides model language for performance plans to be utilized at the SES, GS-15, and other supervisory levels for establishing accountability for affirmative employment and MD-715 goals and initiatives.

3. EEO/Civil Rights officials or designees should be involved in reviewing/concurring in the EEO element for hiring officials, particularly for GS-14, GS-15, and SES level managers and supervisors.

The Work Group recommends that EEO/Civil Rights officials or designees be involved in reviewing and/or concurring in the EEO element for hiring officials, particularly for GS-14, GS-15, and SES-level managers and supervisors. This practice will ensure that ratings are in accordance with agency (MD-715) objectives and initiatives as appropriate. Notably, some agencies and agency components are already engaging in this leading practice.

4. Agencies should include EEO/Civil Rights officials or designees in reviewing best qualified or qualified certificates prior to issuance.

The Work Group recommends that best qualified or qualified certificates be reviewed by EEO/Civil Rights officials or designees prior to issuance. If Hispanics are not represented, in accordance with 5 C.F.R. § 720.204, the agency's human resources department should re-advertise the position to ensure adequate diversity/inclusion in the pool of candidates.

5. Agencies should provide a process whereby EEO/Civil Rights Offices are involved in drafting strategic plans, workforce plans, and succession plans.

The Work Group recommends that agencies provide a process whereby EEO/Civil Rights Offices are involved in drafting strategic plans, workforce plans, and succession plans. This practice will hold managers, supervisors, and officers accountable for completing meaningful internal audits to ensure that the agency is realizing a model EEO workplace.

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
Best Practice

EEO/Diversity planning within the SSA provides a structure for planning and ensuring accountability for these programs. SSA values EEO/Diversity and has integrated these strategies into its organizational plan. Senior management values the contribution of all employees and strives to fulfill their potential to meet key business goals. Within SSA, the commitment to, and accountability for, EEO/Diversity is demonstrated from the top, beginning with the Commissioner, and filters down to encompass all senior management.

  • EEO and Diversity are integrated into the agency's business plan.
  • Inclusive values and a "diversity-friendly" culture are actively promoted throughout the organization.
  • Accurate and comprehensive demographic data are collected to record EEO membership, plan strategies and monitor progress for employee representation.
  • EEO data reports are produced monthly and quarterly and shared with agency executives.
  • The Strategic Human Resource plan identifies and addresses gaps in existing staffing capability, with explicit links to EEO planning and representation.
  • EEO measures are aligned with business outcomes and become an organizational responsibility, not just that of the human resources branch.
  • Analyses are undertaken of all policies, practices, and procedures to identify areas of potential bias and discrimination that may have a disproportionate impact on EEO groups.
  • SSA demonstrates through its human resource planning and practice that continual attention to the removal of barriers to the full participation of all staff is an integral part of business management.
  • SSA sets measurable objectives which are clear and realistic in EEO plans and barrier identification.
  • Senior management responsibility and accountability for EEO and diversity management is included in performance agreements.
  • All managers receive periodic training on EEO and managing a diverse workforce.

VII. ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EEOC


In addition to the recommendations set forth by the Work Group to agencies, the Work Group recommends that the EEOC undertake the following actions:

  • Create a scorecard-like tool, named an EEO Program Compliance Assessment (EPCA), for agencies profiled in EEOC's Annual Report on the Federal Work Force. The tool will assign points based on how well agencies perform on selected metrics from the MD-715. EEOC will also provide agencies workforce analyses based on race, national origin, sex, and targeted disabilities.
  • Create a National Origin/Hispanic Toolkit to include, among other things: program evaluations; a briefing book on federal sector EEO; performance measures and the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) goals; coordinated training; standard talking points; trend analyses, including intersectional issues; updated Q & A on national origin; and strategic benchmarks that show cost/benefit of the work.
  • Engage in increased coordination between the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Merit Systems Protection Board, and the Department of Labor.
  • Issue Management Directive 715 (MD-715) letters that include a focus on Hispanics and people with targeted disabilities.
  • Create a link under the current EEOC website with information related to leadership development, hiring, training, mentoring, and the National Origin/Hispanic Toolkit.
  • Create a clearinghouse of agencies' and corporations' best practices, with proven results applicable to the Hispanic community to be made available on the website and in the Toolkit.
  • Require agencies to submit information regarding their Hispanic Employment Program Manager(s), including names, grade level(s), responsibilities, and training.

APPENDIX A: PRACTICE TIPS

Practice tips were derived from four separate sources: (a) the Work Group Recommendations; (b) the Hispanic Program Managers Report; (c) the Work Group Survey; and (d) direct contact with federal employees and organizations. The practice tips are divided into recruitment, hiring, retention, leadership development, and accountability and are set forth below.

Recruitment

The largest number of respondents raised concerns with their agencies' failure to utilize internship programs as a recruitment tool; failure to adequately communicate their recruitment efforts; lack of Hispanic recruiters; and insufficient funding for recruitment efforts. The most frequently cited best practice was engaging in recruitment efforts with external organizations. In addition, respondents highlighted targeted recruitment efforts in the Hispanic community and participation in career fairs as best practices. One respondent noted that his/her agency attends job fairs with available positions, and assists candidates in applying for the positions available.

Practice Tips

  • Sponsor a forum designed to initiate a continuous and on-going exchange with the agency leadership and national Hispanic scientific and technical membership organizations. (Department of Energy)
  • Foster early talent detection through the "adoption" of schools, i.e., "magnet schools," where there is a large concentration of Hispanic students.
  • Organize/assist with a Hispanic Youth Symposium or set up a Student Career Academy for students interested in interning with the federal government.
  • Create a positive interaction between the community and the agency by being a presence in the community while fulfilling the agency's mission-critical objectives.
  • Create and foster networking opportunities for Hispanics interested in federal employment with listing of possible networks.
  • Contact Hispanic professional organizations and form partnerships between agencies and private organizations, professional associations, and HSIs to identify individuals with specific skill sets for mission-critical positions. Such partnerships can include internships, distribution of vacancy announcements, workshops, etc. (Department of Energy, Internal Revenue Service) For example, recruiters from the Internal Revenue Service contact the Hispanic Internal Revenue Employee (HIRE) national organization to communicate employment opportunities with members of their communities, including local HSIs.
  • Participate in outreach programs, like the Southern Nevada Hispanic Employment Program, to educate employees about the changing work culture and how diverse groups are impacting the work force. (Bureau of Reclamation)
  • Advertise in media sources, utilizing peer-to-peer marketing. (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
  • Perform targeted recruitment in majority Hispanic states and at colleges and universities, and utilize Minority College Relations Programs to bring students on board (Department of Army).
  • Develop a Recruitment Strategic Plan.
  • Educate agency leadership and management regarding the correlation between MD-715 and good recruitment practices.
  • Use hiring percentage objectives to correct variances as a critical element for performance evaluations.
  • Create a Memorandum of Understanding between the agency and Hispanic organizations. (Environmental Protection Agency and LULAC)
  • Create a Hispanic Speakers Bureau (with the National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers and/or the Annual Federal Hispanic Career Advancement Summit). This would include Federal Hispanic employees volunteering (with their management endorsement) to be called upon to speak to Hispanic organizations about federal service.
  • Network within the local community.

Hiring

Survey respondents identified sustained communications with colleges and universities, as well as with internship and scholarship programs, as an important mechanism for increasing Hispanic employment.

Practice Tips

  • Use the Administrative Fellows Program where employees start at GS-9 and end at GS-12 within two years. (National Institute of Health)
  • Implement a recruitment survey to be completed by the selecting official and determine (1) whether diverse candidates are being considered, and (2) the reasons they were or were not selected. (Bureau of Reclamation)
  • Employ a strategic approach to recruitment and hiring. (Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA)) For example, NAVSEA managers engage the science and engineering programs at targeted universities, fund research studies in technical areas that are of interest and benefit to the agency, and through these initiatives, identify the most talented students and those who have developed interest in the particular field of work. Then the agency identifies hard to fill positions and obtains authorization to fill those positions on-the-spot. Thereafter, teams of recruiters are sent to the targeted universities to seek applicants and do on-the-spot job offers.
  • Provide each office with a profile of its organization, and challenge the appropriate administrator to achieve an organization that is representative of all groups in society. (Social Security Administration) At SSA, the onus is placed upon managers to reflect the demographic makeup of their clients. In this way, there are no quotas, but rather the clear requirement that the organization reflect the diversity found in the general population.
  • Utilize programs that prepare the organization's MD-715 report in its totality and provide specific data on diversity in narrative, as well as graphic formats. Such data can be utilized to identify where variances exist between the agency's workforce and the Civilian Labor Force, and share that information with managers. (National Nuclear Security Agency)

Below is a list of some internship and scholarship programs, as well as hiring authorities, that were identified through the Work Group Survey:

  1. Schedule A;
  2. Emerging Leaders Program;
  3. Outstanding Scholars Program;
  4. Federal Career Intern Program (FCIP);
  5. Veterans' Readjustment Act (VRA);
  6. Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP);
  7. Student Career Experience Program (SCEP);
  8. FAST Track (Two year summer program for college students);
  9. Always a Soldier Program;
  10. Disabled Veterans Enrolled in a Veterans Administration Training Program;
  11. Thirty Percent or More Disabled Veterans;
  12. Student Educational Employment Program (SEEP);
  13. Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program; and
  14. Diversity Intern Programs.

For more information regarding primary appointing authorities for career and career-conditional appointments see OPM's website at: http://www.opm.gov/hr_practitioners/lawsregulations/appointingauthorities/index.asp.

Retention

Survey respondents indicated, by nearly a 2 to1 margin, that their agencies did not commit adequate resources to support the recognition, retention and fostering of work environments conducive to the advancement of Hispanic employees.

Practice Tips

  • Offer Hispanic employees training and educational opportunities, as well as the opportunity to transfer to other regions for advancement. (Bureau of Reclamation)
  • Routinely offer temporary detail assignments to help upgrade employees' skills and to improve their visibility, and widely advertise such assignments.
  • Offer student loan repayment and make it available for any employee's accredited off-duty schooling.
  • Devote sufficient resources to the recognition, advancement, transfer and promotion of all federal employees, and fully utilize the Hispanic Employment Program and the Hispanic Employment Program Advisory Committees to address issues affecting Hispanic employees. (Federal Bureau of Investigation)

Leadership Development

By a nearly a 2 to 1 margin, respondents found that their agencies did not do enough to encourage leadership development in their employees. Many suggested that agencies expand the scope of employees eligible for leadership development programs to the GS-11 level and above, rather than maintain the programs at the GS-14 level and above. Very few respondents could identify an agency best practice in this area.

Practice Tips

  • Open leadership development courses not only to GS-14 and GS-15 employees, but also to employees who have held GS-14 positions in the past. (Social Security Administration)
  • Provide automatic, guaranteed pay raises for those who are accepted into leadership training programs. (United States Postal Service)
  • Use a career executive service, which provides extensive training, executive simulations, targeted Individual Development Plans, and places candidates on succession planning lists. (United States Postal Service partnered with Duke University)
  • Offer a catalog of Leadership Development courses and detail assignments. (The Department of Interior)
  • Rotate supervisory responsibilities to allow multiple employees the opportunity to develop their skills. (Social Security Administration)
  • Offer leadership shadowing programs, rotational assignment programs and internship programs that are at least two years long. (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services)
  • Offer two-week training on leadership as a mandatory prerequisite for new managers, and assign leadership coaches for new managers. (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services)
  • Inform employees of educational, diversity, and health opportunities within the workforce, and incorporate these opportunities into employees' Individuals Development Plans (IDPs). (Department of Interior)
  • E-mail information about leadership training to all employees.
  • Promote employees quickly once they have completed leadership programs.
  • Create formal mentoring programs.

Accountability

In the area of accountability, respondents were evenly divided between those who agreed that managers were accountable and those who did not know. Several of those who responded that managers were made accountable through their performance evaluations complained that too often managers satisfied their requirements by sponsoring a special emphasis program. Still, others were pleased by the participation of their managers in their own development and the managers' accountability for their own success.

One participant offered the following observation: "When I look back at the mentors that coached and supported me in my career advancement, I see a diverse group of men and women that were willing to step out of their comfort zone and afford me the opportunity to make a difference and contribute to the organization. I strongly believe that any committee, group and/or agency that is interested in changing the percentages of Hispanics in the senior level positions in the federal government needs to be diverse."

Practice Tips

  • Ensure that the EEO Director has direct access to the head of the agency.
  • Incorporate accountability for affirmative employment and MD-715 compliance at the SES, GS-15, and other supervisory levels. In this way, senior managers and supervisors are evaluated on how well they are able to comply with EEO mandates. See Appendix E for examples of performance plans. In addition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation rates senior executives, in part, on their ability to promote diversity, support special emphasis programs, and apply EEO principles of fairness and equity within the workplace. Measurable results include ensuring the timely dissemination and implementation of relevant material.
  • Provide EEO training to the senior leadership, require them to attend the training, and recognize and reward them for mentoring and developing women and minorities. (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)
  • Require management to implement the EEO and affirmative employment objectives established by the agency, and ensure that they support staff participation in special emphasis programs. (Internal Revenue Service; Bureau of Reclamation)
  • Ensure that managers: (a) promptly respond to allegations of discrimination and/or harassment and initiates appropriate action to address the situation; (b) cooperate with EEO Counselors, EEO Investigators, and other officials who are responsible for conducting inquiries into EEO complaints; and (c) monitor the work environment to prevent instances of prohibited discrimination and/or harassment. (Internal Revenue Service; Bureau of Reclamation)
  • APPENDIX B: LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EEOC'S CONSIDERATION

    Recruitment

    1. The EEOC, in partnership with other federal agencies, should develop a Hispanic Media Outreach Strategy and branding tool to assist agencies in marketing various types of federal employment.
    2. Agencies and the EEOC should coordinate with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to increase the visibility of federal service at Hispanic Serving Institutions.
    3. Agencies should develop targeted recruitment campaigns at Hispanic Serving Institutions and Hispanic organizations at colleges and universities, and utilize the Presidential Management Fellows Program.
    4. Agencies should regularly hold Hispanic Outreach Advisory Forums where they interface with external Hispanic organizations and the community to obtain feedback and advice on the effectiveness of Government recruiting and outreach efforts to Hispanics.
    5. STEM Fields: Agencies should establish a consortium of federal agencies whose mission-critical occupations include science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to coordinate recruitment efforts and work with private sector and not-for-profit organizations to develop better recruitment strategies.

    Hiring

    1. Agencies should create a system of pay incentives where language requirements exist for mission-critical positions.
    2. Agencies should better utilize intern programs for Hispanic students.
    3. Agencies should re-advertise positions when the Best Qualified list lacks diversity.
    4. Agencies should hire Hispanics with targeted disabilities through Schedule A and Hispanic veterans.
    5. STEM Fields: Agencies should create research grants at HSIs, develop students with exhibited interest, and hire these students for permanent positions.

    Retention

    1. Agencies should determine whether a pattern exists for voluntary and involuntary separations of Hispanic employees and require exit interviews of all employees.
    2. Agencies should increase focus on developing well-qualified candidate pools through broad-based initiatives and make this part of their succession planning.
    3. Agencies should create advisory councils that provide feedback regarding the work environment for Hispanics, and other historically excluded groups, and foster inclusion as critical to accomplishing the agencies' missions.
    4. Agencies should conduct employee opinion (EEO climate) surveys and 360-degree evaluations, and recognize supervisors and managers who are successful with strategic EEO.

    Leadership Development

    1. The EEOC should create a government-wide mentoring program through which Senior Level Officials mentor GS-15s and GS-14s.
    2. Agencies should increase the number of Hispanics selected for agency leadership and management training, as well as detail assignments to prepare them for career advancement.
    3. Agencies should examine the employment information of employees at regular intervals to determine promotion potential for mission-critical occupations as part of succession planning.
    4. Agencies should include Hispanics and/or EEO practitioners on the selection panels for GS-14, GS-15, and SES positions.
    5. Agencies and OPM should conduct 5 and 10-year trend analysis of participation rates by race, national origin, and sex for government-sponsored leadership development programs.

    Hispanic Employment Program Managers

    1. The EEOC should coordinate with agencies to create a government-wide Director of Hispanic Employment Programs position.
    2. Agencies should have full-time HEPM positions to address Hispanic employment initiatives and programs, grade these positions commensurate with the work performed, adequately fund the programs, and ensure access to, at a minimum, the Assistant or Deputy Assistant Secretary-level officials.

    Accountability

    1. Agencies should establish periodic meetings between agency heads and top management officials where EEO goals and accomplishments are discussed and emphasized as required by MD 715.
    2. The Work Group recommends that agencies include EEO/diversity requirements as a critical element in the performance plans of all managers and supervisors.
    3. EEO/Civil Rights officials or designees should be involved in reviewing/concurring in the EEO element for hiring officials, particularly for GS-14, 15, and SES-level managers and supervisors.
    4. Agencies should include EEO/Civil Rights officials or designees in reviewing best qualified or qualified certificates prior to issuance.
    5. Agencies should provide a process whereby EEO/Civil Rights Offices are involved in drafting strategic plans, workforce plans, and succession plans.

    APPENDIX C: SPECIAL THANKS TO HISPANIC WORK GROUP MEMBERS

    Chair Naomi C. Earp would like to thank all of the members of the Hispanic Work Group for their dedication, enthusiasm, and hard work. The members are:

    Milton Belardo, Senior EEO Manager, Policy and Evaluation Division, Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Commerce;

    Nancy Bosque, Team Leader, Cultural Diversity & External Reports Team, Office of Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity, Social Security Administration;

    Alexandra Chavez-Hadley, Title VI Program Manager, Office of Equal Opportunity, United States Geological Service, U.S. Department of Interior;

    Laura Gallegos-McMullen, Hispanic Employment Manager, Mine Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor;

    Delia L. Johnson, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Broadcasting Board of Governors;

    Nicolas Juarez, Southwest Area Manager, Dispute Resolution, United States Postal Service;

    Isabel Kaufman, Equal Opportunity Specialist, U.S. Department of Justice;

    Donald King, Manager, Complaints Management Division, National Aeronautics and Space Administration;

    Joe V. Martinez, Senior Advisor for Scientific Institutional Outreach, U.S. Department of Energy;

    Aida Muccio, Equal Employment Manager (Hispanic & American Indian/Alaska Native Programs), Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity, Office of the Secretary of Defense;

    Cyrus Salazar, EEO Specialist, Workplace Fairness and Equal Opportunity, Comptroller of the Currency, U.S. Department of the Treasury;

    Eugenio Ochoa Sexton, Director, Recruiting and Diversity, U.S. Department of Homeland Security;

    Beatrice Pacheco, Associate Director, Equal Employment Opportunity Programs, Departmental Office of Civil Rights, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation;

    Armando Rodriguez, Diversity Manager, Office of Environmental Management, U.S. Department of Energy;

    Jesse D. Solis, Chief, Photo Imaging Branch, Randolph Air Force Base, U.S. Department of Air Force;

    Ramón Surís Fernández, Esq., Director, Civil Rights Center, U.S. Department of Labor; and

    Veronica Villalobos, Chair of the Hispanic Work Group and Attorney Advisor on Hispanic Issues to the Chair, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    These individuals eagerly agreed to take on a challenging task, and through their extraordinary efforts, the Work Group was able to develop a comprehensive and innovative set of recommendations.

    APPENDIX D: INPUT TO THE TASK FORCE

    The Hispanic Work Group gratefully acknowledges the input and assistance we received from many individuals, including EEOC staff; sister agencies; and external stakeholders, including attorneys, advocacy organizations, management associations, and academics.

    EEOC Staff

    Virginia Andreu-Rosario

    Gale Black

    Melissa Brand

    Robbie Dix, III

    Barbara Dougherty

    Douglas Gallegos

    Lori Grant

    Carlton Hadden

    Laminka Jennings

    Mara Lopez

    Gazal Modhera

    Claudia Molina

    Mark Plotkin

    Jamie Price

    Elyssa Santos-Abrams

    Patricia St. Clair

    Neal Thomas

    William Torruellas

    Sister Agencies

    U.S. Agency for International Development

    U.S. Department of the Army

    U.S Department of Agriculture
    U.S. Department of Air Force

    Broadcasting Board of Governors

    Centers for Disease Control

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

    U.S. Coast Guard

    U.S. Department of Commerce

    Comptroller of the Currency

    D.C. Pretrial Service Agency

    Defense Finance and Accounting Service

    Drug Enforcement Administration

    U.S. Department of Energy

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    Federal Aviation Administration

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

    Federal Maritime Commission

    Food Safety Inspection Service

    U.S. Forest Service

    U.S. Geological Service

    Department of Health & Human Services

    U.S. Department of Homeland Security

    Internal Revenue Service

    U.S. Department of Justice

    U.S. Department of Labor

    Library of Congress

    U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration

    National Institute of Health

    National Security Agency

    National Transportation Safety Board

    Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA)

    U.S. Department of the Navy

    Office of the Secretary of Defense

    United States Postal Service

    Smithsonian Institution

    Social Security Administration

    U.S. Department of Transportation

    U.S. Department of the Treasury

    U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

    White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans

    Stakeholders

    Congressional Hispanic Caucus

    Council of Federal EEO and Civil Rights Executives

    Federal Hispanic Law Enforcement Officers Association

    Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities

    HIRE of Philadelphia

    Hispanic Scholarship Fund Institute

    League of United Latin American Citizens

    Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund

    National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Managers

    National Image, Incorporated

    National Organization for Mexican American Rights

    Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers

    Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists

    The Tomás Rivera Policy Institute

    United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

    United States Hispanic Leadership Institute

    APPENDIX E: PERFORMANCE PLAN EXAMPLE

    Equal Employment Opportunity, Diversity and Inclusion Performance Objective

    Ensures continuing application of, and compliance with, applicable Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws, regulations and policies; promptly addresses allegations of prohibited discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; ensures EEO principles are adhered to throughout the organization; and promotes workforce diversity and inclusion.

    NOTE: To meet this objective, supervisors and managers must comply with the applicable provisions of the EEOC's Management Directive 715. At a minimum, supervisors and managers must demonstrate compliance with the following EEO activities: (1) communicates EEO policies and ensures adherence throughout the work unit; (2) seeks early dispute resolution through Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) techniques; (3) promptly addresses reasonable accommodation requests; (4) ensures that EEO-related training requirements are met; and (5) supports agency workforce diversity and inclusion initiatives.

    EXAMPLES OF MEASURABLITY

    • Communicates EEO Policies

      Achieved Expectations: Posted the Agency's EEO Policy statement.

      Exceeded Expectations: Issued own endorsement of the agency's policy statement; conducted "all-hands" meeting to discuss intent and provided examples of prohibited conduct; sent refresher notices to employees; supported employees who sought to serve as collateral-duty EEO counselors.

    • Early Dispute Resolution

      Achieved Expectations: Participated in ADR attempts to resolve EEO complaints.

      Exceeded Expectations: Proactively addressed workplace conflict before the formal complaint process through employee engagement; conducted team-building activities, used an ombudsman, etc.; attended conflict resolution skills training.

    • Promptly Address Reasonable Accommodation Requests

      Achieved Expectations: Addressed accommodation requests within the required timeframes.

      Exceeded Expectations: Addressed accommodation requests quicker than that required by agency policy; conducted barrier analysis to ameliorate burdens on the disabled; simplify accommodation request process where possible (e.g., delegate approval authority).

    • EEO Training Requirements

      Achieved Expectations: Attended and ensured staff attendance at required EEO training.

      Exceeded Expectations: Provided additional training/instruction on EEO/Civil Rights matters; encouraged employees to take "soft-skills" training; provided opportunities for communication improvement instruction/exercises.

    • Promotes workforce diversity and inclusion

      Achieved Expectations: Led a team whose members showed accountability for the quality of their work, regardless of background or culture; demonstrated the ability to recruit and retain a diverse staff; openly and frequently promoted the importance of diversity and inclusion at meetings; participated in diversity-related initiatives.

      Exceeded Expectations: Took steps to broaden applicant pools, i.e., established professional relationships and partnerships outside the immediate organization that resulted in successful diversity efforts; personally mentored and coached underrepresented individuals; implemented internal succession plan which included employee development activities.



    [1] Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.

    [2] Id. at §§ 715 and 717.

    [3] Equal Employment Opportunity Management Directive 715 (issued Oct. 1, 2003), available at: http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/md715/index.html.

    [4] The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act), as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 791 et seq.

    [5] EEOC has charged itself with increasing to 50 percent the percentage of federal agencies that successfully implement the model EEO program. EEOC Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2007-2012, available at: http://www.eeoc.gov/abouteeoc/plan/strategic_07-12/index.html.

    [6] Prior to this time, in September 2005, Carlton Hadden, the Director of the EEOC's Office of Federal Operations, initiated the "Hispanic Strategies Group" with the goal of contributing to the advancement of Hispanics in the federal workforce. The Group determined that, unless agencies take action, Hispanic participation in the federal workforce will continue to lag as compared to the national civilian labor force.

    [7] Although the Work Group focused its recommendations on individuals of Hispanic origin, the recommendations can be effective in increasing opportunities for any group that has been excluded and not fully utilized for federal employment or certain types of mission-critical positions.

    [8] Exec. Order No. 10590, 20 Fed. Reg. 409 (Jan. 19, 1955); Exec. Order No. 10925, 26 Fed. Reg. 1977 (Mar. 8, 1961); Exec. Order No. 11246, 30 Fed. Reg. 12,319 (Sept. 28, 1965); Exec. Order No. 11478, 34 Fed. Reg. 12,985 (Aug. 12, 1969).

    [9] Vice President Spiro Agnew acknowledged the disproportionate hiring in the Hispanic community when he stated, "The number of (Spanish Americans) in the Administration was too small to represent the minority group adequately…. no group could be satisfied until it had enough officials to represent a reasonable equivalent ratio to (their percentage of the) population." N.Y. Times, July 8, 1970.

    [10] Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, Pub. L. No. 92-261 (1972) (codified at 42 U.S.C. § 2000e), reprinted in the Legislative History of the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 (Nov. 1972).

    [11] Id. at 1719.

    [12] Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978, 43 Fed. Reg. 19,807 (Feb. 23, 1978).

    [13] Pales, David, J.R. et al., The Carter Administration and Hispanics Report: A Partnership to Progress (Nov. 1979).

    [14] Id. at 6.

    [15] Exec. Order No. 13171, 65 Fed. Reg. 61251 (Oct. 12, 2000).

    [16] U.S. Census Bureau, Facts for Features, Hispanic Heritage Month 2008: Sept. 15 – Oct. 15 (Sept. 2008), available at: http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/012245.html.

    [17] Id.

    [18] Id.

    [19] U.S. Census Bureau, Facts for Features, Hispanic Heritage Month 2007: Sept. 15 – Oct. 15 (Sept. 2007), available at: http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2007/cb07ff-14.pdf.

    [20] U.S. Census Bureau, supra note 19.

    [21] Id.

    [22] Id.

    [23] Id.

    [24] Id.

    [25] The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Annual Report on the Federal Work Force Fiscal Year 2007 (last modified on Aug. 19, 2008) (FY 2007 Annual Report), available at: http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/fsp2007/index.html.

    [26] Edward Flores, Jillian Medeiros, & Harry P. Pachon, Equal Employment Opportunity or Enclave Employment?: A Critique of the GAO Report on Hispanic Employment in Federal Agencies, The Tomás Rivera Policy Institute (Jan. 2007) (A group could be greatly over- or under- represented in federal employment although distributed evenly across all agencies).

    [27] U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Seventh Annual Report to the President on Hispanic Employment in the Federal Government (Dec. 2007) (Seventh Annual Report to the President), available at: https://www.opm.gov/Diversity/Hispanic/annual/reports/Dec2007/HispanicReportDec2007.pdf.

    [28] Id.

    [29] The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, Latino Leadership Report to Congress: An Evaluation of OPM's Efforts to Improve Hispanic Representation in the Federal Workforce (July 2006), available at: http://www.nahfe.org/NAHFEDOCs/NHLAreportOPM.pdf.

    [30] FY 2007 Annual Report, supra note 25.

    [31] Ensuring Diversity at Senior Levels of the Federal Government and the U.S. Postal Service: Hearing before the Subcomm. on the Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of Columbia, H.R. 3774, 110th Cong. (May 10, 2007)(Testimony of Gilbert Sandate, Senior Policy Associate, National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives).

    [32] National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, supra note 29.

    [33] Press Release, The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, New Gallup Poll On Employment Discrimination Shows Progress, Problems 40 Years After Founding Of EEOC (Dec. 8, 2005), available at http://www.eeoc.gov/press/12-8-05.html.

    [34] FY 2007 Annual Report, supra note 25.

    [35] The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Annual Report on the Federal Work Force Fiscal Year 2006, (last modified on January 22, 2008), available at: http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/fsp2006/index.html.

    [36] FY 2007 Annual Report, supra note 25.

    [37] The Office of Personnel Management, An Analysis of Federal Employee Retirement Data: Predicting Future Retirements and Examining Factors Relevant to Retiring from the Federal Service, at 5 (Mar. 2008) (An Analysis of Federal Employee Retirement Data), available at: www.opm.gov/feddata/RetirementPaperFinal_v4.pdf.

    [38] The Partnership for Public Service, Roadmap to Reform/A Management Framework for the Next Administration (last modified on Oct. 1, 2008), available at: http://www.ourpublicservice.org/OPS/publications/viewcontentdetails.php?id=129.

    [39] Id.

    [40] U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, Federal Appointment Authorities: Cutting through the Confusion (June 2008), available at: http://www.mspb.gov/netsearch/viewdocs.aspx?docnumber=350930&version=351511&application=ACROBAT.

    [41] Id.

    [42] Seventh Annual Report to the President on Hispanic Employment, supra note 27, at 10.

    [43] Flores, supra note 26.

    [44] The Partnership for Public Service, supra note 38.

    [45] For a listing of HSIs, go to Excelencia in Education website, available at: http://www.edexcelencia.org/research/hsi/default.asp; Deborah A. Santiago, Modeling Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs): Campus Practices That Work for Latino Students, June 2008.

    [46] U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Federal Hiring Flexibilities Resource Center, available at: https://www.opm.gov/Strategic_Management_of_Human_Capital/fhfrc/FLX03020.asp.

    [47] U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, USDA/1890 Liaison Officer Program, available at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/1890officer.html.

    [48] Although some have asserted that Hispanic applicants can be identified by their surnames, this approach has not yielded accurate information in the past.

    [49] See generally Government Accountability Office, Foreign Languages: Human Capital Approach Needed to Correct Staffing and Proficiency Shortfalls, GAO-02-375 (Jan. 31, 2002).

    [50] U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Federal Hiring Flexibilities Resource Center, available at https://www.opm.gov/Strategic_Management_of_Human_Capital/fhfrc/FLX03020.asp.

    [51] 5 C.F.R. § 720.204(c), provides that:

    Where an agency or the Office of Personnel Management has determined that an applicant pool does not adequately provide for consideration of candidates from any underrepresented group, the agency or agency component must take one or more of the following actions:

    (1) Expand or otherwise redirect their recruitment activities in ways designed to increase the number of candidates from underrepresented groups in that applicant pool;

    (2) Use selection methods involving other applicant pools which include sufficient numbers of members of underrepresented groups;

    (3) Notify the office responsible for administering that applicant pool, and request its reopening of application receipt in support of expanded recruitment activities or certifying from equivalent registers existing in other geographic areas; and/or

    (4) Take such other action consistent with law which will contribute to the elimination of underrepresentation in the category of employment involved.

    [52] National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, supra note 29.

    [53] See Booz Allen and Partnership for Public Service, Getting On Board: A Model for Integrating and Engaging New Employees (May 2008).

    [54] FY 2007 Annual Report, supra note 25, referencing General Accountability Office, Senior Executive Service: Agency Efforts Needed to Improve Diversity as the Senior Corps Turns Over, Report No. GAO-03-34 (Jan. 2003).

    [55] The General Accounting Office, Diversity in the Federal SES and Senior Levels of the U.S. Postal Service and Processes for Selecting New Executives, Report No. GAO-08-609T, p. 7 (Apr. 3, 2008). In FY 2007, the "feeder grades" to Senior Pay Level positions (GS-14 and 15) showed the following participation rates: men (65.80%), women (34.20%), Hispanic or Latino employees (4.34%), White employees (77.72%), Black or African American employees (10.26%), Asian employees (6.48%), Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander (0.05%), American Indian / Alaska Native employees (1.01%), and Individuals with Targeted Disabilities (0.52%). FY 2007 Annual Report, supra note 25, Tables A-1 and A-3.

    [56] Id.

    [57] Id.

    [58] Report No. GAO-08-609T, supra note 55.

    [59] These findings are derived from the National Council of Hispanic Employment Program Manager's Survey, which was administered by the NCHEPM on a voluntary basis.

    [60] Notably, the highest grade level for full-time HEPMs is GS-14 or equivalent, while collateral-duty HEPMs' grade levels range from GS-9 to GS-13. Only two agencies (Department of Commerce and Department of Defense) have senior-level officials at the GS-15 grade that work on Hispanic employment initiatives and programs in addition to other duties.

    [61] Management Directive 715, supra note 3.

    [62] 29 C.F.R. § 1614.102(c).

    [63] 29 C.F.R. § 1614.102(5) & (10); 5 U.S.C. § 2301(b)(1).


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