Whether you are building a candidate pipeline to funnel candidates in a talent network or building out your sourcing plan to engage qualified STEM engineers, HR technologies beyond the standard ATS are a great way to search, organize, sort and engage candidates who aren’t a fit for a position you currently have open but want to further explore.
Traditional systems like your applicant tracking system (or ATS) are already in compliance with the OFCCP in terms of reporting and storage, making it easier for auditing purposes if the Department of Labor comes a calling. But the problem with your ATS is that candidates generally only express interest in a single open position, which means we are limited in our ability to update a candidate’s profile. ATS’ also lack the tools necessary to help — and encourage — the job seeker and recruiter to get to know each other outside of a job interview.
More proactive companies and recruiting teams take a different approach, relying less on their ATS and more on reaching out for good faith efforts, building candidate relationships, or just to shorten a job requisition’s time to fill. But this poses a compliance challenge.
Your HR and Recruiting Compliance Challenge
The need for non-ATS and recruiting technologies to reach, engage and attract candidates is real. These tools provide organizations with a distinct advantage in employer branding and recruiting. The question remains, though: are these HR and recruiting technologies OFCCP compliant and should they be included in your company’s affirmative action plans?
These online and internet HR technologies can include the following:
- Sourcing Technologies and tools that use keyword search and proprietary algorithms to search multiple forums, online communities and social networks.
- Social Networks. This may be a concern if your recruiting team uses social media to engage job seekers, distribute jobs or build your employer brand.
- External Candidate Databases. Using outside internet databases through job boards, colleges, CRM (also known as candidate relationship manager) or other communities to search and locate candidates often times utilizing their system email to message the job seeker directly.
- Talent Networks. Technologies that exist where the company owns and controls the community that serves as a “green room” before a candidate applies for a specific position.
The challenge is that simply having an HR technology in place if you are a federal contractor doesn’t make you automatically in compliance. You have requirements beyond technology that include reporting, good faith efforts and extension statistical analysis and outreach beyond what your current HR technology is providing. This one of the main reasons that many medium to large companies have an HR compliance or recruiting diversity point of contact at their company. But even before you begin crunching numbers, it’s important to understand what the Department of Labor considers a candidate to be. It’s not just simply someone who applies to job openings via one of the above-mentioned technologies. There are certain criteria that make a candidate interested in your company and should be included in your annual compliance reporting. It’s referred to as the internet applicant rule. I’ll explain more below.
DOL’s Definition of Internet Applicant
The U.S. Department of Labor defines an “Internet Applicant” as an individual who satisfies all four of the following criteria:
- The individual submitted an expression of interest in employment through the Internet or related electronic data technologies;
- The contractor considered the individual for employment in a particular position;
- The individual’s expression of interest indicated that the individual possesses the basic qualifications for the position; and
- The individual, at no point in the contractor’s selection process prior to receiving an offer of employment from the contractor, removed himself or herself from further consideration or otherwise indicated that he/she was no longer interested in the position.
Keep in mind an internet applicant must satisfy all four of the criteria. Yes, all four. The real key in the definition as provided by the U.S. DOL above is “particular position,” meaning that the candidate must express interest for a single job opening. Job openings are published on company career and employment pages or job boards, usually through an ATS, which ensures that companies are in compliance with OFCCP. Sometimes job boards have their own application process so check to make sure that these integrate with your ATS technology.
Talent networks do not require candidates to apply for a specific job opening. Like career sites, they provide company information, position descriptions and videos as a way to fully engage the job seeker, providing them helpful information and resources about the company while also providing the company a sourcing platform for future published openings.
Recruiters and HR professionals who are responsible for their annual affirmative action plan can include their internet, social recruiting and sourcing activities as part of the prior calendar year’s good faith efforts.