Are you Tracking and Evaluating Outreach Sources? Is It Time to Add Additional Resources?
The regulations requiring federal contractors to track and evaluate the effectiveness of outreach to targeted groups have been in effect for several years now. The evaluation of outreach for Individuals with Disabilities and Protected Veterans is under scrutiny in recent OFCCP audits.
The first step of outreach is the easiest: make the connection with the source(s) the organization would like to utilize. Don’t forget outreach is more than just posting jobs on a website, it’s expected that contractors are building relationships with the outreach sources. The organization should not just be another name on a long list of companies. Quality over quantity is a very important thing to remember when building the organization’s outreach relationships. The goal is to build a relationship that shows others that the organization is committed to not just creating but also maintaining a diverse and inclusive workforce.
The second step is documentation of the outreach. Whether keeping track of outreach efforts manually, using an ATS or using a tool such as Berkshire’s REACH, documentation is key in showcasing outreach efforts. Contractors are required to keep track of which organization they are connected with, who the contact is/was within the organization, when contact was made, which protected group was targeted, and what type of outreach was completed. Documentation should be more than just a list of outreach sources, make sure to keep email exchanges or screenshots of internet postings as proof of the outreach effort.
The third step is one of the most crucial steps, evaluating the effectiveness of each of the sources being utilized. Regulations state that the evaluation is to be done at least annually and the evaluation is part of all OFCCP audit submissions. Evaluate each source individually and then evaluate all sources as a whole. Did the activity help to put the organization’s name out there as committed to building and maintaining a diverse workforce? Did the source help to increase applicant activity? If there was an increase in applicant activity, were they qualified applicants? A source bringing in large quantities of applicants with a low rate of qualified applicants will not be as important to the organization as a source bringing in a lower quantity of applicants with a higher rate of qualified applicants. The important thing is that knowing that the relationship built with the source is beneficial to the organization as well as the protected class the source promotes. A source may not automatically look beneficial after a one-time use, but give it time, see if it builds momentum and be ready and willing to add additional sources.