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Member Spotlight Series: Emory University’s Annual Research and Clinical Career Fair

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

In 2013 we launched our first ever DirectEmployers Member Awards competition. The program was created to highlight our Members’ initiatives in the areas of recruitment, technology and compliance. Each category featured two tiers –– Tier 1 for companies with fewer than 10,000 employees, Tier 2 for companies with more than 10,000 employees –– and honored both a winner and runner-up.

We were blown away by the innovative programs and processes that our Members have in place, and are excited to share each of them in this special Member Spotlight Series. For the second installment of our series (view the first post), we’re going to showcase another entry from Emory University – this time focusing specifically on a career fair initiative.

DirectEmployers Member Awards submission from Emory University

Overview
Emory University is recognized as one of the nation’s leading research universities and maintains collaborative partnerships with a host of other organizations such as the CDC and the National Institutes of Health. As a result, Emory’s scholars and experts generate more than $500 million in research funding annually.

With so much emphasis on research, Emory needed to develop a pipeline of qualified candidates (biostatisticians, clinical research coordinators and research specialists) to meet staffing goals in support of the various projects taking place across the Emory University enterprise.

To meet this need, Emory University’s Recruiting Department designed the Research and Clinical Career Fair. It provided professionals within the research community an opportunity to learn more about the research and clinical careers at Emory and meet face-to-face with representatives from various research departments.

Results
This ongoing event has helped generate a vital talent pipeline and empowered Emory University to hire staff in bulk, as opposed to one-by-one. In some cases, it has also resulted in on-the-spot hires. The career fair has also solidified Emory Recruiting as a trusted business partner within their research community. Last year’s career fair resulted in at least 20 hires so far.

Congratulations again, Emory University! Have initiatives that you think are “best in class”? Submit them for the 2014 DirectEmployers Member Awards! To learn more, email Katie Pfledderer and stay tuned for the next post in our Member Spotlight series.

3 Key Components for a Successful Veterans Strategy

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

“There’s a perception that to have a successful veteran program you need a huge budget and it’s actually not the case.”

Philip Dana
Director, Global Talent Acquisition at NuVasive

While Philip Dana’s career is admirable, it’s his commitment to veteran recruiting that stands out. A Navy veteran himself, he draws on his unique experience to lead a team of recruiters, or as he puts it, “purple Cheetah Chasers” at NuVasive.

Philip Dana points out where he spent many years of his Naval career near Coronado Bay.

Philip Dana points out where he spent many years of his Naval career near Coronado Bay.

During the DirectEmployers 2013 Annual Meeting & Conference, Philip presented a session on hiring military veterans on a shoestring budget. He also gave us an opportunity to take him aside to discuss pure veteran recruiting, key components of a successful veteran strategy and why he is an advocate for DirectEmployers Association. Check out the highlights from our interview:

Why should employers develop a veteran recruiting strategy?
I think a lot of people look at veteran recruiting differently from traditional recruiting and it’s only coming to a tipping point now because of VEVRAA and 503 and some of the initiatives such as the White House joining forces and other media savvy things that we’re seeing today– which is great, but not a lot of folks understand that veterans are the second largest refreshed talent pool year over year.

Did you know?

Veterans are the second largest refreshed talent pool year over year.

Nearly 250,000 veterans leave the service every year and they are not only talented, but they are also well trained. The Department of Defense invests thousands of dollars into training each soldier, and mostly STEM-based training. Even the infantry soldiers – they are so technically savvy, culturally sensitive, able to deal with ambiguity – in and out of different missions without being told exactly how to do it. Most talent acquisition professionals still have not quite figured out how to tap these skills. But it is easier than they think. It’s not a charity case – it makes sense. And it’s the best-kept secret. Everyone knows how to recruit off of campuses, MBA, diversity events, but not everybody has figured out how to recruit veterans. So I feel that recruiting veterans is how, as a talent acquisition leader, you can get to the tip of the spear, and look your business partner in the eye and say we are doing everything to find the best talent.

I’ve always been part of larger corporations that have resources, but believe it or not, there’s a perception to have a successful veteran program you need a huge budget and it’s actually not the case. By leveraging social media and many of the government and state and local partnerships, not for profits and organizations that are out there, you can successfully hire veterans fairly easily without a dedicated head count, without thousands of dollars for fancy websites and everything else.

What are key components for a successful veterans strategy that employers need to consider?
First and foremost, look inside your lifelines. Again, not a lot of companies have well-baked processes and systems to identify the veterans that already work there. And a lot of folks think they need to immediately go outside to use military agencies or external agencies, yet few veterans inside of a company are asked by recruiting or HR if they want to come help at a job fair. Veterans will say yes every time, and they know how to look at resumes and how to bridge the gap between military experience and what is needed a corporate setting. So look inside the lifelines and find the veterans that are already there.

The other is finding someone in HR who can build that process and learn how to tweak your systems for the self-identification and the source codes, and how to highlight your efforts on your career site – very easy to do. Somebody in HR needs to put his or her hand up and say this is important to us and we’re going to move forward.

Lastly, it’s always nice to have a senior leader within the business ranks. CEO, COO, CFO, C– something that has served. And it’d be hard to find a company that doesn’t have one senior leader that has at least an affinity for veterans – maybe their dad was in, maybe their spouse is in. It’s nice to have that person at the top that will drive the message to their peers of, “Hey hiring veterans is a great talent source, it makes business sense, it’s not a charity, we need to do it and let’s do it right.”

What would be your elevator pitch for people to join DirectEmployers Association?
If I’m in a room with talent acquisition peers and somebody says, “Why DirectEmployers?” my immediate response would be, “Well why not?” If you really want to win the war for talent and develop true diverse and inclusive acquisition processes for your talent, DirectEmployers is the best weapons arsenal of experts, information, up-to-date as well as events. It’s how I stay current. There’s a difference between saying you want a diverse and inclusive workforce and acting on it. And you can’t act on it without partners like DirectEmployers.

Many thanks to Philip Dana for taking time to share his insight. Learn more from Members like Philip at the DirectEmployers 2015 Annual Meeting & Conference (DEAM15), May 13-15, 2015. Visit the DEAM15 website to learn more, register to attend, and submit a presentation proposal.

Got Misalignment?

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

The following post is being shared with permission from our friends at Avancos. View the original post by Brent Shopp on the Avancos blog.

Whichever side of this fence you’re on, have you ever felt like HR/Recruiting and the Hiring Manager aren’t aligned when it comes to hiring? When we asked our clients over the last three years, more than 70+% answered “yes”. It is a common symptom to a deeper issue that needs addressed in order to change and get better results.
Let’s look a specific example. In most companies, when a new head count is needed, whether it is a new hire or a replacement, the responsible hiring manager is usually given a process to follow. The process depends on how structured the organization really is, but the process most companies follow usually goes something like this;

A form supplied by HR asks for an attached approved job description and desired pay range (whether it be calculated or in accordance to established pay bands), then turned back over to HR. Next, the wheels move into motion as jobs are posted, recruiting is engaged, and the system to source, screen, and shepherd candidates through the interview process becomes very real. The hiring manager waits as the recruiters throw as much effort into the roles as they can, in order to get candidates in process as soon as possible to close the position.

It seems very straight forward; however misalignment begins to show itself when recruiting finds two candidates that are close, but the hiring manager balks. A usual scenario is when candidates meet two of three basic qualifications outlined for the role, are a little expensive, but within reach based on the managers own criteria. Time has been taken to source, screen, and convince the candidates the company is a good opportunity. Then the nebulous feedback comes back from the hiring manager…. The candidate(s) is not a good fit. A good fit? Determined without a conversation and after the candidate meets most if not all qualifications that were created by the hiring manager? The next step is when recruiters get justifiably agitated, the hiring manager gets agitated because he/she doesn’t get what they think they need, and the company may miss out of a revenue generating or operationally important resource. A lose, lose, lose, lose scenario.

So let’s break this down how it got to this point. The hiring manager, when asked what was needed, simply answered with what the manager wanted. Misalignment number one. The recruiter took a Mick Jagger approach, “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you’ll get what you need”. Recruiters take this approach because their reality of the talent market for the requested person may not even exist, and if they do, not in the salary range that the company can afford. So instead of gathering information to support what the market is really doing through Talent Intelligence, attacking what is needed vs wanted is the easiest approach. At the same time in the example above, the potential candidates will most likely go back out into the world with a negative view of your company, based on their invested time, effort, and energy with no results. We end up with a soiled employment brand, a recruiting team that wasted time and money, and a hiring manager that still doesn’t have what they want and the company needs.

Like many problems, this cycle of misalignment through miscommunication has been going on for decades. How can it possibly be avoided? By simple alignment and calibration. Meaning, if a hiring manager and HR/Recruiting can establish a dialogue and collaboratively work towards the identification of what the organizations needs are and the hiring managers wants on a regular communication basis, then the margin for error becomes dramatically less. At the same time, if recruitment can support their findings with data from Talent Intelligence and not just on their gut, hiring managers are more likely to move closer to what the talent market will actually produce. Effort is now aligned with business demand. That’s the goal.

60 Minutes You Can’t Afford to Miss on VEVRAA and Section 503 at the 32nd ILG National Conference

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Candee Chambers of DirectEmployers presenting on VEVRAA and Section 503 at DEAM14.

The new veterans and individuals with disabilities (IWD) regulations require federal contractors to include quantitative analyses in their disabled and veteran affirmative action plans—something that changes the entire landscape of affirmative action plan development. While this has raised many questions, the 32nd ILG National Conference is an invaluable opportunity to get a firmer grasp on exactly what it all means, and actionable takeaways to get your organization pointed in the right direction.

Our VP of Compliance & Partnerships, Candee Chambers will share her expertise and knowledge on two separate occasions during the conference. First, during the pre-conference activities on Tuesday, August 4, she’ll be joined by Beth Ronnenburg of Berkshire Associates to conduct a workshop titled VEVRAA & Section 503: Data Collection and Analysis.

Beth Ronnenburg of Berkshire Associates guiding DEAM14 attendees through OFCCP compliance.

They’ve designed this workshop to give an in-depth analysis of the newly required data elements, and provide participants with the action items needed in order to maintain compliance – including step-by-step guidance on the data collection process for Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities AAPs.

Booth visitor during SHRM14 with our new purple squirrel shirt.

In addition, Candee and Beth will discuss how to conduct the utilization analysis and the hiring benchmark analysis, both of which are required under the new regulations. Attendees will also gain exposure to sample data collection charts and calculations.

The following day, Wednesday, August 5, Candee will join the following panelists in the session Partnering with State Workforce Agencies: Pam Gerassimides, NASWA; Gideon Blustein, Illinois Department of Employment Security; and Laura Harlos, Alaska Airlines.

If you’ll be joining us in D.C. next month for the ILG National Conference, you won’t want to miss either of these sessions! Be sure to also swing by booth 26/27 to snag one of our augmented reality t-shirts and learn how DirectEmployers assists companies with OFCCP compliance.

Road Shows and Events to Spark Interest and Grow Membership

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

The first two quarters of 2014 have been extremely busy for DirectEmployers Association staff and Members. There have been many opportunities to showcase our products and services to the Human Resources industry.

Why do we jump on planes and fly across the country with handouts and PowerPoints? Because there is strength in numbers and the more companies we can introduce to DirectEmployers, the more opportunities we have to grow our membership base.

Providing innovative partnerships that bring new solutions to our Members is also a benefit of attending conferences and exhibiting at trade shows. We are more likely to learn about new startups with new technology that way.

Here are just a few of the events we have attended this year:

  • 1/26-1/30 IBM Connect 2014
  • 2/20-2/21 NASWA Winter Policy Forum
  • 4/29-5/2 2014 SWARM Regional ILG Conference
  • 5/13-5/16 American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA) Conference
  • 6/8-6/10 NACE 2014 Annual Conference & Expo
  • 6/11-6/13 HCI Strategic Talent Acquisition Conference
  • 6/22-6/25 SHRM 2014 Annual Conference & Expo

To see a list of upcoming events visit: http://www.directemployers.org/insights/network/

Several of our Member companies were able to attend some of these conferences on our behalf and present about their experiences with compliance as well as the employment branding solutions through the My.jobs platform generating more interest from other companies to learn about DirectEmployers Association.

In addition, some of the DirectEmployers staff have the opportunity to work more closely with partners and Members who are attending these conferences and collaborate more strongly on ideas and initiatives that benefit the membership as a whole.

This time spent networking, advertising and evangelizing is time well spent with the end goal always about growing the membership and providing a stronger core to produce better products and services to the whole.

Do you have an interest in representing DirectEmployers Association at a conference or do you know of any upcoming events that we should consider? Please contact me at Nancy@DirectEmployers.org or 317-874-9022.

Resourcing and Engagement: Values of a DirectEmployers Membership to J.B. Hunt

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

“I think more companies should join DirectEmployers or consider it because of the resourcing and the networks that they have. With over 700 Members, I can reach out to those that may be experiencing the same things I am.”

Eric Airola
Senior Director of Human Resources, J.B. Hunt Transport

We love having the chance to speak with our Members one-on-one and the DirectEmployers Annual Meeting and Conference (DEAM) always presents the perfect opportunity to check in and see what’s new. During DEAM14 in Washington, D.C. I caught up with DirectEmployers Member Eric Airola. A U.S. Marine Corps veteran and long-time employee of J.B. Hunt, he has nearly 25 years of experience in the human resources industry. During our discussion, Eric shared what J.B. Hunt’s HR team is up to and why he values membership with DirectEmployers.

Nancy: We appreciate you taking the time to do this interview and ultimately share your story with others in the industry. Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself?

Eric: I’m Eric Airola, the J.B. Hunt Transport Senior Director of Human Resources, and we’ve been a Member of DirectEmployers Association for about five years now.

Nancy: What would you say is the biggest benefit of becoming a DirectEmployers member?

Eric: There are a lot of benefits that come with being a Member of DirectEmployers. For us, we joined because of the compliance aspect. We’re a federal contractor and the thought of pushing our jobs out to so many venues for us to be in compliance is great, but after we joined we found out there is so much more, especially on the recruiting side. It’s been a great help for us. If I need to figure out a new solution for recruiting in a specific part of the country, or maybe going after individuals with disabilities for example, I know I can call on DirectEmployers and talk to my account representative. She’s got all kinds of great advice and if she doesn’t know the answer she can usually put me in touch with somebody that can help me out.

Nancy: Talk about some of the experiences that membership has opened up for you. You and I recently had the opportunity to visit the White House, can you talk about that experience?

Eric: Yes, about a year and a half ago, President Obama’s Administration was putting together an initiative to get youth into jobs, particularly summer jobs, and myself and several others from DirectEmployers and member companies went to the White House and had an opportunity to hear what the Administration was proposing and to also commit to hiring a certain number of employees for the summer above what we would normally do. It was great.

Nancy: You are also a valued member of our Board. Tell us a little bit about your experience with the DirectEmployers Board of Directors.

Eric: I’ve been on the Board of Directors for DirectEmployers for about two years now and it’s been a great experience, I’ve met so many people that bring so much to the discussion.

Nancy: It sounds like you really enjoy your role on the Board, and we’re glad to have you. What is your favorite thing about being on the Board of Directors?

Eric Airola during the DirectEmployers 2012 Annual Meeting & Conference special event at Los Cedros.

Eric: I look forward to the meetings because I learn as much as I contribute and working with Bill Warren up close and seeing all the people from these great companies that can bring some ideas not only in recruiting but in compliance –– it’s refreshing. Whenever I come to the DirectEmployers
Board meetings I always try to sit as close to Bill. He’s got that quiet, calm confidence but exudes leadership and if I can be close to that then maybe some of that will rub off on me. That really makes my visit to the DirectEmployers Board meetings.

Nancy: There are a number of companies out there looking to implement new programs and technologies into their organization. What are some of J.B. Hunt’s key initiatives over the next few years?

Eric: One of the largest initiatives we have is to hire more veterans into our driving and installation jobs. Most people don’t know it about J.B. Hunt, but we actually go into people’s homes and do installation of appliances and drive small trucks, which we call straight trucks. People think of us as large tractor-trailers that go cross-country, but that is the perfect venue for veterans because we don’t require a commercial driver’s license and generally the veterans coming out are in great shape, got a great work ethic and it’s pretty demanding work so that’s one of the things we’re looking forward to most and what I’m looking forward to seeing here at the conference is to learn about some other veterans initiatives.

Nancy: Speaking of the conference, tell us what you enjoy most about attending the DirectEmployers Annual Meeting?

Eric: There are two things that I enjoy most about DirectEmployers Annual Meeting. One is the speakers that we bring in –– they’re really great. Some of them are just very inspirational, some are very motivational, some have a great story, but they all pique your interest they all make it worth coming. The other thing I like about the conference are the breakout sessions and just really getting down into the weeds or at a high-level for compliance issues, recruiting issues and solutions to the problems we have. It makes it all worthwhile, that and the fact that it’s all free, all I have to pay for is the travel. I’m bringing 3 of my people to this conference just so that they can be exposed to these things.

Nancy: We truly believe that there is strength in numbers. Why do you think other companies should join DirectEmployers Association?

Eric: I think more companies should join DirectEmployers or consider it because of the resourcing and the networks that they have. With over 700 companies [members], I can reach out to those that may be experiencing the same things I am. We’re putting in a whole new HR system that’s cloud-based, we’re the only transportation company that’s done that. I found other DirectEmployers members that have already put that same system in and have called on them for advice on what they had to overcome with change management. It’s been great and I expect to do that for any other members that would call on me.

I would like to thank Eric once again for taking the time to do this interview! Fellow members can connect with Eric in our member-exclusive community, Pipeline. Interested in learning more about compliance, veteran hiring and recruiting best practices? Register for the DirectEmployers 2015 Annual Meeting & Conference (DEAM15) taking place May 13-15, 2015 in our hometown of Indianapolis!

Member Spotlight Series: Emory University’s Dual Career Network

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

In 2013 we launched our first ever DirectEmployers Member Awards competition. The program was created to highlight our Members’ initiatives in the areas of recruitment, technology and compliance. Each category featured two tiers –– Tier 1 for companies with fewer than 10,000 employees, Tier 2 for companies with more than 10,000 employees –– and honored both a winner and runner-up.

We were blown away by the innovative programs and processes that our Members have in place, and excited to share each of them in this special Member Spotlight Series. First up, we’ll take a look at Emory University’s Dual Career Network department, the runner-up of the recruitment category for Tier 2.

What Is The Dual Career Network?
This specialized department of Emory University was established to provide employment assistance to the spouses and partners of newly or recently hired staff and faculty for up to one year or until employment is secured. Located in Atlanta, Georgia, the program helps these spouses and partners to be considered for positions inside Emory University as well as to identify viable employment opportunities off campus within the Atlanta metro area. While employment is a major component of the initiative, it goes one step further to ensure that Emory University employees and their families are happily settled. It does this by helping to find quality schools for their children, offering neighborhood exploration and recommending realtors for those new the area, as well as making references for other needs they may have during their transition.

What Are The Results Of This Initiative?
Using it’s expansive network and valuable resources to make its program members more marketable in the job market, the Dual Career Network has placed 86+ spouses and partners, and is currently supporting more than 80 others in their job search. Aside from the benefits to the job seekers, this program has also helped Emory University to avoid losing faculty and staff, and to secure sought-after candidates, due to the Dual Career Network being available to help their spouse/partner.

In May of 2013 Emory was given the opportunity to host the 11th Annual International Dual Career Conference on its campus, allowing other employers who are interested in implementing such a program to network with national, local, and international Dual Career colleagues.

Great job, Emory University! Have initiatives that you think are “best in class”? Submit them for the 2014 DirectEmployers Member Awards! To learn more, email Katie Pfledderer and stay tuned for the next post in our Member Spotlight series where we’ll take a look at another Emory University initiative.

Exploring the world of AR (Augmented Reality)

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

At DirectEmployers Association, we’re constantly looking for ways to improve upon our products, services and presentation of both.

Conferences fill our calendar in the spring and summer. It’s easy to just ship leftover promo items, product cards, and the ole’ tried and true 10’ x 10’ display and let our association representatives tell the rest of “our story.” But this year, we tried something a little different.

Enter in augmented reality. It’s a way to bring images to life, give additional information and provide a call to action. It’s fairly simple –

  1. Download the Layar App
  2. Scan an image with the app on your phone, tablet or Google Glass
  3. Hold the device still and enjoy the interaction

Scannable images can be on cereal boxes, magazine pages, displays, t-shirts, walls, product cards, labels and more!

Recently, we designed t-shirts for the 2014 SHRM Annual Conference & Expo.  We wanted to provide three different experiences with our t-shirts. Download the Layar App and check these out:

The purpose of the “Grad” shirt is to show new grads where they can search for jobs and what type of jobs they will find. Our goal was for the scanner to try http://Graduates.jobs. There is yet another purpose for this shirt – to show employers that, as a Member of the Association, their jobs will appear in front of graduates conducting a search on this site.

The purpose of the “Techies” shirt is to show job seekers we have designed sites within My.jobs that target their area of expertise. In this case, techies –both young and experienced – can find employment opportunities on Technology.jobs. Our call to action was to show job seekers and employers what our special interest / industry sites look like by taking them to http://technology.jobs. There is yet another purpose for this shirt – to show employers they can be featured as a company with logo placement linking candidates to their jobs and/or display a corporate video.

The purpose of the “Vets” shirt is to show veteran job seekers we have designed a site within My.jobs that features a military occupation code translator. Type in a MOS/MOC and the site will pull jobs that are relevant and equivalent. Our goal was to show how the translator works and give scanners an opportunity to try it while captured in the AR interaction by sending them to http://veterans.jobs. It is also demonstrated how employers can be featured as a company with logo placement linking to their jobs and/or display a corporate video on this page.

The back of the shirt (below) was the perfect opportunity to sum it up and provide one last opportunity to get more information by providing a phone number, email address and informational site.

Interested in additional augmented reality inspiration? Get your device ready to scan and visit https://www.layar.com/augmented-reality/inspiration/.

Have a suggestion for our marketing team? Email us your thoughts and ideas to Lis@DirectEmployers.org.

Until then, happy scanning!

 

 

Raise Your Hand if You Have Your 503 and VEVRAA Partners Lined Up…Liar!!

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

The following guest blog post was written by Michael Goldberg, Director of Talent Acquisition at the American Heart Association & American Stroke Association.

I was honored when DirectEmployers approached me about a guest blog post. For those who know me well, I always have an opinion and a lot to talk about. What a better way to open up a dialogue around how companies are faring with establishing the partnerships with the Section 503 and VEVRAA partners.

We have been through the presentations… all stellar presentations with my favorite overview with the wonderful Candee Chambers and John C. Fox. If you haven’t listened to it, click here. The questions I have are: How do I establish the relationship, where do I get started, how do I know if the vendor is one I want to partner with, and oh by the way, are the vendors ready for the onslaught of calls for thousands of companies wanting to be their new best friend?

Let’s address the second question first. Based upon my Google searching and speaking to some vendors, they are not. There is not enough time in the day to service all of the Federal Contractors. I have even had one vendor ask me, what Section 503 and VEVRAA are. Congratulations to NASWA for putting together a fairly solid presentation to train the State Workforce Agencies. It includes the webinars and related attachments. But what about the smaller agencies outside the State Agencies? What training have they received. I welcome any information that agencies can share with DirectEmployer Members as well as any members who have training information they can share.

On to the first question: How the heck do I prepare? There is no doubt that along with sourcing, screening, presenting candidates, we now are responsible for maintaining strong partnerships with these vendors. How many times do I have to call these vendors each month? What are some of the questions I can ask to know I have an agency who will be a true partner? One of the key issues for our organization is that we have locations in every state. Each of the regional offices known as Affiliate offices will need to reach out to every office in each state. That is a lot of work. One of the suggestions I have made if you are in a similar situation or just have satellite offices across the country is to work with agencies that have a national presence. You will also want to focus on National agencies that assist veterans and individuals with disabilities. This helps in the number of calls and/or visits you need to make.

Speaking of Engagement…how frequently do you need to keep in contact? You can never be faulted for calling or visiting the agencies too much. My recommended plan is to make some form of contact at least once a month with your agency partners. Want to be strategic about this? Whether you are on calendar or fiscal year, get the positions to the agencies ahead of time so they know when to expect spikes and can be more prepared to take on the opportunities.

You may also want to connect with them through your company’s career social media sites and most importantly, engage in conversation with the candidates whether you have opportunities now or coming down the requisition line. Either way, you win as you have pipelined candidates who may be a Veteran or an individual with a disability.

Share your success stories by highlighting those you have hired from either category on your careers site or in posts on social media. The more information shared, the more positive exposure you will receive and it is more likely that the hired candidate will share their story with related agencies. Nothing but great press as long as you engage and follow through!

My last nugget to share are the questions to ensure you have the right partner. Feel free to add to this list by replying to the blog post. I did not have this information and had to come up on it with my own. Here they are:

  1. Tell me about what your organization does to provide job hunting/finding assistance for the community located near employment sites. What types of resources do you have on-site for those who need to find a job?
  2. What types of events, if any, do you hold such as career fairs and job search training (resume assistance, cover letter, and interview training)?
  3. Describe the type of skills and backgrounds your candidates possess that may fit what AHA recruits for.
  4. How do you “get the word out” (job postings on their site, networking meetings, email blasts?) about job opportunities with your outreach partners? How do you partner with your local chamber of commerce to publicize job opportunities in the community?
  5. Does your facility have the ability to provide reasonable accommodation consultation and assistance to individuals with disabilities?
  6. How do you partner with companies to provide consistent applicant flow?
  7. What resources (people and materials) would you all have to potentially develop training around hiring Veterans (if working with a Veteran Outreach partner) and Individuals with Disabilities (if working with an IWD Outreach partner)?
  8. Does your organization have the ability to offer a central point of contact for referrals in multiple locations, as needed?
  9. How does your organization offer a diverse variety of job candidates with different skills and qualifications, open to people with various types of disabilities, and different racial and ethnic backgrounds?
  10. What are the next steps should we select your organization as an official outreach partner with (insert organization name here)?

While this may not be the “be all end all” of questions, it gives you a great start. Remember what Candee Chambers says is the key criteria:

  • Did the activity attract qualified applicants with disabilities and/or protected veterans?
  • Did the activity result in the hiring of qualified individuals with disabilities and/or protected veterans?
  • Did the activity expand Contractor’s outreach to individuals with disabilities and/or protected veterans?
  • Did the activity increase Contractor’s ability to include individuals with disabilities and/or protected veterans?

Being prepared is half the battle. In this case, it is knowing where to start and how much the agencies are prepared to take on the extra work. Know that this will not be built overnight. Do it right the first time and it will cause less headaches for you and your team in the future. Best of luck!

The recommendations and comments are those of Michael Goldberg only and not the American Heart Association or DirectEmployers. Follow Michael on Twitter. You can also follow the goings on at American Heart Association on Facebook or @TheAHALife.

Envisioning the Future at the AAAA’s 2014 National Conference & Annual Meeting

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

AAAA Conference

Ashleigh Brock from UT Health Science Center receiving her raffle prize from Shannon Offord and Amy Williams of DirectEmployers.

Last week a few DirectEmployers team members had the pleasure of attending the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA)’s 40th National Conference in Nashville, TN. Not only were we the Diamond Sponsor, but we also had space in the exhibit hall to talk with compliance professionals about our products and services in addition to a speaking slot on the agenda. Two and a half days of learning and networking at the beautiful Gaylord Opryland Hotel have left us reflecting on the past and looking forward to the future of Affirmative Action in the workplace.

Day one kicked off with a thought-provoking plenary session presented by Jackson Lewis PC’s Mickey Silberman as he presented on the changes to the OFCCP regulations as they relate to veterans and individuals with disabilities. After some engaging workshops and an awards luncheon with keynote speaker Kathleen Martinez, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy, our very own VP of Compliance and Partnerships, Candee Chambers had the opportunity to present on “Beating the Heat of Your First Audit After the New Regs are in Place: Debunking the Myths Surrounding VEVRAA and Section503”.

In her session, Candee put the ever-present “listing vs. posting” debate to rest, saying that the regulations clearly stating that jobs must be listed for compliance, while proof of job postings may be asked for during an audit. From here she commented on EEO tag lines, contact information, responsibilities of employment service delivery systems (ESDS), self-identification forms, outreach and more. She ended the session with a helpful checklist to help employers to prepare for a possible audit. 

Candee Chambers presenting at AAAA Conference

VP of Compliance & Partnerships at DirectEmployers Candee Chambers presenting at the AAAA Conference.

The first evening ended with an exhibitor’s reception and a special screening of the movie ANITA: Speaking the Truth to Power, the powerful true story of a young African American woman’s battle for workplace rights, social justice and equality.

Day two was a blur of keynote speakers, networking in the exhibit hall, and more workshops on a variety of topics relating to Affirmative Action. The day ended with a town hall-style meeting with a panel of past AAAA presidents and a roundtable discussion on the topic of disability hiring. The last day of the conference ended with final keynote speaker, Patricia Shiu, the Director of the OFCCP with the U.S. Department of Labor.

This conference had a nice balance of the history of Affirmative Action and what the future may hold. We were thrilled for the opportunity to sponsor and can’t wait for next year!

Attending industry conferences this summer and want to network with us? Check out our full event schedule to see where we’ll be. We love connecting with our Members and seeing new faces!