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OFCCP’s Internet Applicant Rule—Here is what you need to know


The Internet applicant rule of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP) impacts the hiring process for businesses that have contracts with the federal government. This regulation has been in existence for about 16 years and it dictates the records of job applicants that the federal contractors are supposed to maintain. It also covers methods for refining online applicant pools and soliciting demographic data from online applicants.

This rule is considered to be a core element of OFCCP compliance. According to this regulation, all the federal contractors, as well as subcontractors, have to keep records of their recruitment practices on Internet hiring. Internet applicants are individuals recruited via electronic technologies. This includes one or more of the following:

  • Resume databases
  • Electronic mail
  • Electronic scanning technology
  • Job banks
  • Applicant screeners
  • Applicant service providers

All the online resumes, applications, and outreach to internet applicants regarding the position should be retained. If you use an internal resume database like your applicant tracking system (ATS), you have to keep a record of every resume along with the date it was added, the search criteria you used, and the position for which you made the search. In the case of external searches, you have to keep resumes that meet the required qualifications and are shortlisted for the position, the search criteria, the position for each search, and the date of the search. If you use an ATS or an online job database, it automatically retains the needed applicant data.

In case you don’t use any of the electronic data technologies, there are still certain record-keeping requirements that you have to abide by. This includes soliciting demographic information from your applicants.

The aim of the Internet Applicant rule is to ensure that OFCCP has the data they need to make sure that the federal contractors abide by all the nondiscrimination laws. It helps them make sure that your hiring practices conform to their employment hiring standards. Your Internet Applicant data will be compared to the labor force data during the audit as it relates to minorities and women. In case there are any disparities, the analysis will reveal them.

There are certain things that you have to consider while removing an applicant from the pool. Withdrawal is of two types—active and passive. Active withdrawal refers to the situation where the applicant indicates that they aren’t interested in the job anymore. This can be a verbal confirmation stating that they took another job. In case they don’t return your phone calls or emails about the position, or they don’t attend the interview, it will be considered an active withdrawal. Passive withdrawal depends on what the applicant tells you about their interest in the position. You can glean this information from their application or in-person interviews. For instance, if the applicant’s desired salary is more than what the position provides, you can assume that they are not interested in the job.

In order to ensure that you comply with the Internet Applicant rule, you should know which job seekers must turn applicants. It will help you comply with the OFCCP guidelines.

Redwood Technology Solutions specialize in a wide range of recruitment process outsourcing services. These include manual job postingsOFCCP Compliance Job Posting, for Federal ComplianceHigh Volume Craigslist Job PostingRecruitment Media Buying, and general Business Process Outsourcing. Our team has over 16 years of experience in the staffing, talent acquisition, and recruitment industry. Get in touch today – our team is ready to help customize a solution specific to your company’s needs.

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