In the world of employment and HR technology, OFCCP and EEO compliance is, arguably, not sexy.
It’s often considered akin to major dental work, doing your taxes or a trip to the DMV. Compliance audits feel like reporting for jury duty.
I, however, LOVE compliance. There. I said it.
It’s not because I’m some sick and twisted masochist. It’s because the compliance rules, which govern the way hundreds of thousands of employers must list their open jobs, source talent, handle applicants, and interview candidates — as well as the overall way employers recruit, hire and employ people — are constantly evolving and changing. There is always something new to learn, something new to reiterate, and something new to build. I happen to think building new things is sexy. 2016 stands to be a big year for workforce regulations, and new enforcement trends will impact the world of employment in the year to come.
How Regulations Dictate Recruitment
Could it be that the Department of Labor and OFCCP’s regulatory landscape is pushing innovation? Could it be sexy? Perhaps. But there’s no question that it’s most certainly pushing change. Therefore, the tools that HR, talent acquisition and recruitment use must also evolve and change. it’s our responsibility to push ourselves toward innovation and build new and creative tools — that are inherently compliant with employment regulations — to help people find meaningful employment and help employers connect with top-tier candidates.
For HR professionals who must work inside of OFCCP jurisdiction, these regulations must be part of your playbook for success.
The No. 1 Item for Your To-Do List
In 2016, item No. 1 on your to-do list should be a thorough vendor analysis with a compliance-first mindset. Be mindful that the last few years have been really great for innovation inside of the HR tech and employment tech sectors. Many of these tools, however, were built with a recruitment-first “disrupt” mindset — and have some massive compliance gaps. Remember: If you are found non-compliant due to vendor oversight/failure, you as the employer absorb the violation.
And with that, here are my top six predictions for OFCCP enforcement and regulatory trends in 2016:
- Compensation. Under a new executive order, Federal Contractor and Subcontractor employers have already adopted a new minimum wage for their employees. Soon they will need to adopt to some changes around pay transparency and must report compensation data to the OFCCP.
- Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination. It is likely that employers who fall under OFCCP jurisdiction will be required to provide additional reasonable protections and accommodations to prevent any type of employment or workplace discrimination against the LGBT communities.
- Hiring Benchmarks. In 2014 the OFCCP announced that it would impose 7 percent “hiring goals” for veterans and people with disabilities. I predict we will see increased enforcement surrounding recruitment source effectiveness. In other words: You need to start measuring where your hires come from.
- Workforce Composition. The OFCCP will increase adverse impact analysis. This means they want to see the gender, racial, ethnic, veteran and disabled makeup of ALL your workplaces. (This also ties directly into the benchmarking requirements of No. 3.)
- Mandatory Job Listings, Internet Applicant Rule, Candidate Dispositions and More. This involves a re-evaluation of the entire recruitment and hiring process and employment systems. The OFCCP is always interested in the reasoning behind why a company hired one candidate over the other. I believe the OFCCP will update its regulations surrounding the Internet applicant rule (which is long overdue), the rules that govern recordkeeping of applicants considered/not considered, and provide clarity surrounding the mandatory job listing guidelines under VEVRAA. In short, I lumped all of these together because I think the OFCCP will be evaluating (just as it did in 2004) the hiring processes and technology used by the modern employer.
- Applicant Self-Identification as Disabled or Veteran. I believe we will see increased scrutiny surrounding polling pre-hire applicants regarding their disabled and veteran statuses.
My Compliance Mantra for the New Year
My compliance mantra for 2016 is simple: Give the government exactly what they want, in exactly the way they want it. In the world of OFCCP or EEO regulations, here is no such thing as “kinda compliant.” Just as you wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) “kinda” do your taxes every year.
Realize that compliance is only going to become more of a challenge and will eventually impact every part of the recruitment and employment landscape. It is inevitable — which is why it’s vital to develop a preemptive and fluid compliance strategy.
That said, I’ve always been an advocate and proponent of the OFCCP and EEOC as my partners. If there is anything compliance-related that you question, have trouble understanding or need clarity on, give them a call. It’s that easy. After all, they are public servants who want you to succeed. They will help you cut through the clutter and make sense of some of the regulatory slog.
Some say you should start the New Year with a bang. I say you should start it by being compliant.