At Gem, we strongly believe in the positive impact that diversification efforts can have, both in improving the opportunities available to traditionally underrepresented groups and in the incredible benefits that a diverse workforce can have for a business. Businesses with a diverse workforce can better understand their customers and users by leveraging a range of experience and viewpoints of their employees, and better serve their communities as well. Diversity sourcing is one of the biggest levers a business can use to achieve these goals, so we’ve compiled these best practices for complying with OFCCP requirements. These recommendations will support your diversity initiatives while removing some of the uncertainty that can accompany efforts to diversify candidate pipelines under OFCCP guidelines.
Under the OFCCP guidelines it is OK to create targeted outreach campaigns designed to increase the number of diverse and underrepresented minorities in your candidate pipeline. The OFCCP is very specific about who is considered an applicant, and prospects you source aren’t yet applicants. In fact, sourcing for diverse and underrepresented minorities is seen as a good thing by the OFCCP.
If you post a job, you must hire the most qualified applicant for a position regardless of ethnicity or gender. If you’re worried about the diversity of your applicants and want to increase the number of diverse or URM candidates in your pipeline, you can avoid posting your job opening on your career site or any public sites and source 100% diverse / URM prospects. You can rely on diverse sourcing to significantly increase the pool of qualified diverse candidates, with the understanding that the more diverse candidates there are in the pool, the more likely a diverse applicant will be the most qualified for the position.
While sourcing for roles, it is OK to tag prospects in your Gem account by ethnicity and gender through the use of Projects or custom fields to ensure you’re getting enough diversity in your pipeline. You can then search through your Gem CRM to help find potential prospects for outreach events, such as hosting a ‘Women in Tech’ event to help improve gender diversity in tech roles.
Prospects only become applicants if they have expressed interest in a specific role with your company. At this point, they are under the scope of the OFCCPs reporting requirements. If a prospect has responded to one of your outreach sequences to say they’re interested in your company but not that specific role, or if your outreach doesn’t specify a role, they are not yet an applicant. General interest in your company is not enough; it needs to be aligned with a specific role before you need to start including them in your OFCCP reports.
The OFCCP has established a set of four criteria that a prospect must reach to be considered an applicant for a specific role:
If your outreach mentions a specific role, and the prospect meets the basic qualifications of that role and they respond positively over email, the prospect meets all criteria to be considered an applicant. At this point, you should immediately move them to your ATS and, as soon as possible, send them the required EEOC diversity survey to ensure full compliance with the OFCCP reporting requirements. If your ATS doesn’t automatically send an EEOC survey when you create a candidate record, you should manually send it, or ask the prospect to apply online.
OFCCP record-keeping requirements make it clear that you need to retain all records for any candidate that you consider for a role with your company. However, you’re not required to retain records for any prospects who aren’t interested in the role. Reaching out two or more times without a positive response qualifies as the prospect not being interested. We recommend that you make all of your sequences at least two stages to ensure you’re able to meet this standard for non-interest.
Gem helps you improve your candidate pool by making past prospects you’ve sourced easy to search for future roles. It’s important to be careful if you plan to consider previous applicants for the same role (e.g. evergreen roles, like account executives or engineers). You must ensure that you’re applying a non-discriminatory filter to determine if they still meet the basic qualifications for the position. For example, you can decide to not consider applications older than 180 days, but you can’t decide only to consider previous applicants based on gender or URM. Even though it would be improving your diversity pool for the role, it would go against the OFCCP guidelines. If you need to build a diverse pipeline, you may be better off doing a new search across your CRM prospects instead of re-engaging with former applicants.