Using the Internet to Expand the Diversity of Your Candidate Pool

You may be wondering why I am qualified to write an article on diversity sourcing.

My buddy and diversity recruiting guru Martin de Campo and I discussed this at length, in a dark dining room in downtown San Jose surrounded by rich hardwood paneling and more multicultural influences than you can shake a stick at. It became apparent that not only did we both share a passion for this topic, but we approached it from two very different yet complementary and equally successful angles.

So I asked Martin, “Why me?” Is it just because I was raised in Colombia, South America, and like many other Latin Americans, immigrated to the United States in 1989? Nope. Is it because I once ran a passive candidate diversity-sourcing team for a well-known software company? No, that wasn’t it either.

That fateful day Martin said something that reverberated in me like a giant gong. He said diversity recruiting is all about relating, knowing your audience, getting in the mind of the very same groups you are attempting to recruit. That’s why I am qualified to write this article. I strongly believe that finding diversity leads is only slightly different than finding any other types of leads.

To find anyone, you have to think like them. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for software engineers, accountants, or Hispanics. Just like software engineers and accountants, Hispanics join communities and interest groups where they get together and discuss topics they care about.

To find software engineers since 1996, I’ve gone to groups and “locations” where they exchange ideas about C++ or Java. Finding those groups has enabled me to identify talent that mainstream recruiters are not typically contacting.

Why would it be any different to find Hispanics? Frankly, the most self-evident way to find people is to go where they go. But what do Hispanics talk about, what groups do they join, and where do they go? That’s the big question.

It’s not about what these candidates look for in an organization. Aside from some minor differences in our perception and preferences originating from our cultural heritage, we look for the same things everyone does for the most part. A good job is just as much a good job to a Hispanic as it is to an African-American or Asian. What matters is where we are. Think like us and you will find us. We post resumes on Monster like everyone else, but how do you find us in there?

There are two sides to finding that out. Martin’s focus is on strategic and offline techniques, while mine is more about getting deep into the details of online research. Both approaches used together lead to a balanced perspective on traditional/face-to-face and advanced electronic tactics.

Because identifying where diverse candidates hang out depends greatly on learning to think like them, I only have room in this article to focus on the “big three” groups that many diversity efforts tend to focus on: African-American, Hispanic, and Asian. Of course, there are many more, and quite a few different ways to define diversity.

Population segments like veterans, the vision-impaired, and Native Americans tend to get overlooked in conventional diversity efforts. It’s impossible to cover all diversity sourcing approaches for all diversity groups in one single article, but my hope is that through a few examples many of the techniques will give you the opportunity to explore diversity recruiting for those groups as well.

Big Boards

Naturally, with so many millions of job seekers using the major boards like Monster, CareerBuilder, and HotJobs, going to the big resume databases ranks at the top of the list for diversity-candidate sources.

As a job seeker, when I think of getting my resume into the hands of recruiters, the first thing that comes to mind isn’t, “I’m Hispanic, so where should I go to post my resume?” Instead, I think, “Where is the best place for me to put my resume so recruiters can see it?”

Later on, I may start focusing on some of the other places, but to start out I’m going to go where I get the most exposure. This is why diversity resume databases have a much smaller population than the big boards.

But searching on the big boards is tricky because whether by choice or unintentionally, most diverse candidates don’t clearly state their protected status on their resume. So even inside the big boards the amount of people who self-select to be listed under the “diversity” section is relatively small.

To get around that, use a multi-pronged approach to basic keyword searching. If I’m Hispanic, I may be proud of my involvement in groups like NSHMBA or SHPE and therefore mention the organization on my resume, describing my role as chapter president, or my participation on any of the committees.

If I’m African-American, I may belong to NBMBAA or NSBE. So by looking for those keywords on resumes we find a high percentage of Hispanic resumes. Keep in mind that not everyone who participates in these groups is going to self-identify their protected status when they complete their employment paperwork.

What if I didn’t join one of those professional organizations? Well, I may have had an active social life in college that included belonging to one of many brotherhoods or sisterhoods. I may mention that on my resume instead.

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For example, black females may have joined the Alpha Kappa Alpha sisterhood while their brothers joined Alpha Phi Alpha. Latina women may have joined Kappa Delta Chi while their brothers joined Omega Delta Phi.

Asians would have joined cross-national Asian fraternities like Lambda Phi Epsilon or maybe they went for a more focused group like Beta Chi Theta, focused particularly on South Asian members.

Besides social organizations like fraternities and sororities, there are also clubs, student associations, service groups, and student unions, many of them with ethnic focuses.

Many years after graduation I may still be involved with these groups, or I may have decided to join other groups like NSHP or NAAAP where I take on a more national role and continue to support the professional development of my peers from the same ethnic background.

Appropriate Language

All of these associations make for great keyword searches on the major job boards, but that’s not enough. There are a great many diverse candidates who either didn’t join them or left them out of their resume for any number of reasons.

It would stand to reason that searching for words like black, Asian, or Latin may work. However, that doesn’t work very well. Think of how many resumes are going to have the word black in the context of “six sigma black belt” or “black box testing” a software QA methodology.

Phrases like “work with Asian countries” or “business in Latin America” don’t necessarily point to diverse candidates. Even keywords like “Spanish” or “Chinese” when used alone can be misleading.

What can work in limited amounts is searching for “natural phrase” keywords such as “African American,” “Asian American,” and “Latin American.” Though not widely found on resumes, such natural phrases do occur, and when used inside OR statements along with names of professional and educational organizations, they can be an effective way to expand a search.

Another way is to combine languages with the use of natural phrases like “native Spanish” to find people who are native Spanish speakers. Frequently, people who are native speakers will instead state that they are fluent, hence searching for “fluent Cantonese” or “fluent Korean” works well. Searching for both the words “Cantonese” and “Mandarin” is a great way to find Chinese candidates because typically only native speakers are going to list both on a resume.

This also works well for other ethnicities, where it’s common to speak multiple languages, such as “Hindi” and “Urdu.”

Searching for the language in its native spelling can also be very useful. Try Espa?ol instead of Spanish, for some additional results.

Other keywords you can use to search are the names of educational institutions that focus on a particular population segment. For example, Morehouse College is an all-male black college. Including the names of HBCUs (historically black or predominantly black colleges) like Morehouse and those listed here can also lead to the inclusion of diverse candidates in your search results. With little effort you can also identify lists of predominantly Hispanic colleges, women’s colleges, and other similar keywords to include in your search.

Shally is a globally recognized leader in Sourcing, Recruitment Research and Recruitment Marketing. He is a professional Speaker (NSA Professional member) often requested to speak about sourcing strategy and recruitment marketing. He is the founder of JobMachine, Inc. now EVP of Arbita, Inc. the premier provider of Sourcing Consulting Services and Research Training. Shally has built and/or advised sourcing organizations at over 200 companies like Microsoft, Google, Coca-Cola, Cisco and Motorola. He is Instrumental in modeling centralized recruitment organizations and has a reputation as an authority in Internet search, pioneer in recruitment research. Shally is frequently a contributor to top industry forums and often headline at leading conferences.


20 Comments on “Using the Internet to Expand the Diversity of Your Candidate Pool

  1. Shelly:

    I’ve been doing diversity sourcing on the Internet since 1996. There is so little on it on the subject available, that sometimes I wonder if I’m off track. While I realize your article is an introductory one, I affirmed that I was at least headed in the right direction. I hope you do more on this subject.


    Tracey de Morsella
    The Multicultural Advantage

  2. Shally, great article!
    I would be interested to know if any Canadians have some experiences they can share that relate to this approach.
    I have tried to diversify my approach to finding candidates, they have not been based on the net however.

  3. Shally, this was great. One question though, by doing the searches on boards for diversity, how does this impact compliance issues with the new laws on ATS?

  4. Good fundamentals covered. I’m surprised you didn’t throw in some of the more creative ideas that we’ve discussed in the past such as targeting diversity professionals through online personals (which lets you target geographically as well as by race/ethnicity), or is that because it could get corporate HR people in some hot water to endorse that?!

  5. Glenn to answer your question those kinds of things will be in the next article. I couldn’t include all that in one easy to read piece so expect more to come 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement!

  6. Eric – great question! Let me clarify. From within an ATS searches need to be based on the requirements of that position so a recruiter would be searching their ATS for applicants using compliant keywords. This article is not about searching for candiates we already have within our applicant tracking sytem. When pro-actively looking for leads on the internet we are not finding candidates, only identifying information that may lead us to a prospect.

    Until an individual expresses interest (or lack thereof) they are not yet a candidate or aplicant. An inclusive pro-active search should encompass every possible avenue to identify potential leads. The hope is to capture as many leads that may potentially be qualified, and to include any and all kinds of diverse and non-diverse backgrounds. This kind of activity strives to ‘include’ and not to ‘exclude’ anyone. By identifying as many leads as possible it does not filter our, hence adverse impact is not a consideration. What it does is broaden the search to include as much as possible.

    Once individuals are contacted and have expressed interest then they move from being leads to actually being under consideration, and from that point on they need to be tracked as such in an ATS or other mechanism that yields and applicant flow log. Those who decline interest or don’t respond at all are never aplicants or candidates, though even then savvy searchers still track them (albeit only as leads and typically only in spreadsheets or CRM systems) and note the exact details of how we found them as well as note their level of interest. In this sense we remain compliant, even with lead generation searches, though the rules on this appear to not be clearly defined.

  7. Shally, you’re the man. Finally, an article on ‘diversity’ sourcing I can ‘relate’ to…an inclusive approach that treats everyone the same. I’ve been doing this for eons; it is simply a matter of knowing your audience and asking yourself, where do the people we need work and play? What are their interests? What are their certifications? What professional and/or educational groups might they be associated with? By asking what sets them apart, you actually include them and integrate them into the search for THE most qualified person, no matter their race, creed, etc. And that, my friends is what we are all called to do.

  8. Sometimes I’ve worried that some of my more creative diversity sourcing strategies might not be in compliance. Your response to Eric’s ATS question and has not only alleviated those fears, but also to better interpret the new OFCCP definition of an Internet applicant ruling. I look forward to more of your articles on diversity sourcing.

    Tracey de Morsella
    The Multicultural Advantage

  9. Just a small footnote about what a ‘good job’ means to different groups. Monster’s 2006 survey did reveal some differences in what respondents are looking for, e.g.: African-American and Asian-American respondents were more interested in flexible work hours than Caucasian or Hispanic respondents. This may be what you meant by ‘minor differences.’

    Survey available here:

  10. That is only ethnic diversity. The major items are those which would impact the decision of any diverse group. Not just ethnic, but also gender, age, veteran status, and even belief systems.

    Of course there are things which attract certain groups more than others. For example, elder care and extended family benefits may be more important to one group but not another. This comes down to offering a work environment attractive to the community you want to employ. Offering what the majority of your employees or target employees want is just good business.

    Things like a ‘working for a good company,’ getting ‘competitive pay,’ or having a safe work environment are a big deal to any job seeker, regardless of their background. The minor diferences I was referring to are related to what would comparatively make one job more attractive than another, in specific groups. What I am saying, and the report concurs, is that the big items pretty much drive interest accross all groups, regardless of diversity.

    I interpret the report to be saying that if an African American or Asian American were offered two identical jobs, but one had flexible hours and the other did not then the report suggests their preference would be the one with flexible hours. However, my question is if job A offered flexible hours and job B was very similar but with a more reputable company then which one would they want more? My guess is eveyone, not just Hispanics, would prefer the ‘bigger brand name’ over the flexible time, all other things remaining equal. But I didn’t do a survey, and I know it could also come down to a complilation of minor differences, so this is very subjective.

    Ultimately, however, these differences come in to play at the ‘attraction’ stage, and even more so during retention. When it comes to proactively recruiting ‘less active’ candidates its important to think like our target audience so that we can find them. Only once we find them and reach out to them will we have an opportunity to present a choice of benefits to keep their attention.

  11. Nice work Shally. It is true that diverse professionals will post their resumes to the major job boards just like everyone else. Here they want to be recognized as candidates first and let their skills shine through. Taking a skill based approach initially and then ensuring you have a balanced slate of candidates by running the queries you suggest would be a great way to start.

    On diverse job boards, the professional wants employers to know that in addition to the quantitative skills they possess they also have one other: ‘cultural competency’ or the ability to understand diverse markets from a first hand perspective. They want employers, who otherwise might miss them in the general market mix to have a chance to view their skills and competencies in a more focused setting.

    By employers using the approach you suggest with both sources, they are certain to have a more ‘inclusive’ candidate slate.

    You brought up social networking and that is a great way to identify potential candidates as well. One area of social networking often overlooked is faith based initiatives and networks. Diverse candidates can be deeply spiritual and religious. It is part of the culture in many cases. The church is a focal point of their lives and a place they, like many people, go when times are difficult or they need assistance or guidance.

    One such social networking site/job board is . It pulls together hundreds of faith based employment intitiaves from all over the nation. Candidates will be as diverse as on the general market boards as spirituality knows no boundaries but it is a treasure trove of diverse professionals as well.

    I like your approach. It often takes some detective work to be certain you are conducting an inclusive search for qualified candidates. Simply taking the first few that show up on top won’t help nor will just using one resource over another. The end goal should be to ‘consider’ candidates that bring the widest variety of qualitative and quantitative skills to the mix and then hire the most qualified person from that panoply of skills for the job.

    In my experience, the diverse professional does not want additional consideration based on their race, gender or ethnicity, they simply want to be invited to the party to compete on an even playing field.

  12. There seems to be some confusion of the definition of an Applicant/candidate..

    From The OFCCP – What is the definition of an ‘Internet Applicant’ in the final rule?

    An Internet Applicant is defined as an individual who satisfies the following four criteria:
    The individual submits an expression of interest in employment through the Internet or related electronic data technologies;
    The CONTRACTOR CONSIDERS the individual for employment in a particular position;
    The individual’s expression of interest indicates the individual possesses the basic qualifications for the position; and,
    The individual at no point in the contractor’s selection process prior to receiving an offer of employment from the contractor, removes himself or herself from further consideration or otherwise indicates that he or she is no longer interested in the position.

    The term ‘candidate’ has been included to cover those situations where the initial step by the USERS involves consideration of current employees for promotion, or training, or other employment opportunities, without inviting applications. ‘The procedure by which persons are identified as candidates’ is itself a selection procedure under the Guidelines’
    ‘The Internet Applicant rule requires contractors to maintain any and all expressions of interest through the Internet or related electronic data technologies as to WHICH THE CONTRACTOR CONSIDERED the individual for a particular position, except for searches of external resume data bases discussed below. Contractors also are to maintain records identifying job seekers contacted regarding their interest in a particular position’
    ‘The only records a contractor would be required to maintain would be associated with the search itself. For internal databases, contractors are required to keep records of all individuals added to the databases.’

    Here is a problem that I see from this – the moment that one starts assessing and saving information and/or email information to Candidates/applicants, one is expressing interest ? the Contractor Must Save all data regarding a search on an External Database even if the Candidate Did not express interest and was not considered an Internet Applicant ? what must be kept is the Search Criteria, position for search, date of search and relevant information about the Candidate who were considered, even if they are not applicants –

    Also the OFCCP notes the following – ‘A contractor may establish a protocol under which it refrains from considering expressions of interest that are not submitted in accordance with standard procedures the contractor establishes. Likewise, a contractor may establish a protocol under which it refrains from considering expressions of interest, such as unsolicited resumes, that are not submitted with respect to a particular position.’

    Also — ‘BOT searches of external resume databases are treated the same as other methods for searching external resume databases. The BOT may be used to search for basic qualifications for the position without retaining a copy of all resumes reviewed. If the BOT searches beyond the basic qualifications, the company could be found in violation of the Executive Order if it failed to maintain the resumes of each individual that met the basic qualifications. Other records required to be maintained regarding searches of external resume databases also must be maintained for BOT searches of such databases

    In other words, one must define your basic qualification before doing searches, and they should be consistent for all positions – ?Can random sampling ever be viewed as a ‘criterion’ for employment, facially neutral or otherwise? Random sampling is not a basic qualification.? – Basic Qualifications Must Not be Objective and of course Non-Comparative.
    also Note that White Males are also considered Protected groups
    Heavily suggest speaking to the legal department –
    *? ? quoted from the OFCCP website

  13. Another great tidbit of info that came from execunet –

    Change In Federal Contracts Reporting Puts Equal Employment Duty On Recruiters

    ‘ExecuNet has learned in a recent teleconference with the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) that corporate recruiters who are hiring to help their organizations fulfill federal contract and subcontract work must be more diligent in tracking online job candidates to comply with equal employment opportunity laws.

    OFCCP deputy director David Frank says that new government regulations require corporate recruiters using external candidate databases to archive the following:

    The source of job candidate data
    The date of any recruiter searches into such databases
    The position specifications a recruiter may have been trying to match against the talent pool on a given date
    The search terms/words/criteria that generated qualified candidate reports
    The actual resumes or profiles of the individuals whose records were generated in response to each database query on any given day, including any and all modifications to the search criteria that may have generated (even slightly) different candidate results.
    Frank says that if a corporate recruiter narrows or refines a candidate database query that eventually results in a new hire, the employer must have the electronic records (or at least hard copy printouts of computer screens) to demonstrate how the pool of candidates generated by the database changed according to the recruiter’s search criteria.

    The compliance burden rests with the employer, Frank says, to document the resumes or profiles of ‘applicants’ who become, based on the internal recruiter’s feeling that there is a match to the job spec, actual ‘candidates’ for a given job. This record keeping will enable the Department of Labor to determine whether any employer’s recruiting and hiring practices have any ‘disparate impact’ on any group based on race, gender and/or ethnicity.’

  14. Thank you for this clarification about Candidates and Applicants Karen. However, there are two kinds of searches on the Internet. One is for ‘leads’ and uses search eigines, the other is for ‘resumes’ and uses resume databases. I don’t want folks to be confused that searching for leads (not for candidates or applicants) with a Search Engine is not at all like
    searching an ‘external candidate database.’

    On the topic of directly serching resume databases, not search engines, automation product or BOTs as you called them, like my favorite InfoGIST Platinum and others including AIRS and TalentHook, offer clear and simple OFCCP tracking mechanisms which automatically track all the requisitie information in compliance even with the most extended interpretations of an Internet Applicant.

    The other topic, however is searching for potential leads using search engines. In that case search engines provide us with a shortcut to find data already publically available on the web, hence its not a database per say, and certainly not a ‘candidte database’ as in the previous statement.

    The activity of searching the Internet to find information that may lead us to prospective leads does not meet those four criteria you explained. When we find a name and title on a publically available website:

    1) They are not submitting an expression of interest in employment to us in any way shape or form, nor are they even aware they are being considered until someone attempts contact.

    2) Until someone attempts to contact them they are not being considered for employment in a particular position because we don’t know much more about them beyon a name, title, and perhaps a few other bits of information.

    3) We do not yet know about their basic qualifications for the position – see abvove – and in some cases may not even be serching for one particular position but rather for an overall talent pool.

    4) Since they haven’t yet been considered they also have not been removed from any consideration.

    However, just to be on the safe side, we use a CRM or spreadsheet to track information on what search strings, sources and methods were used. We collect such required source information in the event that lead turns out to be interested and is considered. So, the record keeping is still there, even though technically this is still the ‘scouting’ phase and not the ‘recruiting’ phase just yet.

    Again, Karen, thank you for your thoughtful research and comments on the definition of an Internet Aplicant. Now, if you could predict what the EOC is goign to do, maybe we can all get a head start on that as well? LOL!!!


  15. Actually Shally,
    What you said is inaccurate, I called the An assistant Regional Director of the Offcp on this Yesterday – The information that was inputted indeed was correct!
    If a recruiter starts looiking on the internet – including social networks, blogs or forums with the intent to locate and identify possible candidates, this is the same/similar as going to a job board and running a resume search and all data must be preserved as the same.. When the candidate replies with interest they are now applicants.
    When doing internet searches for candidates, even when not looking at job boards the following steps should be considered

    1 – When searching for Candidates on the internet one must First have a created a Basic Qualification for the position. The ‘basic qualifications’ which an applicant must possess means qualifications that the contractor advertised to potential applicants or criteria which the contractor established in advance.

    (made a typo mistake in earlier post.. positions must be Objective — NOT not objective)****

    2 Searches for Candidates must show ‘good faith’ efforts – as Shally mentioned, ‘The basic components of good faith efforts are (1) outreach and recruitment measures to broaden candidate pools from which selection decisions are made to include minorities and women and (2) systematic efforts to assure that selections thereafter are made without regard to race, sex, or other prohibited factors’ In other words, make sure that your search does not eliminate any qualified candidate or applicant, including ‘non diverse’ candidates

    3 All searches must be based upon those basic qualifications – thus any as soon as you maintain any criteria regarding a candidate – with the intent to Contact – is now considered a potential applicant. The contractor has now assessed that data, and has made a choice on that particular person.. that means there has been an expresion of interest by the contractor. As soon as any contact of interest is made to the candidate then the individual now is considered an applicant.

    4 Since Candidate data was stored with the intent to possibly contact then the following must be archived
    to archive the following:

    The source of job candidate data
    The date of any recruiter searches into such databases
    The position specifications a recruiter may have been trying to match against the talent pool on a given date
    The search terms/words/criteria that generated qualified candidate reports
    The actual resumes or profiles of the individuals whose records were generated in response to each database query on any given day, including any and all modifications to the search criteria that may have generated (even slightly) different candidate results.

    Now there can be potential problems.. regarding continuity – if one utilizes particular standards for searching for candidates, then one must maintain those standards for all your searches. In other words, be cautious about searching for diversity candidates to fit just a quota.. One should consider utilizing similar tools for all the searches you are implementing for all positions.. Establish Consistent protocol.

    This record keeping will enable the Department of Labor to determine whether any employer’s recruiting and hiring practices have any ‘disparate impact’ on any group based on race, gender and/or ethnicity.

    ‘This record keeping will enable the Department of Labor to determine whether any employer’s recruiting and hiring practices have any ‘disparate impact’ on any group based on race, gender and/or ethnicity.’

  16. Sorry for the multiple posts ? but this is too important and potentially expensive topic to take lightly ?

    In regards to Recruiting and the offcp let?s take a look at the following – They said satisfy four, but they didn’t say in what order.. there is the ambiguity

    ? The individual submits an expression of interest in employment through the Internet or related electronic data technologies;
    ? **** The contractor considers the individual for employment in a particular position***;
    ? The individual’s expression of interest indicates the individual possesses the basic qualifications for the position; and,
    ? The individual at no point in the contractor’s selection process prior to receiving an offer of employment from the contractor, removes himself or herself from further consideration or otherwise indicates that he or she is no longer interested in the position.

    So the contractor can express interest to the candidate – just like they do on job boards.. a contractor finds a rez or information/criteria, and asks candidate to submit their res or apply.. Now the OFCCP also uses the words Profile and criteria that must be saved.. NOT only resumes..

    Do not depend only on ATS for recording these searches. There are Rules to follow when the searches are Outside the ATS ? some are highlighted in my earlier posts.. there will also be need for print screen.
    Remember that ?Can random sampling ever be viewed as a ‘criterion’ for employment, facially neutral or otherwise? Random sampling is not a basic qualification.? – Basic Qualifications Must be Objective and of course Non-Comparative. ? thus, emailing people with limited information means that you have reduced your basic qualifications for that position, so now, all individuals who now apply must be considered as internet applicants

    Anyone who is a Contractor, Sub Contractor who have to abide by this law – a rule of thumb to follow – always get Counsel from individuals who have been well trained and versed on this ruling. I know Lawyers who will not touch this with a 10 foot pole due to the ambiguity to the standards, and suggest to their clients stay safe and conservative ? Why? Well if your Data is not there to Prove your Reasonable and Fair Efforts to avoid discrimination of all types ? then the OFCCP will now have the legal responsibility to believe that your efforts were not Fair and Reasonable.. Remember the Burden of Proof is on You!

    I am not an OFCCP Specialist, nor am I an employment attorney, and don?t think that anyone should rely on what is presented here ? the information presented was via a conversation with an OFCCP representative ? and it is presented to make sure that individuals are gaining accurate information

    Lastly I close ? in regards to the OFCCP they will consider Leads as candidates ? candidates that You assessed, believed were possibly viable because you decided to save to contact at a later date, or even at that time frame. When you Searched and contacted them ? like you would have on a Job board search then the same principles must apply!

    I appreciate Shally?s article, and yes, his great information, but make sure you check with legal so that you can define how to implement his awesome search suggestions to reduce your risks

  17. Thank you, Karen, for recognizing this is all very ambiguous and for taking all that time to research and make some calls on our behalf. And I appreciate your feedback. Don’t worry about the double posts, we have all come to expect that when you comment online you will always post two messages. Its your trademark 🙂

    We could all certainly use more discourse to help us define this, particulalry when we are all being asked to be more inclusive but on the same breath these authorities make it very difficult for us to know how to be inclusive while still meeting their ambiguous compliance demands.

    The sourcing template I have used for years – even before these OFCCP regulations came to be – I do track all of the criteria, even with lead generation from loosely defined ‘Internet sources.’ The robots like InfoGIST have systems in place to track the same as well, so there’s an arqument for automation right there. While it may be in two separate places, that information is certainly collected (source, date, req# or profile#, terms, results). In the past I collected it to learn from my experiences and be able to know where I left of on a particular search. Now it serves the double purpose of also being compliant in a very easy and natural way.

    But, since you spoke with someone who appears to speak with confidence on this, I would ask two questions to which I have never been able to get an answer:

    1) If I do a search that results in 172,674 results on Google, does that mean that according to this definition I have to track all 172,674 pages of results from Google and consider them all candidates under this definition? The problem I have with that is that you can’t get past result # 999 in Google. And even if I made a point of limiting my requisition based compliant searches to only 999 results, does that mean I have to track all 999? What if some of those people don’t exist anymore? Do I still have to track them? And what if some of those are and never have been real people? What then? And what if some of those aren’t even resumes at all, or they are blind or anonymous resumes? BTW this even happens with Monster you know, blind resumes… so how do we track that? I really wish someone could answer that. In the mean time, I’m going to track the data as I always have on the leads I actually phisically look at and consider.

    And my other question…

    2) By ‘considered for employment’ does that mean I just looked at a name and number? What I am asking is this – say I’m at a conference and someone walks up to me and says ‘Hey Shally, I hear you work with X Company – here’s my business card, call me if there’s ever any opportunities for me’ do I now have to consider this person an applicant or candidate? Now what if instead of a conference I come accross their profile on LinkedIn while I’m on there neworking for other purposes? Should I just keep going and not consider them simply because I’m not in the middle of a compliant search?

    If you could call your friend back and ask him to non-committally answer these to questions you would have one very greatful community!


  18. Shally,
    The OFCCP has specific guidelines as to what should be documented.. and how. Now you have been doing this before OFCCP regulations have existed, well I say tongue in cheek, how old are you? Or did you mean before the definition of the OFCCP internet Candidate/applicant regulation came into effect? You do realize how long the ofccp has been around now don?t you?

    It may be a good time to note. The Ofccp is a part of the Department of Labor and acts as an agent for the EEO. They are Not the EEO.
    Now many say that the definitions are difficult to understand.. that may be true, when there are possible different interpretation that brings a what if, maybe, possibility or could that mean? Then assume to take the safer route – if one errs on the side of caution then it really isn?t that difficult ? especially when you look at it this way –

    These regulations are put in place to Help You the company ? it shows Your due diligence in your efforts – if there is an audit, and there has been some questionable doubt based upon your hiring patterns, this reporting will ascertain that you had done everything in your power to maintain diversity. It is an insurance of sort. (This is my personal perception)

    Word of Caution – Make sure that the ATS, software, and system of management is compliant AND consistent for all positions. Let?s use ambiguity here for a second, they use the term Applicant tracking system or Data Management technique, well could that only mean A software? Or could it also mean the System and Personal Technique that You implemented, the way you track applicants could be considered a system? When you continue to read more of the ruling, it becomes easier to understand that yes, it could mean also the way I manage my applicant tracking.. not just software.

    Based upon recording.. These are based upon a Position by Position Basis where the internet or related electronic technologies was used, including electronic scanning technology –
    They suggest a print screen (as seen in my earlier post) of what your search terms were, what it brought up, and the minimum Qualifications that was utilized. Regarding Arguments ie robots.. would consider not arguing with them too much about this, as they have not had their regulations Contested thus far.. actually, on the contrary ? they have had a tremendous increase in recovery. 78% since 2001 ? 14% since 2001
    Note Software that ranks candidates

    Now, you can change your search Criteria, by Adding more job qualifications ? to reduce your input.. that means that the change must be noted and why! (the criteria must be pre established, before any searches are implemented, before changing and a record of those changes should be recorded) – ?the contractor must make and maintain a record of basic qualifications to be used in the search prior to considering any expression of interest for that particular position? quoted ofccp ? yes, that means prior to You considering interest as well.
    Yes, one can use criteria beyond the basic qualifications, but it starts getting risky, especially if records are properly maintained.
    Shally, the reason the basic qualifications are implemented is so that one doesn?t have to Consider Everyone that doesn?t fit those qualifications, if you are maintaining a consistent and ?appropriate? data management techniques (question here is what may be considered appropriate) . This is again protection for the employer. Now, there is something to remember here and that is consistency. If one is doing a very basic limited search, and start randomly selecting people here and there.. there is a can of worms that is being opened.. The question will be why him, not her? So the proof will be on you, that random selection was not based upon discriminatory tactics. Also Remember that when a Contractor has Made assessments of data, and has made a decision to contact that person, that is an expression of interest in that candidate ? the OFCCP does clearly state ?contractor assesses the substantive information provided in the expression of interest with respect to ANY qualifications involved with a particular position? ? this also falls on the contractor ? as they made the expression of interest (interest does not mean telephone screen, and should also be consistent? interest can be an email) ? when the candidate declines the Contractors invitation, then they have indicated they are not interested ? from OfCCP passive disinterest may be shown by: Declining a contractor’s invitation for a job interview; Declining a job offer; or Repeatedly failing to respond to a contractor’s telephone inquiries or emails (2 OR more requests of contact) asking about his or her interest in a job. ? All expressions of interest (including that of contractor) must be retained even after the applicant/candidate has removed themselves from interest
    The best way to eliminate confusion on this matter is to compare a web search to a job board search ? when you type in certain criteria based upon a job description ? Candidate Data will appear. Many of these folks may not even be aware of your job, and have not applied to you.. but You assessed them, decided to save their data to contact them to say, I am interested in your experience. This data is recorded either on the job board ? (depending which one you use) or on your ATS. The same applies as well for the Internet search. Now here is a catch, if you make a Generic search for someone who is a Mechanical Project Manager, and it generates tons of candidates, then that data must be retained.
    The reason that Protocol should be considered on how one does searches, is because it eliminates potential problems and shows consistency. ?Under the Internet Applicant rule the contractor would need to retain only those resumes considered that meet the basic qualifications for the position? AND Contractors need to maintain only those search criteria that produce job seekers to be considered further in the selection process, and they do not need to maintain records of futile search criteria.? Again this is based upon ? Minimum Qualifications Criteria

    Regarding your second question.. The ofccp does address this, and again this comes down to establishing a protocol. Their example was utilizing Paper resumes you got from say a college ? without making this much longer, would suggest to everyone have a standard protocol, if you accept that person as a viable candidate, then you must maintain that consistency ? Best thing to do is to have your friend apply online! Again, the question that could come from this would be, why him, not her?

  19. I would like to Clarify something – though I did speak to the OFCCP on this topic, please understand, when it comes to the OFCCP, the information presented came to you through a third party.. Me, and Not directly through them.

    I am currently not a professional on this subject. It is wise for anyone who is reading what is presented here only as informative.. Not to depend on it for guideance. Speak to a legal department, contact an attorney, or call the Ofccp directly.. but make sure that the individual is a PRO in OFCCP, and understands the subject matter completely.

    I know lawyers who understand that this law, like many of our laws, is quite ambiguous, and won’t touch this with a 10 Foot pole, as they do not feel that they have studied the subject completely.

    I have also met lawyers who have thought themselves to be updated on this topic, but had not been aware of certain aspects of the law.. Even the lawyers at the OFCCP are consistently going through considerable amount of training on this topic, due to the ‘newness’ of this law.

    As the EEO and FTC said to me on more than one ocasion, you can get several lawyers from several divisions who will read passages of the laws and have different interpretations — that is why the Courts help interpret based upon situations.

    Anyways, to make a long story short.. don’t rely on the Internet, for advice, nor rely on opinions from individuals who have not been professionaly trained or guided on this topic. Treat this topic as seriously as you would the IRS. Get a professional

    The OFCCP has announced that they will be doing random audits.. in 2005 they completed 3000 audits, recovering 45 Million in back pay – that doesn’t include damages.. in 2006 they completed almost 4000 audits with 51 Million for discrimination. This is an increase of 78% since 2001

    Quoted from
    This significant jump in monitoring and enforcement activity was fueled in part by the OFCCP?s new active case management system, which uses statistical tools to prioritize reviews of recruiting and employment practices at companies with federal contracts. The OFCCP is reviewing a much larger portion of the federal contractor universe than it has in the past.

    In addition to increased monitoring from the OFCCP for federal contractors, recruitment-related record-keeping requirements for all companies may fall under scrutiny from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission when applicants allege discrimination.

    As recruiters face greater time-to-fill pressures and employers increase Internet and recruitment agency sourcing, the risks arising from poor record-keeping practices grows. At the same time, careful record keeping throughout the recruitment process can produce valuable data that helps move employers beyond compliance and into the realm of better business intelligence.’

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