There are perhaps few topics less exciting than OFCCP. The Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP) exists to help federal contractors comply with compliance laws. There’s really no way to jazz it up. The basic requirements are the same – federal contractors must make efforts to hire a diverse workforce, and must not discriminate in their hiring or within their workforce. But because the regulations change and the requirements are updated, it’s important that you – yes, even a recruiter or hiring manager – stays in the know about OFCCP. Here’s a basic run-down of five things all federal contractors need to know about OFCCP.
1. If you have contracts with the federal government, OFCCP applies to you.
A question that frequently comes up is whether or not a company really has to adhere to OFCCP. If you have at least $10,000 in federal government contracts, OFCCP applies to you. OFCCP is largely about information – the government wants to know you’re doing your best to hire a diverse workforce, including minorities and veterans. You should make note of how the job search resources you use maintain data – ClearanceJobs.com, for instance, keeps records for a period of 5 years, should you need access to them. Be prepared to answer records-keeping questions for all the sites you use and show how you take advantage of hiring methods (such as niche groups), to reach out to veterans and a diverse field of applicants.
2. A good resource for OFCCP information is the Federal Contractor Compliance Manual.
While skimming through a 400-page PDF isn’t something I’d ever recommend you do for fun on a weekend, it’s a good idea to book-mark this resource and the OFCCP website. They shouldn’t be resources you need on a daily basis, but they are resources you need to be aware of. When questions arise, search the document or website. Going straight to the source can save time.
3. As a baseline, OFCCP is there to ensure federal contractors do not discriminate.
There aren’t quotas for diversity hiring, but OFCCP is in place to ensure federal contractors make efforts to hire a diverse workforce. This includes:
- Creating an affirmative action plan
- Retaining employment records
- Creating an internal reporting system
- Filing an EEO-1 Report
4. Sample affirmative action plans and resources are available.
The OFCCP web-site has a sample affirmative action plan on its website. Workforce planning tools can help you get an idea of where your workforce is at currently, and where you’d like to be in the future. Recruiters should work with both human resources and their executive leadership to ensure affirmative action hiring initiatives align with overall company objectives and figures. If you don’t know where you’re at in terms of workforce diversity, you won’t know where you need to be.
5. Cleared recruiters and hiring managers must understand OFCCP.
It’s easy to say OFCCP is only in the wheel-house of your compliance officer or office manager. The reality is that adhering to affirmative action guidelines and non-discriminatory hiring practices falls on the shoulders of recruiters and hiring managers – so you need to know the rules, and you need to develop a plan for recruiting that follows OFCCP guidelines. If regulation and paperwork aren’t your strong-suit, you’ll want to work closely with someone whose strength is in that area – ideally an operations officer, compliance offer or manager who oversees federal contractor rules and compliance within your company. Develop a recruiting plan that takes OFCCP into account, and rely on trusted resources such as ClearanceJobs.com to keep record of hiring contacts and interactions.