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What is the exact function and role of an HR department? October 6, 2011

Posted by Darwin in applicant tracking, Applicant Tracking System, EEOC, HR Tips, human resources.
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What exactly does your Human Resources Department do? This is a difficult question to answer, even for the owner of the company. Human Resources is one area that tends to evolve on its own, and everyone in that department is responsible for their own individual piece of that evolution. Some are employee oriented and work on programs and solutions that help the worker. Others are numbers crunchers, those who recommend cut-backs on personnel when it appears that a company might be on the verge of taking a loss. In some companies the terminations would be the responsibility of HR, or they could be a task reserved for management or ownership.

Regardless of the unique make-up of individual human resource departments, all of them have a few things in common. They are all responsible for recruiting and hiring and each needs to have their own applicant tracking system. That could be automated recruitment tracking software or manila file folders. If you’re still using the latter you might want to upgrade. Paper filing systems are not only obsolete – they’re inefficient. Once a folder is filed in the wrong spot it’s more often than not never discovered. Quality job applicants fall through the cracks like that all the time.

Most human resource departments also need to keep track of current regulations and required hiring quotas. There are compliance issues when it comes to hiring and employment. Foremost among these are EEOC and OFCCP, the federal guidelines that demand equal opportunity employment and enforce affirmative action. If you’re modernizing and installing a new job applicant tracking system, you might want to look into web based recruiting software that downloads regular updates in these areas when the laws change. Like paper filing systems, keeping track of these things without automation is an obsolete and dangerous practice.

Human Resource departments are also typically responsible for benefits administration. There are statutes in place on federal, state, and county levels that mandate these benefits in certain areas. Health care is one of the big ones, and perhaps the most publicized in the past few years, but there are others. Regulations and liability issues on retirement funds, direct deposit, and stock awards can get pretty complex. It’s up to the HR department to translate all those wordy rules and explain them to the average employee. Some companies even keep a lawyer or paralegal in HR specifically for that purpose. The legal presence is not a requirement, but it does help.

What else do human resources departments do? When new companies open and start to build, they put a lot of responsibility in the hands of human resources. As time goes by, those responsibilities are sometimes removed and passed on to other departments, but more often than not they stay with HR, making it one of the more complex and important departments in your company. Do you know what they do? If you’re a business owner or site manager and you don’t know, you might want to go down there and find out. That knowledge might come in handy at some point.

Ensure OFCCP Compliance with Modern Applicant Tracking Software January 29, 2010

Posted by Darwin in applicant tracking, applicant tracking software, EEOC, OFCCP.
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For the past four years the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has been strictly enforcing a new ruling.  This breakthrough regulation details the collection, storage and reporting of Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) data for online job applicants.  The ruling also defines what internet applicants are, creates the essential qualifications and establishes record keeping requirements for Equal Opportunity compliance.

Even though OFCCP regulations are targeted at businesses that have federal contracts, it still remains the responsibility of every company to weed out any possible cases of discrimination during the job application process.  Most businesses think it is enough to simply consult an attorney, however in today’s world of online applications each job applicant can potentially apply to hundreds of jobs, making the reporting side of things a whole new issue to deal with.  Although a spreadsheet could possibly be used to track this compliance information, drawing any useful conclusions or maintaining a standard becomes nearly impossible.

A business should get ahead of the game and ensure that it remains compliant to all government equal opportunity regulations.  This can be done by using modern software that stores, tracks and analyzes large volumes of applicant data as it comes in. Applicant Tracking software like this works by prompting applicants to enter EEO data as well as logging why an applicant was not hired.

Many modern recruiting and applicant tracking software vendors create their solutions with EEOC / OFCCP compliance features that can do all this and more.  So the questions is, as a company looking to modernize its approach towards equal opportunity compliance, how do you know what to look for in a software vendor?  I’d like to create a short list of traits that make a good compliance software solution:

  • A feature via a branded careers page that prompts applicants to enter voluntary EEO information during the application process.
  • A feature that automatically fills in the “reasons for non-selection’ field for every potential hire.  This is an integral feature because OFCCP regulations requires that employers know the ‘reasons for non-selection’ data for every potential applicant when filing time comes around.  Make sure this process is streamlined, and doesn’t require a ton of extra steps for the data to get where it needs to be.
  • A feature that poses a minimum qualification question for every position to be filled.  This saves a company a ton of resources because knowing which candidates are qualified means fewer applicants need to be processed.  A modern recruiting system will log each job applicant’s minimum qualification answers along with their history and enable you to remove unqualified candidates  from your applicant flow logs automatically.
  • A feature that automatically creates applicant flow logs and exports them to the necessary OFCCP filing format.  Regulations require that every federal contractor create applicant flow logs that track all the necessary information (name, position, race, sex, reason for non-selection, etc.).
  • A feature that creates hire / offer logs instantly that exports to the necessary filing format.
  • A feature that allows you to view an overview of your EEO statistics online.  A modern system of monitoring these statistics can prevent an expensive lawsuit ahead of time.  Ease of access (online) is key, because it will create a statistics suite that is used regularly.

The risk of facing a discrimination lawsuit far outweighs the cost of purchasing an applicant tracking package that includes EEO/OFCCP compliance features such as these.  Most solutions only cost a few hundred dollars per month.  Any company that is heading into a modern era of hiring should take the due diligence to responsibly and efficiently track job applicants with the associated Equal Employment Opportunity data.

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