New OFCCP Sex Discrimination Rule is Effective April 8, 2015


President Obama signed EO 13672 on July 14, 2014, extending protections against workplace discrimination to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (“LGBT”) community. He amended Executive Order 11246 to add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics. The OFCCP on December 9, 2014, issued its final rule implementing Executive Order 13672. It requires federal contractors to take affirmative action to ensure that applicants and employees are treated fairly without considering their sexual orientation or gender identity during their employment. The Rule is effective April 8, 2015, and applies to all new or modified federal contracts and subcontracts after that date. The Rule however, does not burden federal contractors with the same data collection and analysis obligations that are required with respect to females and minorities.

The new rules will touch on “compensation discrimination, sexual harassment, failure to provide workplace accommodations for pregnancy, and gender identity and family caregiver discrimination, among other topics.” This is an attempt to modernize these rules which has not been updated since 1970.

Several statutes related to sex discrimination, including the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and the Family Medical Leave Act, did not exist when the guidelines were published first in 1970, nor did many of the regulations and guidance published by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which have a profound effect on employer decisions and policies.

In an effort to align its requirements with EEOC guidance and with recent case law, the OFCCP proposes to enforce new rules, including:

  • A requirement that parental leave be made available for men and women on equal terms.
  • A requirement that employers provide accommodations for women affected by pregnancy and childbirth.
  • A clear prohibition on discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • A prohibition on harassment and hostile work environments.
  • A prohibition on making employment decisions on the basis of sex-based stereotypes.

The new rules, which will no longer be called “guidelines”, make clear that they have the force and effect of law. The OFCCP also hopes that the new rules will advance the employment status of female employees by clarifying its rules concerning harassment, gender stereotyping, and benefits.

The New Scheduling Letter:Fair Pay and Diversity Outreach- AJE&HRU Joint Webinar


 On March 4, 2015, America’s Job Exchange (AJE) hosted a webinar with HR Unlimited on the topic of the new OFCCP Scheduling Letter and diversity outreach for recruitment compliance. It was very well received with more than 350 in attendance and there were several interesting and relevant questions posed to the panelists.

Rathin Sinha, President, America’s Job Exchange, and Ahmed Younies, President/CEO HR Unlimited, Inc. were the speakers and they covered a broad range of topics that are relevant and interesting to our audience pool comprising mostly of HR professionals engaged in OFCCP compliance in their organizations. Ahmed started the webinar by highlighting the important elements of the new Scheduling Letter, mentioning that one of the trends he has noticed is more cases of enforcement initiatives related to hiring of job seekers with disabilities as well as protected veterans. In addition, there are new items now on the Scheduling Letter; 22 as opposed to 11 in the past. These items are mostly related to hiring of candidates with disabilities and veterans.

Examining the data covering four months (October-January 2013-14), and comparing that with actual audit enforcement data between October –January 2014-15, Younies showed some interesting trends. He highlighted 5 industries where these enforcement trends are relevant with construction being an industry where enforcement was highly escalated in 2014. Other industries were manufacturing, Professional, Scientific and Technical Services, Healthcare and Social Assistance and Administrative Support and Waste management Remediation Services.

The top areas of where the enforcement issues lie are record-keeping and reporting. Sinha picked up from here and went over the solutions of AJE, focusing on the areas that are relevant to federal contractors and addressing the two biggest enforcement violations. First, he recapped the regulations to isolate the precise requirements that are necessary for a successful compliance effort. He went over in great detail to relate it to what compliance recruitment should look like and how there are three areas of recruitment needed for success. These take the form of broad outreach efforts made to general audiences, extending the outreach to diversity specific job sites that cater to diversity candidates, specially focusing on job seekers with disabilities or job seekers who are veterans and finally to distribute the job listings to local One-Stop Centers and State Job Banks.

Sinha then highlighted the record keeping and reporting areas and went over the capabilities that has broad implications in audit situations and can help federal contractors establish good faith outreach efforts toward these job seeker groups.

Finally, Sinha went over in detail, areas the contractor community must focus on to be successful in their compliance efforts and that means that they have to invite themselves in the compliance effort even if they have sought the services of a third party vendor such as AJE. Employers also should designate someone in their company to make sure that the job listings have all the necessary information required by states such as location of job, salary information, educational requirements as well as making sure that the contractors are registered in the state where they post jobs. Contractors should work with the third party vendor to ensure that the state credential process is solid. Fortunately, AJE offers tools and solutions in the online customer portal that can help customers manage this process.

One final area that Sinha emphasized is that contractors should go beyond what is needed in the outreach process and what is outlined in the solution AJE provides and proactively reach out to their local Community Based Organizations, the non-profits engaged in helping job seekers, particularly job-seekers with disabilities and veterans. Contractors should work with AJE to send job listings to additional recipients, participate in hiring events and job fairs to reach this audience and to make sure that these events are properly recorded by type of event, the HR that participated, the job seekers they met there and document the overall outreach effort. To this end, AJE has recently launched a partner outreach management tool for all customers. Sinha went into great detail demonstrating some of the capabilities of this tool.

The webinar laid out the area where federal contractors should focus on, the solution and the involvement they need to document for a successful outreach program.

To view the webinar slides, click here.

To learn more about the AJE compliance solution, click here.


Hard to Fill Jobs Series -2

The next job category featured in our seeker blog series is: Laborers, Freight, Stock, and Material Movers

 Job Summary:

  • Manually move freight, stock, or other materials or perform other general labor. Includes all manual laborers not elsewhere classified.

Primary responsibilities

  • Move freight, stock, or other materials to and from storage or production areas, loading docks, delivery vehicles, ships, or containers, by hand or using trucks, tractors, or other equipment.
  • Sort cargo before loading and unloading.
  • Attach identifying tags to containers or mark them with identifying information.
  • Read work orders or receive oral instructions to determine work assignments or material or equipment needs.
  • Stack cargo in locations such as transit sheds or in holds of ships as directed, using pallets or cargo boards.
  • Record numbers of units handled or moved, using daily production sheets or work tickets.
  • Install protective devices, such as bracing, padding, or strapping, to prevent shifting or damage to items being transported.
  • Direct spouts and position receptacles, such as bins, carts, or containers so they can be loaded.
  • Attach slings, hooks, or other devices to lift cargo and guide loads.
  • Maintain equipment storage areas to ensure that inventory is protected.


  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without ‘giving out’ or fatiguing.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Dynamic Strength — The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.


  • 70% High school diploma or equivalent


  • Median wages (2013) $11.52 hourly, $23,970 annual

Job Outlook

  • Projected growth (2012-2022) Average (8% to 14%)



Employer Branding- How to Attract Candidates to Your Organization


Effective, ethical, employer branding is what gets talent in through the door. A company’s reputation is the first thing one should address when trying to attract talent. Through branding, the marketplace learns about company values and culture. Actually, the fact is, all companies already have a brand- a reputation and public perception. If that is good, you are all set, if not, you need to revamp your brand.

If you need to build your brand still below are some considerations:

Identify Yourself:

As an employer brand, you need to figure out what attributes and emotions you want to be associated with your company. There should be a list of words and themes you want people to identify with your business. Common themes are work/life balance; family/community oriented, fun work environment, attractive salary and benefits packages, personal development, career growth and green /environmentally conscious. A good way to develop the company image is to have HR and marketing teams develop appropriate material and messages for public consumption. You do need to make sure that the company’s overall product/services marketing strategies are in sync with such messages.

Smooth application Process:

An easy and effective way to build positive branding is to be vigilant of the applicant experience.  When candidates apply for a job, they expect to hear back from the company within a reasonable time. Often, though this does not happen. Many companies do not get back to candidates in time or ever. One of the ways to attract talent is to make sure that all applicants receive a response within a reasonable time that acknowledges their job application and when and how they will be contacted about their application.

Interview process:

Candidates who apply are obviously seeking an interview. Granting an interview should never seem like a favor. The right protocol is to contact the candidate by phone and then follow up with a letter.

Managing unsuccessful candidates:

A way to enhance a company’s reputation and image is how the company manages candidates that were not chosen. A professional and courteous letter thanking the candidate for applying and wishing them luck in their future endeavors is important. Sometimes candidates call to get feedback as to why they were not chosen. A thoughtful and caring response is needed at this time.

Consider the employee life cycle:

Think through the employee life cycle. Check to see that the employee experiences along the way are consistent with the brand. Every day, employees can be your most powerful advocates. They are the living proof of how great your brand is- when they display how good their job and work environment are. What people see is what they will believe over any number of advertisements.

Train recruiters:

Recruiters are the initial as well as the critical face of the company. They should be able to explain your brand and understand how their actions contribute to the brand or undermine it.

A brand is a promise- in this case a promise to candidates. So therefore, your promise should reflect the best of your company, and appeal to candidates who fit the values and aspirations of the company. Communicating your employer brand promise can be done through various channels: online, print, radio and so forth. Building a valuable employer brand is a great investment. It could be small efforts to national campaigns, depending on your needs and resources. The payoff is worth the effort in quality and interest of candidates.

Check out the branding solutions we offer at AJE.

Employment Summary for January 2015


Employment data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday, February 6, 2015, shows strong data.  Employment increased by 257,000 and increases were seen in retail trade, construction, health care, financial activities and manufacturing. However, the total unemployment rate was unchanged remaining at 5.7%. The great news is that there were more numbers in the labor force in January. More people are looking for work now as they see others get employment. Since Nov. 1, employers have hired more than one million new workers, the best performance over a three-month period since 1997. More jobs were created in 2014 as a whole than in any year since 1999.

The long-term unemployed, people who have been jobless for more than 27 weeks were at 2.8 million in January 2015. Over the last twelve months, the number of long-term unemployed is down by 825,000.

Part-time labor force, was at 6.8 million essentially unchanged in January. Also, people marginally associated with the labor force, meaning that they do want to work and are available for work but are not considered unemployed as they have not looked for jobs for at least 4 weeks were down 358,000 and at 2.2 million. In this group, the discouraged workers were down by 155,000 from a year earlier.

Job growth was seen in retail, construction, health care, financial activities and manufacturing. Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, transportation and warehousing, information, and government showed little change.

So the employment numbers look great and shed an encouraging light on the job market potential for 2015. As job seekers get ready to seize the labor market you can look to America’s Job Exchange for assistance. Get ready by sharpening your skills or acquiring new ones. Also, register with to upload your resume to a database that is widely accessed by hundreds of employers looking for talent. You can also avail of our resume writing services. Additionally there are a wealth of seeker resources on our site like blogs and career articles and education resources and job scouts that you can access for a successful and fulfilling job search experience!





Hard to Fill Jobs Series – Blog 1

The unemployment rate has dropped since 2008, but there is no doubt that there are lots of people without jobs and are looking hard to find one. Despite the current unemployment rate, many good jobs go unfilled. The main reason seems to be greater number of jobs in certain fields and not enough talent to fill those positions.

Each year, human resources consulting group named ManpowerGroup releases its Talent Shortage Survey, geared towards determining which professions are struggling the most to find the skilled professionals they need to carry out their business functions. 45% of employers surveyed this year reported that talent shortages resulted in a reduced ability to serve clients, while 37% reported reduced competition and productivity. Topping the list for the fifth year in a row is skilled trade workers, a group of professions that have been on the list every year since 2008, and topped it every year since 2010. Rounding out the top three are restaurant and hotel staff and sales representatives as economic recovery continues and spending on restaurant meals and vacations grows.

The areas that are facing the shortages the most are:

Skilled trade- Skilled Trades occupations are jobs that are prevalent in manufacturing and construction. Skilled trades can provide a promising career path. Electricians, are by far the largest of all the skilled trades with more than 600,000 jobs in the U.S. Also included under skilled trade are a host of production occupations such as welders and industrial machinery mechanics. Nearly 60 percent of all skilled-trade workers are employed in manufacturing, and another 17 percent work in construction.

We at America’s Job Exchange are starting a new series where we will focus on one hard to fill job each week and show you what skills it entails and other details like salary and projected growth outlook.

This week we will take a look at the job of an electrician.

Title: Electrician


  • Install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures. Ensure that work is in accordance with relevant codes. May install or service street lights, intercom systems, or electrical control systems.

Primary responsibilities

  • Plan layout and installation of electrical wiring, equipment, or fixtures, based on job specifications and local codes.
  • Connect wires to circuit breakers, transformers, or other components.
  • Test electrical systems or continuity of circuits in electrical wiring, equipment, or fixtures, using testing devices, such as ohmmeters, voltmeters, or oscilloscopes, to ensure compatibility and safety of system.
  • Use a variety of tools or equipment, such as power construction equipment, measuring devices, power tools, and testing equipment, such as oscilloscopes, ammeters, or test lamps.
  • Inspect electrical systems, equipment, or components to identify hazards, defects, or the need for adjustment or repair, and to ensure compliance with codes.
  • Prepare sketches or follow blueprints to determine the location of wiring or equipment and to ensure conformance to building and safety codes.
  • Diagnose malfunctioning systems, apparatus, or components, using test equipment and hand tools to locate the cause of a breakdown and correct the problem.
  • Work from ladders, scaffolds, or roofs to install, maintain, or repair electrical wiring, equipment, or fixtures.
  • Advise management on whether continued operation of equipment could be hazardous.
  • Maintain current electrician’s license or identification card to meet governmental regulations.

Skills Needed:

  • Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Installation — Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something



  • Post-secondary certificate


  • Median wages (2013) $24.28 hourly, $50,510 annual

Job Outlook

  • Projected growth (2012-2022): faster than average (15% to 21%).