Introduction and Commitment
Blue Ridge Community College is fully committed to equal opportunity in employment (EEO) in all aspects of employment. We will seek to take affirmative actions (AA) as appropriate to address protected classes that are currently, or have been traditionally, under-represented. With the development of this plan, the College reaffirms its continuing commitment to recruit, employ and retain employees in these protected classes. This plan only addresses the College’s EEO commitment and is not intended to be a formal hiring policy. The College will follow DHRM and VCCS hiring policies in regard to the specific requirements of the recruitment process.
The College’s internal review of its human resources and employment practices demonstrates that the College in no way discriminates, and that personnel are employed without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation.
The College’s hiring practices have not led to a significant disparity in the number of female employees versus the available population. Therefore, the affirmative action aspects of this plan will emphasize actions and activities intended to recruit highly qualified minority employees.
All college personnel involved in the selection process are thoroughly apprised of the recruitment objectives of the EEO/AA Plan and the seriousness with which the College approaches its commitment to these objectives. Appropriate staff members may also attend periodic EEO/AA recruitment and interviewing training seminars to ensure that they are fully informed regarding current laws affecting EEO/AA, as well as the intentions and expectations of the College concerning the implementation of this plan.
The College participates in state-sponsored programs to enhance minority recruitment and retention, including the VCCS’ Search Liaison program. Blue Ridge Community College administration is well aware of the difficulties in recruiting and retaining minority employees in certain areas/disciplines; and even more aware of the difficulties of recruiting minority professionals to the Shenandoah Valley. The College is therefore committed to supporting statewide diversity recruitment programs; and participating, as appropriate, in other efforts to enhance recruitment, promotion, and retention of highly qualified employees.
Dissemination of Policy
Equal Employment and Enrollment Opportunity Policy Statement
It is the policy of the Virginia Community College System and Blue Ridge Community College to maintain and promote equal employment opportunity without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, political affiliation, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation in all terms and conditions of employment.
The following statement is typically included in any advertisement for college positions:
“Blue Ridge Community College is an Equal Opportunity Employer that fully supports the Commonwealth’s commitment to diversity, opportunity, and inclusion. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.”
Responsibility for Implementation
The President of the College has the overall responsibility for the College’s Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action policy for the College. The President has delegated the authority for the administration of the plan to the Vice-President of Finance and Administration (VPFA) and the HR Director. The VPFA and HR Director assist college officers, faculty and staff in the interpretation and administration of the College’s plan and will prepare pertinent EEO/AA reports and plans.
The HR Director is responsible for monitoring employment procedures and practices to ensure the effective use of human resources in compliance with Federal regulations and State equal employment practices.
Each administrator will be responsible for ensuring that the EEO/AA plan is carried out within his/her respective area.
Classified Policies and Procedures
It is the College’s objective to utilize a consistent hiring process that promotes equal employment opportunity. Department of Human Resource Management Hiring Policy (2.10) sets forth the general provisions of the College’s recruitment and hiring process.
Recruitment and Selection
The HR Director is responsible for ensuring that all selection procedures are job related and that the procedures and selection records are in compliance with appropriate policies.
The following selection procedures are generally followed for classified personnel:
- When a classified vacancy occurs, the immediate supervisor recommends to the president or appropriate VP that the position be filled.
- The job description and criteria for the position are reviewed and updated by the immediate supervisor, if appropriate.
- A vacancy announcement is prepared by HR, using recommendations of the immediate supervisor, the identified Search Liaison, the president and/or the appropriate VP. Each vacancy announcement states the position title, the minimum qualifications for the position, a summary of the responsibilities for the position, a deadline for receipt of applications, application instructions, and contact information.
- Positions may be advertised in various local newspapers/publications, and are posted on the state’s on-line Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Positions may be shared with various minority contacts and advertised in appropriate minority publications and/or websites as appropriate. Announcements can also be accessed at the BRCC website.
- All applications and applicant EEO data are tracked in the Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
- The president, appropriate VP, HR, and/or the immediate supervisor determine the procedure for performing the initial screening of the applicant pool. Only applicants whose application files are complete and received by the deadline should be included in the pool.
- The president or appropriate VP and the supervisor may appoint a screening committee to review the applications and select persons for an interview, or the immediate supervisor and/or HR may perform this review. Committee members shall be familiar with the basic responsibilities of the position. If members are classified employees, they should be in the same or higher pay band as the advertised position, unless an individual is participating as an HR professional or has particular expertise related to the position being advertised. The supervisor and/or the screening committee members shall meet with HR to ensure that they are familiar with lawful and effective selection and employment practices, unless a member has been recently trained in the college’s recruitment process. This meeting will provide committee members information regarding the overall recruitment/selection process, the EEO/AA Plan, and relevant legal aspects of hiring (including information on aspects of implicit bias).
- To expedite the screening process, the committee should meet with HR soon after the position is posted; then applications/materials may be screened as they come in, so that interviews may be conducted soon as practicable after the position closes.
- The committee determines specific job-related qualifications and selection criteria on the basis of the position description and/or job posting. These criteria may also be reviewed by the appropriate VP and/or Human Resources.
- HR and/or the search committee review applications to determine which applicants have submitted complete application materials and which are most competitive for an interview. The college is especially interested in highly-qualified candidates who can contribute to the continued diversity and excellence of the college community.
- After application materials are fully screened, the chair of the screening committee and/or the immediate supervisor checks with HR to determine whether or not there are any minority applicants. If none of the candidates selected for interview is a minority and there are minority applicants who meet the minimum job qualifications, the committee again reviews the files of the minority applicants and determines whether any of the minority candidates could be considered as reasonably competitive. If either the immediate supervisor and/or the majority of the committee believe a minority candidate is reasonably competitive, then the offer to interview will be extended.
- In certain circumstances, the initial screening interview of top candidates may be conducted electronically (Zoom, Skype, etc.). The same media/method should be used for all selected candidates in this initial interview stage, and consistent interview questions/documentation should be maintained.
- Applicants invited for an in-person interview should be sent written notification by the hiring manager containing information about the time and place of the interview. The notification should include a statement such as the following: “If you have a disability for which you need to request an accommodation during the interview, please make your request in writing at least two working days prior to the interview.” After the request is received, the supervisor and HR Director will determine if the requested accommodation is reasonable. This determination may require that additional documentation concerning the disability be obtained from the applicant.
- A consistent format is used for all interviews, including an established list of questions that are asked in the same order during each interview. While additional follow-up questions may be asked, it is the responsibility of the Chair to assure that they are job-related. If possible, at least one diversity-related question should be asked during the interview. If a screening committee is used, the Chair of that committee is also responsible for ensuring appropriate notes are maintained on each interview; if the interview is conducted by the immediate supervisor, he/she is responsible for keeping appropriate records.
- After each interview, the pertinent information about the candidate is summarized, and a final report is written outlining the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates. This report is sent to the president and/or the appropriate VP, and HR. The President has final authority in hiring decisions. However, he/she may delegate the final employment decision to the appropriate VP and/or HR Director in certain situations.
- Any testing that is conducted is consistent with applicable federal and state requirements. Test results are not the sole criteria used for selection, and may be just an additional tool in the evaluation process.
- For the top candidate(s), the supervisor shall attempt to verify the following job-related information: name, employment dates, position held (job title), job duties, beginning and ending salaries, training completed, eligibility for rehire, and required license, certificate or degree. The supervisor should obtain the name of the person providing this information and note the date it was obtained; and provide the information for the recruitment file. The supervisor also gathers information from former supervisors or others, as appropriate, concerning prior work experience. The supervisor documents the information received and provides this for the recruitment file.
- If an acceptable candidate is not found among those interviewed, the applications may be reviewed again. If no qualified candidates are identified in the first recruitment effort, the search may be extended and/or re-advertised.
- If an acceptable candidate is identified for hire, the Hiring Manager should complete a Pay Action Worksheet (PAW) requesting the starting pay rate; this PAW should be submitted to the appropriate VP and HR for approval.
- After the PAW is approved by the VP/HR, employment is verbally offered to a candidate by the supervisor. Those candidates interviewed, but not offered employment, should be notified of the decision in a timely manner. If possible, internal candidates should be contacted personally by the Hiring Manager/Supervisor, and then the ATS may be used to notify additional/outside applicants.
- Background checks will be conducted as a condition of employment in accordance with VCCS Policy. For criminal violations, recency, relevancy, and severity of the identified violations will be the main criteria evaluated by the President in regard to whether an applicant is acceptable for employment with BRCC.
Accountability and Documentation
The following are actions to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the EEO Plan.
- The following records are maintained by HR for a period of at least three years from the date the position is filled: position description, records related to recruitment efforts, copies of advertisements, employment applications, race and gender data on all applicants, screening and selection criteria applied, interview questions and notes on applicant response, and reference checks.
- The Health, Safety, and Human Resources Committee may include in its annual report to the president its internal assessment of the Faculty EEO/AA Plan, making recommendations as appropriate for corrective actions or modifications to the EEO/AA Plan.
Health, Safety, and Human Resources Committee
The Health, Safety and Human Resources Committee is appointed in accordance with the College governance structure. This Committee represents a cross-section of the College’s employees.
- This committee represents the administration, classified employees, and faculty, for one to three-year terms.
- Among other things, the duties and responsibilities of this committee include the following:
- Serve as an independent channel for individuals and groups within the College for expression of views on equal opportunity matters.
- Assist in reviewing appropriate EEO/AA plans and reports as requested by the Vice President for Finance and Administration.
- Meetings are held periodically during the academic year.
- The agenda is developed by the committee chair with input from members.
- The minutes are published in the College’s Intranet along with other committee meeting minutes.
- These duties may be further delegated to a Human Resources Subcommittee of the Health, Safety, and Human Resources Committee.