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Correcting and Avoiding Compliance Issues Using Your Applicant Tracking System

Nolan Gray Staffing

If you work with the government, you may be subject to compliance standards in hiring that many smaller firms and private businesses don’t have to worry about. That being said, when it comes to hiring, any company can be sued for employment discrimination if the candidate feels they were ruled out because they fall into a protected class. The liability and business continuity risks for being out of compliance can be significant – the good thing is that your applicant tracking system can help minimize and correct compliance issues.

Two of the major programs to be considered are the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) for government contractors and Equal Opportunity Employment (EEO) for all employers with 100 or more workers. In order to verify that you are in compliance and combat any claims that arise, you must keep data on areas spelled out by law. And when dealing with government contracts, they even tell you how data must be collected, how records must be kept and what reports you have to submit to stay eligible with OFCCP.

OFFCP compliance issues

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Here are four ways your applicant tracking system can be used to help you protect yourself from compliance violations, keep you from losing valuable government contracts and prevent or minimize discriminatory hiring practice accusations:

#1 Well Crafted Job Postings with Specific Qualifications Listed

When you do things by hand, rather than having automation tools, each job posting starts from ground zero. Wherever there are manual processes, there are opportunities for errors. By standardizing job posting templates for recurring positions and having pre-sets for minimum bona fide occupational qualifications, you enable your ATS to automatically discard any resumes that don’t meet qualifications. Where automation drives selection based on skills-based criteria, there is virtually no opportunity for a discriminatory or non-compliant hiring practice to occur.

#2 Standardized Interview Questions / Questions to Avoid

For those candidates whose resumes survive the initial stage of the recruiting funnel and your ATS deems skilled enough to move forward, interview or phone screening is often the next step. Standardized interview questions as well as a roster of questions to avoid can keep those involved in the subsequent hiring stages out of compliance hot water. Allowing interviewers to run off the cuff invites inappropriate (even if they’re unintentional) questions to be asked. Many times, candidates themselves will offer information that shouldn’t be mentioned. Having guidelines to work from can allow interviewers to skirt these issues and stick to lines of questioning that won’t create an aura if discrimination of the candidate is not selected.

Job postings are key to compliance

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#3 Pre-Selected Choices of Reasons Not to Move Forward

Within your applicant tracking system, in addition to areas for notes about candidates, there should be a template of reasons to choose from when you decide not to move forward with a candidate. These should be bona fides that will not get you into trouble – but more importantly – should guide those making hiring decisions. With only appropriate options available to choose from, this should increase compliance and fair hiring practices. If the reason they don’t want to select a candidate is not on the list, then the candidate should be allowed to move forward. This should improve your compliance and educate those involved in the process about EEO and OFCCP standards.

#4 Reporting to Self-Monitor for Compliance Weaknesses

In addition to submitting periodic reports on hiring and screening processes to the OFCCP and/or EEOC – and other agencies you may be accountable to for government contracts – you will want to run interim reports to self-assess. If you wait until a report is due and run it, you may see that you are out of compliance and at risk of losing your hard-won federal or state contractor status. Instead, run more frequent reports, look for areas of concern and shore up any weaknesses you see in your hiring practices before it’s too late. This can signal you that you need to implement additional training measure for recruiters and hiring managers, change your job posting qualifications or even make changes to your staff that are involved in the process!

EEOC requirements

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How Jobscience Can Help

Jobscience Recruiting contains all the tools you need to keep your company in compliance and provide you reports you need to defend yourself in case of discriminatory hiring practices suits. Automated resume parsing based on bona fide qualification standards, templated job order creation and pre-screening with standardized questions are all perfect tools for those firms with government contracts or compliance concerns. Click here for a free demo to see the impressive results you can get when you’re recruiting on the world’s #1 CRM.