OFCCP Compliance and Third Party Services

As a federal contractor, it is very important to have a comprehensive good faith effort in your hiring program in support of OFCCP compliance. The first order of business for federal contractors is to list all their jobs in national job sites and/or post them in social media sites and also make it accessible through mobile phone applications. The idea is that such jobs should reach every nook and corner of the society so that they are accessible to all job seekers including minorities, women, veterans and the disabled. In addition, one has to post these jobs in specific niche job sites catering to the above groups. For VEVRAA, these jobs must be sent to One-Stop Centers and posted to state job sites.

Posting to national job sites could cost as much as $400 per job and posting to the niche websites could cost almost $200 a job. So it can add up very quickly. Additionally, posting to the state job systems, especially if you have multiple states to cover, as well maintaining updated lists of Community Based Organizations and One-Stop Centers can be very time consuming and labor intensive. It could also turn costly if you need personnel to manage all of this book-keeping.

A better alternative does exist. Third party providers such as America’s Job Exchange (AJE) can provide such services at a much cheaper rate. What’s especially appealing is apart from keeping costs low they also provide more expertise, efficiency and an understanding of how the process works. Third parties like AJE have over the years developed state-of-the-art web platform, job distribution technology and search methodologies. They are also intertwined in the ecosystem in a way that enables them to form enriching partnerships with niche job sites, community organizations and employment agencies which allows them to get jobs posted at a much cheaper rate. In addition, most of the third party providers have in-house specialists who can advise in specific scenarios when special support is needed and have engineers who are domain experts. Most importantly, like any business, when a third party does the same thing over and over again for a variety of customers, they gain certain efficiency over time just from the repetitive process.
To top it all, vendors like America’s Job Exchange can provide live customer service and assistance in the event of an audit by providing pertinent data, reports and expertise to navigate the audit process.

The tasks are huge and the costs are substantial, so getting help from a third-party provider is highly beneficial. We encourage you to reach out to us and see for yourself how we can assist you!

Important Government Initiatives in 2015 to Assist Veterans (Part 2)

Veterans’ Economic Communities Initiative

Earlier this year, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Bob McDonald, with leaders from national and local veterans’ service organizations, corporate employers and government agencies, announced the launch of the Veterans Economic Communities Initiative (VECI), an effort focused in a total of 25 U.S. cities to promote economic success for veterans. The initiative is part of MyVA, which is dedicated to making veterans the center of all we do.

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Important Government Initiatives in 2015 to Assist Veterans (Part 1)

Paid Sick Leave for New Veteran Federal Employees:

2015 beginning saw a bipartisan bill introduced in Congress that would give service-disabled veterans 104 hours of paid sick time after they enter the federal workforce under The Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act. Non-veteran employees begin with none and accrue hours over time.

Representative Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.), who sponsored the bill, said that new veteran employees, many of whom return from duty with illnesses like post-traumatic stress disorder and other health issues, often start their jobs without paid sick leave and find it hard to fit in time for medical appointments to treat their service-related disabilities. They have to sometimes let go of these appointments or take unpaid leave to go see their doctor, which results in significant lost income. Lynch said that it was unacceptable that veterans who are just starting out in the federal workforce are often faced with the difficult choice of having to take unpaid leave to attend their health appointments or miss their medical visits.

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AAAED 2015 Key Takeaways

America’s Job Exchange was a proud diamond sponsor at the 41st AAAED National Conference June2-5, 2015, at New Orleans. We had many people stop by to learn about our OFCCP compliance solutions and our new solution enhancement, The Outreach Management Tool. Additionally, we were very happy to announce the winner of our Fitbit Charge giveaway – Ariana Wright, Attorney, Equal Opportunity Officer, Old Dominion University, VA. Congratulations Ariana!

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AJE’s Updated Reporting Tool with an Outreach Management Component

The Office Of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) expects good faith outreach efforts pertaining to affirmative action to be expansive to increase the pool of qualified candidates. Outreach has to be external (to reach the wider labor market), and internal (immediate workforce). Proof of outreach must be meticulously maintained. Good faith efforts also encompass training and promotion of the internal workforce. Results of these efforts also need to be documented and stored for three years in case of an OFCCP audit. Federal contractors and sub-contractors are required to set hiring goals for protected veterans (7%) and utilization goal for Individuals with Disabilities (7%) in all job groups. Additionally, they need to set goals under EO 11246 as applicable. Continue reading

Graduating in 2015? How to Nail That Interview!

INTERVIEW ADVICE FOR RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATES

 

Are you graduating in 2015? This is really a great time for you to start thinking of strategies that will help you land your first job. Your strong resume and cover letter will get you the interview. And a successful interview will land you the job. Here are some tips on how to navigate some common interview questions.

 WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 5 YEARS?

This is a very common question. Companies ask about your 5 or 10-year plan. This is also the question that most graduates fail. Employers do value honesty, but they are going to put the company first. So, if you have any plans of traveling, getting married or going to grad school, you need to keep it to yourself. On a personal level, such goals are great but that does not tell your prospective employers that you will stick around. A good answer is where you would like see yourself professionally in 5 or 10 years.

 WHY ARE YOU A GOOD FIT?

You have to prepare for this kind of answers. Research the company so you can match your skills with what the job needs and what the company mission is.

 TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF

You have to understand that when an employer asks you this question, they are more interested in learning about your educational and professional accomplishments. Stay away from personality, social life, what it was like growing up, etc. Companies only care about how you will contribute to their growth.

 WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE THIS JOB?

This is the kind of question you will get if the job you have applied for is unrelated to your major. You have to answer that this was your plan all along. You will also have to demonstrate how the skills you have acquired could be applied to this job.

 WHAT ARE YOUR ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENTS?

This question requires a careful answer. You should highlight your GPA, challenging courses, internships, papers published and new courses you have mastered. Even if you are the President of the tennis and other clubs, that should only be mentioned in passing.

 DO SPEAK UP

A job interview is not a cross-examination. You do not have to speak only when spoken to. It is a conversation. So, ask questions when applicable, and offer info about yourself when appropriate.

 PRESENT YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY

First thing to remember is that you should never get creative with your look when preparing for an interview. Stick with the classic interview look. There should be no gum chewing while talking. If you wear perfume, keep it very light. Visible (perhaps awkward) piercings should be removed and please be mindful not to smell of cigarettes or alcohol. Finally, keep accessories to a minimum and your cell phone turned off.

 PRACTICE BEING NATURAL

You need to practice some interview questions beforehand no matter how eloquent you may be. Practice the common interview questions in front of a mirror or have someone conduct a mock interview with you. Practice too, making eye contact. You should also remember to smile. Interviewers know that you might be nervous so they will cut you some slack.

 FOLLOW UP

Waiting for an answer is frustrating. That is the time you should write your thank you notes. You should also use this time to offer any additional info that you left out or clarify a point that you think was misunderstood. After a week, you may call and ask about the status of the hiring process. You might have to hear the bitter truth that they have hired someone else. Ask for some constructive feedback about you, so you may improve next time around. Or, they might tell you that they are still interviewing. However, your polite assertiveness will make you stand out.

 Undergoing a successful job interview takes practice so don’t be hard on yourself if you make mistakes. Learn and apply your new knowledge in your next interview.

 For helpful information on how to write a successful resume, visit AJE’s resources page.  For great interviewing tips visit AJE’s interview advice page. AJE’s resume posting service gets great results as well so please check it out here.  Our best wishes for a successful job hunt in 2015!