Making Affirmative Action and the New OFCCP Rules Work For Your Company

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Information about Making Affirmative Action and the New OFCCP Rules Work For Your Company
Business & Mgmt

Published on February 17, 2014

Author: sbakerphr



This is a presentation I shared recently at a local SHRM chapter meeting. I have added notes to the slides to make them more understandable.

The presentation focused on the new OFCCP regulations and how all companies can benefit from diverse recruiting strategies.

Diversity strategies should be a part of any organizations overall recruitment plan. While much of this presentation focuses on the new OFCCP laws, incorporating diverse, targeted recruiting methods into an organizations recruiting can only benefit the company. 1

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) governs federal contractors and sets forth standards for hiring practices to ensure companies are targeting diverse candidates. These standards apply to any federal contract or subcontract with $10,000 or more in contracts. In August of 2013, the OFCCP made changes to the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act. These acts effect protected veterans and persons with disabilities. 2

Within the two acts, these are the things that did not change. The key is that businesses can prove that they have targeted outreach programs. This requires tracking where positions are being posted. Contractors and sub-contractors with 50 or more employees and $50,000 or more in contracts must take diverse recruiting a step further by maintaining a written affirmative action plan. 3

The changes made in August, which become effective March 31, 2014 are designed to increase employer responsibility around diversity recruiting efforts. The OFCCP has created a form to allow disabled candidates to self-identify. Companies can continue to use the protected veteran form they have been using. Both forms should now be offered pre and post offer stage. In addition, all employees should be offered the opportunity to self-identify with a disability (because those can take place after beginning employment) every five years. The OFCCP added additional reporting and tracking requirements around hiring metrics which should be kept for three years. One of the larger changes has to do with hiring goals for both persons with disabilities and protected veterans. The OFCCP initiated a 7% utilization goal for persons with disabilities and is allowing companies to determine their own hiring benchmark for protected veterans. The OFCCP is very clear that these are not quotas but rather number set forth to help organizations determine how effective their recruiting methods really are. Finally, contractors are required to fill out the VETS 100A form now replacing the 4

VETS 100 form. 4

Now that we have covered the new regulations, lets talk about diversity strategies overall. I want to think about a new definition of diversity. One that does not break people into categories, but rather opens up lines of communication, values differences in thought and figures out a way to leverage the differences in people rather than break them down. 5

Effective diversity recruiting strategies need something on the backend to be successful. Inclusion. You can have the best diversity recruiting strategy in the world. You can bring in candidates from all different backgrounds, educational levels and experience levels, but if your organization does not see differences as through the eyes of a child then your best efforts will produce lackluster results. If you are serious about a diverse recruiting strategy make sure that the inclusion piece is properly trained on the organization side. 6

Once you are certain that you want to pursue diverse recruitment methods, you must sit down and create your strategy. One of the biggest mistakes organizations make is that they go out and start “recruiting” with no real strategy. When their results are less than they expected, they blame the recruiting method. The reality is the lack of strategy is more than likely the problem. Diverse recruiting strategies are more than just putting a statement on your application that says, “we encourage diverse candidates to apply”. It is creating targeted efforts to make sure they do. To begin creating your strategy, the following questions need to be answered. Who owns the strategy? Who is going to drive it? Who has the authority to drive it? (hint: this is probably not the recruiter) What positions are we targeting with our efforts? What refinement needs to be done to current marketing materials to make them more diverse? Who do we have in our organization already that we can tap into? Such as veterans who work for the company that may have great ideas for veteran programs? What methods are we going to use? Niche job boards, community groups, job fairs… As with all strategies, constant monitoring and refinement will be necessary until you find something that is really working for your company. 7

Since we focused on the new OFCCP reg’s here are a few niche job boards that offer great outreach to veteran and disability candidates. While job boards should be a very small portion of your diversity recruitment strategy, these are great options for connecting directly with particular groups. 8

Resources used for understanding new regulations. I am not a lawyer and this presentation should not be construed as legal advice. If you have a question about your particular situation, you may need to reach out to your legal counsel. 9

My contact information. I work with companies on recruiting efforts in one of two ways. I serve as a sourcer and recruiter working directly towards finding the top candidate for a position. I also serve as a recruiting strategist helping companies come up with effective recruiting strategies to meet their particular need. 10

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