Why Compliance Matters in Recruiting
By Chris Lennon, Construction Executive
Recruiting compliance is often seen as an ambiguous list of requirements that make employers’ lives harder, but this doesn’t have to be the case. With the correct processes in place, compliance can be a key component of successful recruiting. The diversity that comes with hiring within compliance guidelines can benefit the business, drive more productive teams and ultimately improve a company’s bottom line. A thorough and automated documentation process driven by Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) compliance requirements can actually save a construction company time down the road and create a guide for the best hires possible, all while fulfilling a company’s affirmative action program (AAP) plan.
THE SAME PROCESS FOR EVERYONE
The OFCCP requirements for recruiting outreach states that all federal contractors, some sub-contractors and some contract suppliers need to thoroughly document every step of the outreach and hiring process to ensure all candidates are treated fairly. This is especially helpful when inadvertent industry stereotypes tend to slide into the hiring process, creating issues of candidate visibility. For example, highly-qualified women often have a difficult time getting hired in male-dominated fields, such as construction or engineering. When companies follow recruiting compliance guidelines they ensure that all applicants are being seen equally.
By considering all candidates, hiring managers have the potential to make the best hire possible, which saves them from the headache of having to start the process all over again when a less-than-fantastic candidate doesn’t make it through their first few months on the job. Diversity of applicants and hires means there are more opportunities for great hires and employee success.
LEAVE A DOCUMENT TRAIL
Documentation is also crucial when it comes to dispositioning candidates once the hiring process has begun. In order to save their companies from a potentially costly audit, it’s important for hiring managers to consciously document the reasons for dispositioning a candidate at any point within the hiring process. Did the candidate not have enough relevant experience? Did they fail a drug test? Were they a poor fit for the company culture? All of these reasons are valid for dispositioning a candidate, and managers should not feel bad about any of it. They just need to make sure that it’s all thoroughly documented in order to avoid company exposure.
EASILY FULFIL AAP PLANS WITH AUTOMATION
While this may sound like extensive documentation, recruiting outreach compliance paperwork does not have to be a headache. Automating the process can be valuable for most companies because it keeps all necessary information centralized and close at hand. An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a valuable tool to collect, store and recall recruiting outreach and candidate information so at any point during the hiring process—and long after managers secure that first great hire. It’s also an easy way to help all members of the hiring team access information without having to make several copies or trying to share one copy of paperwork. Information can be quickly and easily transferred to whoever needs it in order to help the team select a candidate, with everyone having access to the necessary information. In the event of an audit, outreach and applicant information can be quickly accessed and will help companies pass audits in minutes.
Again, an ATS stores information long after the initial hire is made, which can ultimately save a company significant time and money. Companies should look for an ATS that has the functionality to keep dispositioned candidates in a holding tank so that they can easily be invited to apply, should a position become available that better suits the candidate’s unique skills. For example: if a candidate did not have enough relevant experience to be a good foreman, he may have been passed up for the job opening. Six weeks or so down the road, if a position requiring less experience opens up, the dispositioned candidate may be a quality hire waiting to happen. Keeping these candidates on hand is a great way to get a head start on finding the next candidates for open positions.
PRIORITIZE DIVERSITY AND REAP THE BENEFITS
Companies see huge benefits when they reach out to a diverse candidate pool. The OFCCP, EEOC and VEVRAA are all created to ensure that candidates are being aware of open positions and being hired for their skills, regardless of their racial, ethnic or religious backgrounds, gender or sexual orientation, or veteran status. For example, hiring a veteran could help boost productivity as many veterans have received extra military training to be team-oriented and often come into the workforce with skills that complement the trades industry. The point of following these recruiting outreach and hiring guidelines is to ensure that everyone applying at a company has the same candidate experience and is given the equal opportunity of employment.