No one ever said compliance was glamorous.
Still, federal contractors know it’s critical, and their HR leaders and recruiters should too. Noncompliance creates a level of risk that’s difficult to overstate—attorney fees, costly settlements, damaged brand reputation, and more.
Compounding the significance of the potential risk, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) statistics indicate that it’s also more likely. By several measures, 2017 was a banner year for charges and lawsuits, as the EEOC
- Received 540,000 toll-free calls and 155,000 contacts
- Filed 84,254 charges
- Recorded $360 million in monetary relief obtained through mediation and conciliation settlements
- Doubled the number of lawsuits filed in 2016
- Won a positive outcome for EEOC in 90% of lawsuits.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) recently released 1,000+ audit scheduling letters for 2018. Even if your organization is not yet on notice, you could still be audited during the current fiscal year, which ends September 30.
It's only a matter of time before OFCCP auditors dive into federal contractors' Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) data—including their recruiting compliance activities.
Avoiding Adverse Impact: What Recruiters Need to Know
Among other things, an OFCCP audit looks for statistically significant adverse impact on protected groups in hiring decisions. And recordkeeping violations continue to top the list of offenses found during compliance evaluations.
The Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures require organizations to analyze each step of the selection process. Without properly or accurately documenting the final step of an applicant’s hiring process using disposition codes or notes to explain why candidates did not advance, the organization cannot perform the required analyses.
The absence of applicant evaluations and other documentation may lead not only to a technical violation, but also hinder the organization’s ability to narrow down the number of individuals potentially impacted negatively by hiring policies or practices.
If your company is missing applicant records or lacks accurate documentation of the hiring process, you may be exposed to significant risks. So it’s essential that companies inform and train recruiters on the requirements for documenting the hiring process.
The Hidden Pitfall of Inaccurate Data: False Findings
Hiring analyses involve comparing applicants who met the "Internet applicant" criteria to those selected for the job by race, gender, and ethnicity. If poor record keeping prevents your organization from correctly identifying which candidates met the job requirements, any comparison between the applicant pool and selected individuals will be inaccurate.
Perhaps more concerning is the potential for an analysis of skewed data to reveal indicators of discrimination—intentional or unintentional—where inequity doesn’t actually exist.
The Value of a Proactive Hiring Analysis
Talent acquisition and hiring process analyses can also serve as proactive measures—by determining whether hiring practices or decisions caused a disparate impact on protected groups.
Organizations that find adverse impacts during a proactive analysis are required to investigate and identify the cause—or causes—of the adverse impact. They must also determine whether hiring decisions were discriminatory and whether selection processes or procedures need to be modified.
So how can federal contractors refine their recruiting and hiring process to avoid adverse impact? Is there any connection between recruiting compliance and your ability to find and attract top candidates?
Our series on recruitment compliance continues with answers to those questions and tips on how to safeguard your hiring process and improve your recruiting results.