The Value of Understanding Adverse Impact



Adverse impact is the analysis of selection rates of protected and non-protected groups. According to the guidelines “a selection rate for any race, sex or ethnic group which is less than four-fifths (or 80%) of the rate for the group with the highest rate will generally be regarded by the Federal enforcement agencies as evidence of adverse impact, while a greater than four-fifths rate will generally not be regarded by Federal enforcement agencies as evidence of adverse impact.” For example, say there are 135 applicants: 72 non-minority compared to 63 minority.  Seven of the 72 non-minority applicants were hired, which is a 9.7% hiring rate. On the other hand, 3 of the 63 minority candidates were hired making the hiring rate 4.8%.  The 80% rule states that the selection rate of the protected group should be at least 80% of the selection rate of the non-protected group. So, in this case, the adverse impact is 49.5%. Common adverse impact analyses have been traditionally minorities vs. non- minorities, or males vs. females. Now, more detailed analyses are conducted to understand the “favored group.”

Adverse impact analysis is used by employers to create affirmative action plans as well as for creating detailed personnel action data (hires/applicants, promotions, terminations). For employers being proactive about compliance needs, the personnel action data is of much significance as it provides an opportunity to dig deeper into more refined pools like analysis by disposition reasons, or analysis by promotions. The new regulations with its component of self-identification provide some additional data for adverse impact analysis. Usually, male candidates are more forward with identifying as having a disability and among veterans, male veterans identified as disabled 37% more than female veterans. The adverse impact analysis that could come out of this data is that men are more likely to ID as disabled; male veterans are more likely to ID as disabled and men are more likely to be veterans. So the question could be raised that will focus on candidates with disabilities and /or veterans impact women?

Companies who are committed to using adverse impact analyses to conduct effective and useful outreach will use such data to evaluate HR programs, participation in wellness programs, for internal training and leadership programs and so forth. The data gathered should be analyzed in a given period of time. As a practice, federal contractors should gather demographic information on all eligible employees on race/ethnicity, gender, job group, department etc. Then, if problem area is identified, they need to look at other variables in the data to narrow down where the issue may be occurring. Findings must be shared and actions to remedy issue have to be proposed and documented. Once changes are implemented, employers need to monitor to see if desired results have been achieved. If not, further action and documentation will be needed.

The idea really is that employers cannot become complacent any longer. Adverse impact analyses need to be conducted every step of the selection process with sincerity. Such analyses on current employees will also rectify impediments to employees’ career advancement opportunities.

Remember, though that you are not alone trying to understand this OFCCP maze of compliance needs that makes adverse impact so important. Read our President’s blog and see what kinds of support are available. For compliance related products please visit our webpage at


Keynote Speaker Martin Luther III at NILG

nilgAmerica’s Job Exchange is a sponsor and exhibitor at the 2014 NILG conference. The electric atmosphere reflects the excitement around the 50th year of the Civil Rights Movement. About a thousand attendees, many of whom are federal contractors, are eager to abide by the new compliance laws of the OFCCP and are here to learn as much as they can in order to implement effective affirmative action and other inclusive policies. Keynote speaker Martin Luther King III spoke to a full house yesterday morning about the development of equality awareness and the law that brought about that dramatic change. King III lauded the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as having transformed American society. It motivated citizens to take action in a way that made the American government highly dynamic. He firmly believes that this Act is solely responsible for setting the stage for realizing the American dream. Millions of people started thinking about equality as a law of the land which was a direct effect of the law. Continue reading

Bloomberg BNA Interviews Founder Rathin Sinha of America’s Job Exchange

rathin-preferred“More federal contractors will start paying closer attention to the services of third-party vendors that assist them with recruitment efforts because of the new hiring requirements established by the Office of Federal Compliance Programs (OFCCP), for veterans and people with disabilities,” says Founder and President Rathin Sinha, America’s Job Exchange, in his interview with Bloomberg BNA. Numerous federal contractors use service providers for assistance with mandatory job-listing and outreach obligations. The new regulations have expanded the expectations of veteran and disabled hiring. The national hiring goal for candidates with disabilities is 7% in each job group and for veterans the suggested benchmark is 7.2%. The OFCCP has truly narrowed down the expectations and will need to see real results in terms of hiring of the above mentioned candidate groups. Federal contractors will have to engage in rigorous outreach activities and keep meticulous documentation on every activity and effort details for three years. They will also need to produce such evidence in a format as and when requested by the OFCCP in the event of an audit. These requirements are a far cry from how things were before. There was always an expectation for recruitment of minorities, women, veterans and the disabled. Companies created their AAP policies and posted the necessary EEO posters on their company walls but the OFCCP was a not as vigilant or as forceful as they have recently become. The reason being, there is no room for complacency any more. The unemployment rates for veterans and for the disabled need to be lowered significantly and the only way to do this, according to the OFCCP, is to have stringent laws and the necessary audits.

Contractors have responded to this new environment of expectations by hiring third-party vendors who have in house experts and partnerships that allow them to provide the necessary services for extensive outreach and reporting. There is a sense of support that definitely is associated with having a reliable third party work out the outreach activities and possesses the updated technology for efficient job listing and retrieval of documentation for audits. But Rathin does caution that the onus is still on the federal contractors to monitor their service providers and to drive the outreach and build good relationships with One-Stops and Community based Organizations. Pushing out the outreach to third parties is just not considered true outreach by the OFCCP. They also want to see how the outreach efforts are analyzed by employers to figure out the hiring gaps in the different job groups and what additional efforts have been planned and actions taken to close such gaps. So the involvement from employers needs to be real. The OFCCP will have no patience for lip service and will subject companies to great scrutiny if they feel such is the case. Rathin told Bloomberg BNA that companies will probably need to designate personnel as a coordinator of third-party activities. To read Rathin Sinha’s full interview click here.

Happy Birthday AJE!

Happy birthday.This Fourth of July, coinciding with the America’s Birthday, America’s Job Exchange (AJE) celebrates its 7th birthday. AJE was launched on the fourth of July 2007 and it has been an exciting seven years so far as AJE has gradually become a market leader in online recruitment with a special emphasis on helping enterprises hire diversity talent to ensure compliance with the federal regulations governing equal employment and affirmative action. More than one thousand leading corporations of our nation have leaned on AJE to help them drive talent acquisition through a combination of private sector diversity outreach and the assets of the state Employment Service Delivery Systems. Thousands of other organizations have used AJE simply to reach and hire talent. What started as a market exploration with the left over technology of the DOL’s America’s Job Bank ended up as a pioneer and market leader in a niche category of the online recruitment market that was non-existent before 2007.

During these short seven years, AJE has launched numerous products and services to help customers be successful. Besides consistently attracting more than a million job seekers to its flagship job site , it has launched community specific job sites for the veterans and individuals with disabilities to help employers enrich their affirmative action programs for those communities. AJE has extended job search to mobile through its iPhone App, and brought job search to the social media through its Facebook job search application. It has assisted employers to expand reach by the use of aggregators and created direct link to community based organizations that are critical for hiring diversity. And, it has collaborated with the state employment delivery systems to ensure job reach to those helping job seekers at the one-stop centers and searching on the state job banks. Once again, AJE has taken the lead by creating the most comprehensive reporting and data analytics platform to help organizations improve their hiring effectiveness and navigate through compliance evaluations.

This couldn’t have been possible without a great team that committed itself to the cause, and without the support and assistance from hundreds of partners in the ecosystem – such as niche job sites, affirmative action specialists, compliance consultants, EEO advisors and, of course, governmental agencies such as the state workforce development divisions in all fifty states, the Department of Labor and numerous community based organizations.

So as I look back to a hectic Fourth of July weekend seven years back trying to launch our site, I thank everyone for helping us exceed our wildest dreams of that day. And I hope that we will continue our journey with greater confidence and make bigger impact in the online recruitment and compliance category.

It is truly a time for celebration, and a time to renew our commitment!

Notes from the Road: You are not alone!

RathinOne of the greatest perks of my job is traveling through the nation and meeting industry influencers, practitioners and customers. I have this unique opportunity to learn from others and share my own perspectives on what is current and new in the industry during this pivotal year of regulatory changes. As we all know, the employment related regulatory enforcement agency, the OFCCP, has rolled out sweeping changes in regulations governing certain groups with the intent of improving employment situation of individuals with disability and veterans. Of course, the regulations relating to non-discrimination at the workplace, and affirmative action for selected groups remain in vogue, while emphasis and attention is being drawn to the employment situation of those with a disability and those who are veterans.

In the trail of the Southwest Regional ILG conference (SWARM) and Quad-A (American Association of Affirmative Action), I was at the South Carolina/North Carolina ILG conference in Columbia, SC yesterday. The theme of the conference was “Leveraging OFCCP Compliance Resources and Solutions”. How appropriate! HR and EEO departments in corporations are already up to their eyeballs with work during these days of tight budgets, and now the complexity of the new regulations and additional administrative burden is really stretching the limits. Navigating the web of regulations, understanding the implications, and then the task of actually implementing the programs pose a challenge. In addition to traditional AAP development process, and subsequent adverse impact and utilization analysis related statistical work, recruitment outreach and record keeping in support of the new regulations is a major source of anxiety for many HR and EEO professionals. This is compounded with the introduction of annual hiring benchmarks for veterans and individuals with disability, and the resulting requirement for annual review of the effectiveness of recruitment outreach.
Continue reading

Getting Back to Work After a Career Break

Job SearchIt is easier to job search when you are employed but what if you currently do not have a job? What if you haven’t had a job for a long period of time? Employers will notice a gap in your resume so think about a few things seriously. For instance, who will take on the roles you have been performing during your career break? Can you share this with others? If you have been out for an illness, are you feeling a 100%? Are you returning to a familiar field or would like to enter a new area? Do you have the required skills or do you need training or retraining? Do you have a long-term plan? What if you were fired? Firings and lay-offs are very much part of corporate culture today so just move forward with your job search without letting this bring you down.


Before you go full-on with your job search, some reflection is in order. Keep a journal, listing your skills and interests. Also, what skills do you need to acquire? How much time are you giving yourself to find this new job and accordingly, how much time can you put in daily to achieve this goal? If you are changing fields, then research what opportunities are out there in your desired field, read up on it, attend relevant lectures and seminars, enroll in courses, talk to people in the field and use their inside knowledge as a resource. Work out short-term, mid-term and long-term career goals. Once you know your values, interest, goals, the career that interests you, set target dates too. Short-term goals should be within the year, mid-term goal should be achieved in three years and long-term goals should be achieved in five years. If you have been fired, leave the explanation of this difficult situation out of your job application form. You can say things like “job ended” or “will discuss in person.” If you can get away from listing this job on your resume then that would be best. Say if you held that job for only a few months. It will come up in the interview and will need to be addressed by you.

Build your Brand: Network

Surround yourself with professional peers. If you can find an able and knowledgeable mentor who is trusted in the industry, that would be the best case scenario as he/she can help open several doors. Networking is a must, do not underestimate it. Would it not be great if a recruiter or hiring manager meets you through a trusted contact before they learn about your being away for a while from the workforce?   If they are impressed with you face to face, then your absence from the workforce won’t matter as much. Attend networking events, and invite former colleagues and clients to meet for coffee.
Continue reading