recruitment compliance

Managing Compliance in the Hiring Process is the #3 Recruiting Priority of 2016

As the Recruitment industry has evolved, so too has its regulatory landscape. For this reason, it is no wonder that 35% of respondents from our Newton Recruiting Insights* study site recruitment compliance as one of their top priorities (third to sourcing and filling open positions). Between the EEOC, OFCCP, DOL, and other governing bodies, new rules are constantly being issued that tighten the reigns around employers. Furthermore, as hiring activities have moved online, a pandora’s box of recruitment compliance has been opened that can be impossible to navigate.

Recruitment compliance is especially challenging for smaller and medium sized employers where resources are tight and HR is responsible for all people-related processes. It takes an informed, disciplined team armed with the right tools to ensure that compliance is addressed successfully. Below, we offer an overview of the various laws and regulations that you should be aware of while recruiting. Additionally, we offer practical guidance to help keep you safe.


Employers should always consult with an affirmative action expert or labor attorney for official guidance.


Although it is the responsibility of all employers to practice non-discriminatory hiring practices, once you hit 15 employers, this responsibility becomes enforced by law under the EEOC. The EEOC is the governing body that enforces the federal laws and regulations which prohibit “discrimination against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.”

To remain compliant with the EEOC, you should have a solid understanding of their prohibited policies and practices. Those that fail to comply with the EEOC can face charges which result in substantial fines and penalties. In 2015, the EEOC reported evaluating 92,641 charges that resulted in the collection of more than $525 million in monetary damages against employers.


Beyond the EEOC, compliance guidelines become even more stringent for federal contractors under the OFCCP. The three major laws enforced by the OFCCP are Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and VEVRAA.

OFCCP Audits

To ensure compliance with these laws, the OFCCP runs random yearly audits on federal contractors. With reports of OFCCP evaluations increasing each year, it is essential that government contractors take a proactive approach to tracking and recording all of the information necessary to remain compliant. To help with your recruitment compliance efforts, we have put together The Guide to OFCCP Compliance for Federal Contractors.

For a firsthand look into an OFCCP audit looks like, check out our Q&A with Newton user Sherm Conger, the HR Director at Campbell Scientific. Below is a snippet from the interview, where Sherm provides his biggest takeaway from his audit experience:

Remain Compliant with OFCCP/EEOC

To adhere to both OFCCP and EEOC laws and regulations, there is a significant amount of information that you must collect and be able to report on to protect yourself. In our June Bootcamp, “The Fundamentals of Recruitment Compliance,” Newton Co-Founder, Joel Passen, offered his guidance for doing so. Some of the key topics covered in the webinar were:

  • Affirmative Action Questionnaires
  • Minimum Qualification Questions
  • VEVRAA & 503
  • Reason for Non-Selection
  • Mobile Applications
  • Security and Privacy
  • Reporting: Applicant Flow Logs & Hire / Offer Logs

You Need a System in Place to Automate Compliance

Collecting and reporting on all of this information is beyond cumbersome, it is out of the question. Ultimately, you need a system in place that will automate this process for you. Below, we offer our resources that explain the key features that every compliant applicant tracking system must have:

A Guide to Choosing an Applicant Tracking System to Ensure EEOC/OFCCP Compliance

Tracking Applicant Flow Data for OFCCP Compliance

“Ban the Box”

In recent years “Ban the Box” has been disrupting recruitment compliance. As the movement has gained momentum, employers are seeing massive changes in what information they are legally allowed to collect on their applications. As of now, 24 states have passed “Ban the Box” legislation, effectively eliminating criminal history questions from the applications of federal agencies. Furthermore, nine states and hundreds of cities and counties have taken this one step further, banning criminal history questions from the applications of private employers as well. With this rapid proliferation of “Ban the Box” legislation (there are now over 185 million people in the U.S. that live in regions covered by “Ban the Box” laws), it appears that it will only be a matter of time until all employers must remove criminal background questions from their applications.

To ensure that you avoid any adverse impact going forward, we recommend removing criminal history questions from your initial application process. Instead, address these questions during the later rounds of interviewing so that you give candidates an equal and fair opportunity to showcase their skills and experience. This will ensure that you avoid any compliance issues going forward.

For further information on “Ban the Box” developments, check out our article below:

“Ban the Box” Developments Add Further Regulations to HR Compliance

The New Department of Labor Overtime Rule

May 18th marked the finalization of the biggest compliance update of 2016, the passing of the new overtime rule. Two years in the making, this revision from the DOL looks, “to update the regulations defining which white collar workers are protected by the FLSA’s minimum wage and overtime standards.” It is estimated that 60% of business will be affected by this new ruling making it one of the most comprehensive changes in years. As employers scramble to prepare for the new rule’s effective date of December 1st, 2016, it is essential that they have a strong understanding of the major changes.

The key provision of the new overtime rule is raising the threshold for “white collar” overtime exemptions from an annual salary of $23,660 ($455 per week) to $47,476 ($913 per week). This threshold will be subject to updates every three years. On their website, the DOL offers additional guidance for employers regarding the new OT rule.

Despite optimism offered by the DOL, the overtime rule has drawn extensive criticism from many employers and business associations, as well as universities, local governments, and nonprofits. These groups argue that the new rule will cost employers billions of dollars. Beyond this, critics attest that the overtime rule will actually be detrimental to employees as employers will be forced to effectively demote the majority of their early and mid-management roles to hourly positions.

To help guide you through these changes, we have done extensive research on the new Overtime Rule. Below are two articles summarizing our findings:

President Obama’s DOL Overtime Rule Explained

What the New Overtime Rule Means for Recruiters

Additional Overtime Rule Resources

Paycor DOL Overtime Hub

SHRM: FLSA Overtime Rule Resources

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