Government Contractors Association

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Hiring Procedures Compliance: A Necessary Evil

Posted by Abraham Xiong on January 29, 2013 at 11:15 AM

By: Diana Younts, Managing Partner First Advantage Consulting Firm, LLC


For most companies, hiring procedures cause issues, not only big ones with the US DOL, but also internal problems. First, most financial violations that the US Department of Labor Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) finds are in hiring. How does a company avoid these problems? The best way is training and checks to ensure everyone knows to be consistent with policies and procedures. But let’s back up a bit. Make sure that your company Policies and Procedures are updated, and reviewed regularly. I make it a point to review all my clients’ policies and procedures first. Why? To make sure that they are current with new regulations and to make sure that they apply to today’s culture and environment. And most importantly, I review them to be sure that they do not cause any potential discrimination. All levels of management need to be guided by the same company policies and procedures.


I have provided some good tips for hiring that your company can benefit from:


· If the industry permits, have ALL applications on line.


· Only accept applications when there is actually a position available. Companies make the mistake of accepting applications regardless of an open position. This can cause big issues for your company should you ever have an audit from the OFCCP.


· Have solid position requirements that are specific and detailed that apply to the need. Do not use canned job postings or requirements.


· Ask a professional such as Vicki Lauter with Strategic Human Insights to help out. Her goal is to provide the perfect, personalized job benchmark for your position need. This will include the specific attributes, workplace motivators and behaviors your job requires. Your goal should be to have few applicants and tight minimum qualifications listed. Remember the US DOL OFCCP mission is to find fault with business. No matter what they say, they justify their existence by giving out violations. They can’t praise companies for not discriminating because that would put them out of business!


· Applicant Tracking Systems are very important. If you aren’t using one, search out the best one for your industry and company by interviewing different vendors and don’t making a rush decision. If you aren’t sure where to start, ask other businesses what vendors they use and ask for feedback. Try to minimize “unknowns” in tracking race and gender of applicants. This is an easy violation for OFCCP to give and I gave it quite often during my tenure with the OFCCP. Do not give them any opportunity to find fault with your company or you. During an audit your reputation is also at stake. Make sure you are using disposition codes that actually identify why the candidate was eliminated from consideration.


While all this is a lot of paper and computer work and time having to annotate and explain, in the end the data will be fresh. When/if an audit comes around; it is much harder to remember what happened with a candidate months ago and why they were eliminated. Up front paperwork can save you a lot of stress and work later on and very possibly save your company a lot of money. Not only do you need to be alert to the US DOL with all these explanations, annotations and justifications that they require, remember the EEOC is also relentless in their pursuit of finding fault.


On a final note: Human Resource Professionals have the most difficult job in any organization. They have to make sure that all policies and procedures are in place and they have to listen to upper management while informing them of any people issues. They also ensure middle management and supervisors are trained and understand the need for all the procedures regarding people. And finally , they have to deal with so many governmental regulations and requirements from EBSA, OFCCP, Wage and Hour, FMLA, FLSA, OSHA, to name a few. There is not a more daunting and demanding position in any establishment. So if you are a manager, work with your human resource professionals, they have a big job to do keeping you and the company out of hot water!


Diana Younts retired from the US DOL OFCCP with 27 years with the Federal Government. She is now a Managing Partner with First Advantage Consulting Firm, LLC which is an Affirmative Action Solutions Company. Her commitment is to protect her clients from OFCCP scrutiny and avoiding Financial Violations.

Categories: Contracting Tips, Small Business, Announcements

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