Satisfying OFCCP's Internet Applicant Rules

HR Resource
February 8, 2013 — 3,026 views  
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The OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs) recently incorporated more information to give more clarity to its instructions and meet the record-keeping requirements of subcontractors and contractors who are using the Web in their process of hiring people.

An increasing number of employers is benefiting from external recruitment firms and resume databases when it comes to finding the best candidates for specific jobs. The result of this development has given rise to more questions on how employers must work with external agencies to fulfill their record-keeping responsibilities under OFCCP regulations and rules. The information given below highlights some of the latest developments in OFCCP rulers in terms of hiring candidates using the Internet.

Applicant’s background check

The record-keeping rules of OFCCP require federal subcontractors and contractors to reserve records of their candidates they hire along with their ethnicity, gender, and race. The OFCCP’s ‘Internet Applicant Rule’ clearly specifies that record-keeping obligations should be met when processing Internet applications for a specific job. According to OFCCP, the internet applicant is a person who meets the following criteria:

  • Expresses interest: The person expresses interest in the job and the employment through the Web or related electronic data transferring technologies.
  • Considered: The applicant is considered by the contractor for employment for a specific position in a company.
  • Basic qualification: The applicant’s interest shows that that he has the basic qualification required for the position. 
  • Does not withdraw application: Before the selection process, the candidate does not withdraw his application. 

External Databases

The internet provides several options to contractors to retain Internet applications through small and large external databases. Such options include the following criteria:

  • Utilizing different data management techniques in huge external databases to maintain the resumes that meet basic qualification that the job requires, and downloading a specific amount of resumes into the internal database of the contractor.
  • Going through resumes in external databases and inviting the interested job seekers to submit their resumes to that contractor directly.

Recruiting Agencies

According to OFCCP, the federal contractors’ record-keeping duties are the same if they are using a recruiting agency to look for job applications for a particular position. When the employers uses the services of an external recruiting agency, the employer must mention in its contract the conditions of record-keeping the agency needs to meet for recruiting Internet applicants.

While the federal contractor can ask the recruiting agency to maintain records for the former, the major responsibilities of record-keeping still lie with the contractor. In simpler terms, the contractor is the one who will be held responsible if the required records are not maintained.

Employer obligations towards OFCCP

The recruiting contractor must fulfill certain obligations towards OFCCP on demand. Upon request by the OFCCP, the contractor should show the maintained records of Internet applicants hired and Internet applicants who may be hired. If the contractor fails to do this, the information is deemed as either unpreserved or destroyed.

Federal subcontractors and contractors should have comprehensive and early discussions with external recruiting agencies about maintaining records to ensure that all required information is properly preserved to meet OFCCP regulations and rules of Internet job applications.

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