New OFCCP Rules for Recruiting Effective March 24th

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Mar 3, 2014

I’m going on my 11th year of recruiting within the government space. During this time, I’ve seen quite a few changes, albeit nothing like what I am seeing now. I usually write with a little humor in my posts but what’s coming now is no laughing matter. The rules are changing March 24, 2014, and talent acquisition professionals working with companies who have contracts with the federal government must be prepared.

How these changes will affect practitioners remains to be seen. For now, here is the gist of what they are now requiring with regard to data collection, job posting, and external sourcing.


The new regulations require contractors to document the following computations or comparisons pertaining to applicants and hires on an annual basis and maintain them for a period of three (3) years:

  1. The number of applicants who self-identified as individuals with disabilities . . . or who are otherwise known to be individuals with disabilities;
  2. The total number of job openings and total number of jobs filled;
  3. The total number of applicants for all jobs;
  4. The number of applicants with disabilities hired; and
  5. The total number of applicants hired.

In order to comply with this, the contractor must have EVERY applicant fill out a disclosure form similar to the EEOC form most companies use. Yep, more forms. The new form, found here, is simple enough, but I fear it will confuse applicants even more.

This may cause candidates to even fear the application process. Fear is a major part of job searching for people and this could send many applicants right out of the running to work for a government contractor, as commercial clients are not beholden to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) regulations.

On top of this, the definition of an applicant will potentially cause problems in the external sourcing of candidates if that is what you do instead of the post and pray method of recruiting. Eventually, everyone who is considered a candidate HAS to fill out the forms.


The OFCCP has also expanded the requirement that contractors alert job seekers that they will not be discriminated against on the basis of race and gender to include disability and veteran status.

New Tag Line Language for Job Advertisements:

“We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.”


First, you will need to save the searches and search strings that you use when searching online databases such as CareerBuilder or DICE.  Some of these sites have a way to save the search for you and store it. However, you will need to keep records for 3 years instead of the current 2 year requirement.  Unless you know you are going to use these job boards AND they can and will retain the information for you, then you are going to have to cut and paste your searches on to a form and retain that in your hiring file. There are ways in applicant tracking systems (ATS) to attach files to the jobs in the database and that may be the best way to do this if you store data electronically. It will also be required to track activity as it relates to outreach and recruitment efforts and meeting new benchmarks and goals for veterans and candidates with disabilities.

One more thing… if you’re using third party recruiters or have subcontractors working on your prime contract, they must follow all the new rules as well. Actually, they don’t have to, but you will still be responsible for them.

Additional Resources

The OFCCP website has all of the information federal contractors need to be compliant including the Federal Contract Compliance Manual.

image credit: bigstock

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