December 14, 2020

You are a senior level director in human resources for Ferguson MO, Baltimore, Cleveland, New York – or any city where there has been a highly publicized death of an African American while in police custody.   Huge protests and massive media attention are focused on the City leading to violence and destruction of property in the streets, loss of business investment, tourism and just bad publicity. 

You are tasked with re-creating the police force to make it more reflective of the community – and to do it legally because your bosses cannot afford more bad publicity or further splitting of the community along racial and/or soci economic lines. You need to recruit in “effective places,”  ask questions in interviews that are legally appropriate, administer applicant tests that are both legal and produce candidates that will quell the tension. Assume that an Affirmative Action plan would be appropriate. (See my notes on a legal AA plan)


This assignment presents you with a situation you could encounter as an HR professional designing a recruitment and hiring campaign. The objective is to shape your workforce to maximize its effectiveness while minimizing the risk of litigation arising from a recruitment and hiring program that will be closely watched by everyone for how it is conducted and its results.

Your city has approximately 1 million people – 40% African American and 15% Hispanic, 5% other ethnic minorities and 35% Caucasian. The police department is 85% white.  There is a history of cooperation among community (political church, civic, business and union) leaders in the past.  

Political leadership wants the Police Department to increase minority representation throughout but especially in the front line officers who work in the community. They want police out of their cruisers and walking the streets where they can build closer ties to the community.  The new officers must have (or can be trained to have) a temperament and approach appropriate to the task.

To Do

Describe your recruitment and hiring plan in a 4-5 page double spaced paper. Answer the following questions:

Describe 4-5 essential elements of the job in context of police officers’ duty and the history in this specific community?  By essential I mean they are the heart of what this job is about. 

Describe the recruitment campaign you would undertake to find the right applicants. Where would you post radio, tv, web based ads? Where in the community would you go to post recruitment signs? Who in the community would you talk to find candidates?  Explain your answers.

Write the first few paragraphs of the job description that describes the job in a way that communicates to the applicants what characteristics you need in a police officer.

List 5 questions you would want answered either through the application or in employment interview. Consider which questions are legal and which are not legal and therefore cannot be part of the application. For the illegal questions tell me why the information is relevant and how you would otherwise obtain the information about the applicants.


For example: “What is your race? Illegal question but I want more African Americans on the police force – or at least people who are comfortable and capable of working in a predominantly African Am community. I would not be able to get this info from asking the question on the application or in an interview but I would be able to at least see the person’s race in a face to face interview.

List 5 tests you would require the applicants to take: include physical and emotional testing.

6. Include an Affirmative Action plan. See my notes on the necessary elements of a legal Affirmative Action plan.