In today’s post as part of our “Countdown to March 24th Effective Date: Are you Ready to Flip the Switch?” series, we’ll be discussing the new obligation under the veterans and disability regulations that employers must now “assess the effectiveness” of their good faith outreach programs.

Back in 2011 when OFCCP first released the proposed veterans and disability regulations, Pat Shiu said “[w]hat gets measured gets done. And we’re in the business of getting things done.” That statement applies with full force to OFCCP’s perspective on veteran and disability outreach and recruitment efforts.

Contractors have long been required to engage in effective outreach and recruitment, now they have to prove what they’ve done and commit to making changes if their efforts aren’t working.

Under the new regulations employers must:

  • Annually evaluate the effectiveness of “each” of our veteran and disabled recruitment efforts over the previous 12 months.
  • Document the evaluation including:
    • The criteria used in the evaluation, which must include veteran and applicant / hiring data collected in the current and preceding 2 years.
    • A conclusion as to whether “each effort was effective.”

There are two sides, so to speak, of outreach “effectiveness” that you should keep in mind. First, contractors should evaluate the “push out” of job openings to those veteran and disabled organizations which are likely to refer qualified candidates. Second employers should monitor the “pull in” or the results of the “push out,” such as referrals and applicants. In order to do this effectively, your ATS should have the ability to track referrals and your third party vendors need to be able to provide you with this information.

Additional obligations include:

  • If you conclude the “totality” of your outreach efforts was ineffective, you must identify, document and implement alternative efforts, including those listed in 41 CFR 60-300.44(f)(1) and (2), and 60-741.44(f)(1) and (2).
  • Keep all annual evaluation documents for 3 years.

Even though the actual assessment of the effectiveness does not need to be completed until you next update your affirmative action plan, attention to improving outreach for veterans and the disabled should begin immediately. Why?

  • The current regulations require it!
  • Insufficient veteran and disabled outreach efforts have recently represented the majority of compliance violations cited by OFCCP.
  • An evaluation or your efforts in late-2014 or early-2015 may be too late for an audit.
  • Attention to improvement of outreach efforts now could avoid a painful conciliation agreement prior to late-2014 or early-2015.

Check back in tomorrow when we breakdown the difference between the myriad of EEO notifications employers must have in place after March 24.