By Derek Zeller
I am now going on my 11th year of recruiting within the GOV space and within that time I have seen quite a few changes. Nothing like the ones I am seeing now. Usually I write with a little humor in my posts but what is coming is no laughing matter and frankly something recruiters are going to find hard to manage when sourcing. The rules are changing March 24 of 2014.
What are the new rules and how are they going to affect YOU the recruiter well that remains to be seen but this is the gist of what they are now requiring in a nutshell:
1) Data Collection
2) Job Posting
3) External Sourcing
The new regulations require contractors require the following actions:
Document the following computations or comparisons pertaining to applicants and hires on an annual basis and maintain them for a period of three (3) years:
(1) The number of applicants who self-identified as individuals with disabilities . . . or who are otherwise known to be individuals with disabilities.
(2) The total number of job openings and total number of jobs filled.
(3) The total number of applicants for all jobs.
(4) The number of applicants with disabilities hired.
(5) The total number of applicants hired.
In order to comply with this the contractor will have to have EVERY applicant fill out a disclosure form similar to the EEOC form you probably have them filling out now. Yep, more forms. The new form, found here, is simple enough but I fear it will confuse applicants even more. This may cause people to even fear the application process. Fear is a major part of job searching for people and this could send many applicants right out of the running to work for a government contractor as commercial clients are not beholden to OFCCP regulations. On top of this the definition of an applicant will seem to cause problems in the external sourcing if that is what you do instead of the post and pray method of recruiting. I will get to that later though. Eventually everyone who is considered a candidate HAS to fill out the forms one way or the other.
The OFCCP has also expanded the requirement that contractors alert job seekers that they will not be discriminated against on the basis of race and gender to include disability and veteran status. Actually they are just adding the disability piece. However in your postings you cannot just use the “D” and “V” in their “EOE/AA” solicitation tagline. OFCCP states that this is not good enough. The OFCCP states in its FAQs that “D” and “V” are not adequate abbreviations because they are not commonly understood by applicants. The agency states that abbreviations are only permissible if they are commonly understood and that “the tagline should at a minimum state ‘disability’ and ‘vet.’” Small changes but ones you need to know.
New Tag Line Language for Job Advertisements:
“We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.”
Sourcing and using external sources such as Job Boards, Job Fairs, and third party agencies are now going to see a change. All parties involved in sourcing or searching for candidates need to document the search. This will apply to all third parties as well as internal search teams. What does this mean?
It is going to mean LOTS of new paperwork for you and this is why.
Some contractors search large, external resume databases that for a fee will maintain, on behalf of the contractor, copies of resumes identified by the contractor as meeting the basic qualifications for a particular position. Is it possible for contractors to comply with Internet Applicant recordkeeping without having resumes maintained on their behalf by the external resume database?
Contractors have several options for retaining copies of resumes identified through large external databases, without having the database company maintain copies of resumes on their behalf. For example, the contractor could: (1) use data management techniques to substantially reduce the pool of resumes meeting basic qualifications that are considered, and download the manageable number of resumes into the contractor’s internal resume database; (2) review resumes in the database to identify those meeting basic qualifications for a position and download those resumes into the contractor’s internal resume database; or (3) review resumes in the database to identify those indicating an interest in the particular position the contractor is seeking to fill and invite those job seekers to submit their own resume directly to the contractor’s internal resume database if the individual is interested in applying for the position. The contractor will need to maintain a record of all job seekers invited to apply for a position.
Source OFCCP website FAQS
First you will need to save the searches and search strings that you use when searching online databases such as CareerBuilder or DICE. Some of these sites do have a way to save the search for you and store it. However you need to keep records for 3 years now. Unless you know you are going to use these job boards AND they can and will retain the information for you then you are going to have to cut and paste your searches on to a form and retain that per your hiring file. There are ways in applicant tracking systems (ATS) to attach files to the jobs in the database and may be the best way to do this if you store electronically.
There is even MORE paperwork.
Lastly, if you are using third party recruiting OR have subs working on your contract as the prime they need to follow all the rules above as well. Actually they don’t but you will still be responsible for them.
Can a contractor ask a recruiting firm to keep, on its behalf, the records required by the Internet Applicant Final Rule?
OFCCP’s recordkeeping rules, including the new Internet Applicant Final Rule, require Federal contractors and subcontractors to keep and maintain records regarding their selection process, including information about applicants and hires. The use of a recruiting firm in the hiring process does not relieve a contractor of its recordkeeping obligations under 41 CFR 60-1.12; the contractor will be held accountable if the specified records are not maintained.
A contractor may ask that a recruiting firm keep records on its behalf so that the contractor can use the records to monitor its personnel practices and demonstrate compliance to OFCCP. Keep in mind, however, that under the Internet Applicant Final Rule, the recordkeeping obligations belong to the Federal contractor or subcontractor. A contractor cannot delegate its obligations to another firm and would be held accountable if required records were not maintained. The Executive Order does not impose separate recordkeeping obligations upon recruitment firms with respect to their referral practices to Federal contractors and subcontractors. Accordingly, under the Executive Order, a recruiting firm’s obligations to retain records about referrals of job candidates to Federal contractor or subcontractor clients arise out of its agreements with those clients. Because contractors will be held accountable for keeping the required records, we suggest that recruiting firms and Federal contractors and subcontractors have a specific discussion about recordkeeping practices so that both parties understand what records must be retained, and by whom.
How can a recruiting firm that is not a federal contractor or subcontractor obtain a certificate indicating that its practices are in compliance with OFCCP’s recordkeeping requirements?
OFCCP does not issue compliance certificates. OFCCP determines whether Federal contractors and subcontractors are in compliance with laws enforced by OFCCP through compliance evaluations. OFCCP does not conduct compliance evaluations of companies that are not Federal contractors or subcontractors. OFCCP is available to offer compliance assistance on specific recordkeeping obligations. Interested individuals may contact OFCCP by email at [email protected].
You see it is YOUR contract and being the prime you are in charge of your subs and how they are finding candidates as well. I don’t recommend nor do I think companies allow you to keep files of their employees on file but I would suggest and audit on them so that you can make sure they are complying. Third party recruiting firms should send over job search information as well including internal database, external sites used, and even their own ads should include and look like they too are Government Contractor’s as the technically are. This would only apply to permanent positions not right to hire or contract to hire in my opinion. That however should be discussed within your own firm on how you would want to look at that.
The clarifications make it clear that employers are required to maintain all records regarding their hiring processes. In addition, they are also required to maintain records regarding the race, gender and ethnicity of all job applicants – even when third party recruiting and vetting companies are used such as online job boards and search firms. The FAQs clarify that while a third party company may maintain the data on the contractor’s behalf, the contractor, not the third party company, will be held accountable if the specified records are not maintained.
I think we all knew this was coming as this had been rumored since the original instatement of OFCCP took effect. This is going to mean that if you are not really doing your due diligence out there and the audit happens the checking account is going to better have money in it.