Good Faith Efforts: No Proof – Game Over!

Randy Jesberg
Jun 21, 2012


If an employer's good faith recruiting efforts don't yield measurable results, did they really happen? According to the OFCCP the answer is “No!”

For the federal contractor community, when it comes to Good Faith Efforts (GFE), lack of proof means failure during an OFCCP audit. It's no longer just about stating that GFE activities exist. It's now about being able to prove that each GFE actually worked.

Federal contractors have long been required to execute Good Faith Efforts. As stated in Executive Order 11246 under 41 CFR 60-2.35, “… Each contractor’s compliance with its affirmative action obligations will be determined by reviewing the nature and extent of the contractor’s good faith affirmative action activities … and the appropriateness of those activities to identified equal employment opportunity problems.” (41 CFR 60-2.35)
Historically, OFCCP audits gave credit for each GFE activity and gave employers the benefit of the doubt relative to impact. Recent OFCCP audit activity reveals that auditors are now demanding detailed proof of each GFE, and requiring evidence of the effectiveness of each effort. Those that don't have proof of both existence and effectiveness don't count.

For companies of any size, simply planning and keeping track of Good Faith Efforts (who, what and when) can be a daunting task. Add to that the new burden of proof that the efforts yielded measurable results, and the recordkeeping and analysis complexity increase significantly. This can become an overwhelming and potentially expensive audit nightmare for those who are caught off guard.

To avoid this quagmire, federal contractors should put a well defined and proactive process into play that will close the loop on the GFE program. Contractors should effectively plan, track, measure and report all Good Faith Efforts activities and results in order to avoid costly technical violations.

The simplified answer to establishing and managing a GFE program is to leverage automation to document activities and quantify the results of each. This is easier said than done, but you can’t document enough these days. Compliance officers are not only reviewing your recruiting sources and outreach activity; they are also calling to confirm your efforts and evaluating the impact on your applicant pool. Recordkeeping and evaluating effectiveness are critical components of winning the audit game.

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