Whether you’re a federal contractor or just adhere to OFCCP regulations, maintaining compliance begins before the employee is ever hired. It is flat-out illegal to discriminate against candidates based on race, gender, disability or veteran status. You need to take steps to make sure your recruiting practices adhere to the law from the moment you post a job to the stage of reviewing resumes and scheduling interviews.

Getting the job description right

All employers—regardless of whether they’re private or are working for federal, state or local governments—need to adhere to Equal Employment Opportunity regulations as per the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That means every applicant is protected from discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex and national origin. For federal contractors, extra steps need to be taken to ensure those standards are being met.

For example, any job you post must include an EEO tag line, i.e. a statement that your company will consider all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin. Other basic EEO requirements include posting EEO signage, making sure the OFCCP has access to your books and records, and filing an annual EEO-1 report.

The wording of your job description should also be as simple and straightforward as possible. It should include the basic or minimum requirements an applicant must possess to do the job, stated in terms that are objective and non-discriminatory. Make sure to post the job descriptions on job boards that are accessible to a diverse group of people.

Document anything and everything

Once you post your job, it’s imperative to document where your applicants are coming from. If you’re being audited by the OFCCP, they will want to know if the applications you’re interested in came from job postings, referrals from employees or cold calls. No matter how they came in, each candidate needs to go through the same online application, so the process is fair and consistent.

Track every resume and applicant you review and document why any candidates were denied. As the candidate pool narrows down, some applicants will automatically be rejected based on lack of qualifications (screening questions you can set out in your job description), background checks, drug screening and so on. No matter the reason, to maintain compliance every application’s status, i.e. disposition, needs to be documented. An automated system will not only store all of your candidate information and dispositions, but will also keep it secure.

Keep the interview process up to par

There are some things you can and cannot ask a candidate during the interview process. For example, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, an employer can’t ask a potential employee about a disability or medical history but may ask how they would perform specific job tasks. These rules apply to any communication, whether that’s by email, in-person or even by bot.

A digital, paperless process is the best way to make sure your interview process maintains compliance. A digital process not only ensures none of your applications are misplaced or slip through the cracks but it will store interview notes, tests and results as well as personnel files in a mobile platform. This information can be easily accessed to affirm interview questions align with EEO standards and store it for at least two years, meeting OFCCP requirements.

The Arcoro ATS features help maintain compliance with AAP reporting, IWD and VEVRAA federal contractor compliance and will also pre-populate your voluntary surveys with specific language, including your EOE disclaimer. Federal contractors can rest assured that the AAP reporting that your HR uses to hire veterans can be easily integrated with the Arcoro online applicant tracking system to meet VEVRAA hiring benchmark requirements, with built-in AAP reporting.