Surprise! Your Recruitment Process May Not Actually Be Compliant

Josh Akers

Every night I try to unplug and watch a little TV.  It’s a mindless exercise and it allows me to absorb “dumbed-down” content that is a departure from the decidedly more heavy and consequential compliance content that I spend my days trudging through.

The other night, I saw a commercial for some new futuristic toothpaste. Apparently it was this new “revolutionary, advanced” toothpaste that would allow me to get cleaner teeth through their new breakthrough toothpaste technology. I could look better, be better, smell better — and also stay away from the dreaded dentist. After all, this product enabled me a better life, right? A simple squeeze from this tube would propel an army of nano-miro-cleaning-action-stain-fighting-bubbles to scurry throughout my mouth and eliminate everything bad that lived inside my pie-hole.

I was sold. And this toothpaste got me thinking. What if there was a way to improve upon something so simple, yet so complicated, in such a way that it would change the course of our lives (or at least our morning routines) as we knew it?

Naturally, it got me considering OFCCP and EEO compliance — and the slew of new regulations, proposed regulations and new and updated enforcement protocol employers will soon be required to shoulder in order to have a compliant recruitment process in place.

After my article last year about my OFCCP compliance predictions for 2016 (of which 4 of the 6 have already come true), I began investigating what ATS providers were doing in the compliance realm. I looked into what both current and longtime OFCCP compliance job distribution outfits were doing to reiterate and improve their methods to ensure compliance in both mandatory job listings and reporting. But I also took a look at each “compliance provider/vendor” in depth to do some fact-checking; after all, OFCCP compliance technologies and offerings in the HR landscape are nothing new, but the “updated” and somewhat complicated OFCCP regulations are. By proxy, I expected these compliance vendors (some of which make some serious money) to enhance their offerings to meet the crazy modern needs of the updated compliance landscape. I was wrong.

I wanted to take a peek further, to see if the old compliance stalwarts in the HR tech space had evolved to meet the needs of the modern employer, but most importantly, what their statistical outcomes were. Where had they succeeded and where had they failed? What did the state workforce agencies have to say? Did the OFCCP want to weigh in on the compliance performance of longtime compliance vendors who had been hired to protect their clients?

Needless to say, most of these “compliance vendors” weren’t so highly regarded at all. Regardless if they were for profit, non profit, publicly traded, or a small boutique agency; whether they were representing five companies or 700 companies; it didn’t matter: They all sucked. And the government thought as much. So what about OFCCP audits? What about enforcement? Were their client employers being raked over the hot-coals of compliance violations? Yes, yes they were.

I approached my investigations with a sense of vigor, but I remained optimistic.

Because the OFCCP audits actions of an employer’s past (usually against a specific date range and physical establishment location), I felt as though these current findings and audits/enforcement trends were based on an employer’s far-off past. For me, “the past” is a forgivable time period.

Yet what I kept finding were more and more gaps… and it wasn’t just based on past practices; it was based and predicated on the actions that employers were CURRENTLY taking.

When I asked a handful of employers why they would continue to subject themselves to vendor failures, compliance violations and subsequent increased scrutiny, the answer almost resoundingly was, “compliance is hard… and we must trust our vendors, even though we have been screwed by them.”

I was shocked.

But I shouldn’t have been.

See, during my investigations, I finally bought that future space age-style toothpaste.  I couldn’t wait to try it. I got home, removed the packaging covered with what looked like shattered mirror bits and trippy fractals, pumped some of the pricy goop out onto my toothbrush and went to town. And you know what happened? Nothing.

There were no nano-bots scurrying throughout my mouth, no micro-foaming action (other than normal toothpaste-foaming action). There I was with a mouthful of empty promises — and a mouth full of disappointment.

I had been duped. This toothpaste didn’t do anything it had promised!

It was easy for me to throw the tube of toothpaste away. But for an employer community that banks on their vendor-partner being 100 percent perfect in a compliance context (which it has almost never been), it’s not nearly so simple.

As an employer, I beg you: PLEASE do a major vendor analysis this year specifically for compliance. You won’t regret it.


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