By Jessica Miller-Merrell

When it comes to building a candidate pipeline to fill positions before they are posted on your employment and careers site, talent networks are a great way to capture candidate information of job seekers who aren’t a fit for a position you currently have open but want to further explore. Traditional systems like your applicant tracking system or ATS are already in compliance with the OFCCP making it easy for auditing purposes if the department of labor comes a knocking requesting an audit. The challenge with your ATS, is that candidates only express interest in a single open position with limited ability to update a candidate’s profile or for the job seeker recruiter to get to know each other as well as the company outside of a job interview.

The need for non-ATS and recruiting technologies to reach, engage and attract candidates is real and provides organizations that utilize these a distinct advantage in employer branding and recruiting. The question remains then what to do with those non-ATS human resources and hiring technologies that are not part of the traditional hiring process as part of your OFCCP compliance and AAP. Are these HR and recruiting technologies OFCCP compliant and should they be included in your company’s affirmative action plans?

These online and internet HR technologies can include the following:

  • Sourcing Technologies and tools that use keyword search and proprietary algorithms to search multiple forums, online communities and social networks.
  • Social Networks. This may be a concern if your recruiting team uses social media to engage job seekers, distribute jobs or build your employer brand.
  • External Candidate Databases. Using outside internet databases through job boards, colleges or other communities to search and locate candidates often times utilizing their system email to message the job seeker directly.
  • Talent Networks. Technologies that exist like Talent Circles where the company owns and controls the community that serves as a “green room” before a candidate applies for a specific position.

The U.S. Department of Labor defines an “Internet Applicant” as individual who satisfies all four of the following criteria:

  • The individual submitted an expression of interest in employment through the Internet or related electronic data technologies;
  • The contractor considered the individual for employment in a particular position;
  • The individual’s expression of interest indicated that 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, removed himself or herself from further consideration or otherwise indicated that he/she was no longer interested in the position.

Keep in mind an internet applicant must satisfy all four of the criteria. Yes, all four. The real key in the definition as provided by the U.S. DOL above is “particular position” meaning that the candidate must express interest for a single job opening. Job openings are published on a company career and employment page through the ATS ensuring that companies are in compliance with OFCCP. Recruiting teams who wish to stay in OFCCP compliance can use HR and recruiting technologies including sourcing can use these recruiting technologies to either apply for a specific opening on the careers site. Talent networks do not require candidates to apply for a specific job opening. Like career sites, they provide company information, position descriptions and videos as a way to fully engage the job seeker providing them helpful information and resources about the company while also providing the company a sourcing platform for future published openings.

Recruiters and HR professionals who are responsible for their annual affirmative action plan can include their internet, social recruiting and sourcing activities as part of the prior calendar year’s good faith efforts.

Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is a workplace and technology strategist specializing in social media. She’s an author who writes at Blogging4Jobs. You can follow her on Twitter @blogging4jobs

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