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Monday, October 20th, 2014

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Confronting Ignorance and Arrogance About Diversity and Inclusion

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

The following guest post was authored by Kevin Martin of i4cp. (View the original post published 10/1/14 on i4pc.com.)


I recently read an article written by a self-proclaimed “national diversity expert” in which the author purposefully derides the role of chief diversity officer just to elicit an emotional response from readers, only to overshadow the author’s real position, which is made clear at the end of the article: “Limiting the practice of diversity to workforce representation issues diminishes the business value that can be garnered from diversity, marginalizes the practice, and is time-limited.” We are all familiar with issues on which the arrogance of a few (generally high-profile personalities) either contributes to or exploits the ignorance of many. The topic of diversity and inclusion (D&I) seems perfectly aligned to this ruse and it’s time we move beyond the baiting and on to the substance. What follows is pure substance.

Since i4cp published its research on the 12 Diversity Practices of High-Performance Organizations, we’ve increasingly seen where D&I is a contributing factor to key business initiatives such as developing effective global leaders, ensuring a more customer-focused workforce, and enabling greater organizational agility. In fact, our research shows that at high-performance organizations, D&I is much more an enabler to the business than it is an initiative or program viewed in isolation from the business.

The following are three examples from recent conversations that I’ve had with the chief diversity officers (CDOs) of high-performance organizations. Each example speaks directly to the strategic application of D&I and its related business impact:

1) A single branch office of a leading bank drove that branch’s revenue by over $2M U.S. dollars in just one year by analyzing demographic data in its area and then adopting inclusion practices and promotions that appealed to the LGBT community;

2) The CDO of a large financial services/insurance company used data analytics to analyze new hires and associated business impact to determine which community partnerships the company would sunset or invest in during the coming year. Those decisions have netted the company 15 highly productive new employees as well as millions in US dollars from new clients attracted to their firm via those partnerships;

3) The CDO of a large regional healthcare provider in the southwest U.S. spearheaded the company’s supplier diversity initiative (one of three key business initiatives for that year) and, as a result of practices the CDO’s function recommended and executed, is near its 2016 goal of achieving 25% of its spend with diverse suppliers and also has seen impressive gains in its supplier satisfaction scores and–most importantly–its quality of services rendered.

It’s understandable that some of us are easily offended by claims about diversity and inclusion that come across as ignorant and/or arrogant as often they are unsubstantiated by data or real-world examples. To combat this, take some action! Join i4cp as we advance the interest in and application of D&I. You will be on the leading edge of how high-performance organizations apply diversity and inclusion practices and strategies to achieve competitive differentiation, and drive business value. Here’s some of what you can do:

Stay tuned for more!

Understanding How the NLx Partnership Assists with OFCCP Compliance

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

“You do not have to be a techie to understand indexing, because all of that work is done by DirectEmployers.” - Lori Adams, Division Administrator for Iowa Workforce Development, Workforce Services

Panelists discussing how state workforce agencies and employers can maximize their use of the National Labor Exchange (NLx).

Panelists discussing how state workforce agencies and employers can maximize their use of the National Labor Exchange (NLx).

One of the truly unique aspects of DirectEmployers Association is how we help bridge the gap between OFCCP compliance and recruitment. This is accomplished through technology, services, partnerships and thought leadership, including education and outreach at industry events. DirectEmployers Association Member John Whalin of United Airlines recently participated in a panel discussion at the 78th Annual NASWA Conference to share how he has benefited from the National Labor Exchange (NLx). Check out this video for a brief recap of the session’s highlights:

Key Takeaways of the NLx Partnership:

  • It benefits federal contractors because employers can get away from time spent on a website and invest more resources into outreach efforts required by the new regs.
  • Employers don’t have to post manually to all 50 states – the appropriate jobs are distributed to the relevant sites automatically through the NLx.
  • Employers and state workforce representatives, along with NASWA and DirectEmployers Staff, direct the activities of the NLx partnership via the NLx Operations Committee.

Still have questions regarding the NLx? Comment below or give us a call at 866-268-6206.

Deadline Extended for 2014 DirectEmployers Association Member Awards Competition

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

DirectEmployers Association is extending the deadline for the 2014 Member Awards Competition. DirectEmployers Member Awards (DMAs) entries must now be received by 11:59 PM Pacific Time on Friday, November 7, 2014.Deadline Extended for 2014 DirectEmployers Association Member Awards Competition

The DMAs recognize DirectEmployers Members for revolutionizing common practices and/or establishing new, groundbreaking programs in OFCCP compliance and recruiting. One winner and runner-up will be selected from each of the following six categories:

  • VEVRAA and Section 503 Compliance Initiatives
  • Diversity Initiatives
  • Career Website
  • Recruitment Marketing Campaign
  • Employer Branding
  • Candidate Engagement

A distinguished panel of industry practitioners and thought leaders will score submissions based on originality, outcome and customer satisfaction.

Participation is a great opportunity for Members to gain feedback from judges and peers, industry recognition and exposure for your company.

To be eligible for consideration, entries must have been executed, implemented or rolled out in the calendar year of 2014. You must also be a Member of the DirectEmployers Association at the time of your submission and up through May 15, 2015. For more details, visit the Rules section of the Member Awards website.

Entering is quick and easy. Simply visit http://app.ly/memberawards and select the “Click here to get started” link in the left-hand column of the homepage. You will be prompted to create an account. This allows you to begin a submission and comeback and finish or edit at a later time – just be sure it’s submitted by the November 7 deadline!

Check out previous winners in this video or read more from the 2013 award press release. For more information, please contact the DMA Award Committee Chair, Katie Pfledderer, at 317-874-9070 or email Katie@DirectEmployers.org.

Snapshot of last year’s award recipients:

AOL AT&T Cardinal Health Colorado Springs Utilities Eaton Emory University J.B. Hunt Transport REI Schlumberger Sodexo Vantiv

WIOA and What It Means to Federal Contractors

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

State Workforce Agencies Responding to the Needs of Employers
Just like federal contractors, state workforce agencies have regulations and legislative orders. In fact, President Barack Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) into law on July 22, 2014, changing how state workforce agencies will be supporting employers in the future.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) states on their website that, “The enactment of WIOA provides opportunity for reforms to ensure the American Job Center system is job-driven—responding to the needs of employers and preparing workers for jobs that are available now and in the future.”

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) into State workforce agencies will have some time to understand this new law and create programs that will be in compliance. According to the DOL’s website, “In general, the Act takes effect on July 1, 2015, the first full program year after enactment, unless otherwise noted. The State Unified Plans and Common Performance Accountability provisions take effect July 1, 2016. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) will issue further guidance on the timeframes for implementation of these changes. DOL will issue proposed regulations reflecting the changes in WIOA soon after enactment.”

This timeline is very similar to the deadlines for the new federal contractor VEVRAA and Section 503 regulations. The new regulations became effective March 24, 2014, but contractors with a written affirmative action program (AAP) already in place on the effective date have additional time to comply. The OFCCP has stated they aren’t playing a game of “gotcha” and will be working closely with federal contractors over the next 12-24 months, providing further guidance and clarification as to the best way to ensure compliance.

Upon closer examination, the effective dates of these new regulations for state workforce agencies and federal contractors appear to be very similar, as do the actual requirements for each of these parties.

Notable highlights of WIOA include:

  • Strategically Align Workforce Development Programs –Emphasizes engaging employers across the workforce system to align training with needed skills and match employers with qualified workers.
  • Increases Accountability - Requires every state to develop a 4-year strategy in the form of a single unified strategic plan for core programs, for preparing an educated and skilled workforce, and meeting the workforce needs of employers.
  • Improves Services to Employers and Promotes Work-Based Training – State and local boards will promote the use of industry and sector partnerships to address the workforce needs of multiple employers within an industry. Local areas can use funds for demonstrated effective strategies that meet employers’ workforce needs, including incumbent worker training, Registered Apprenticeship, transitional jobs, on-the-job training and customized training.
  • Improves Services to Individuals with Disabilities – Individuals with disabilities have increased access to high-quality workforce services to prepare them for competitive integrated employment. The WIOA requires better employer engagement and promotes physical and programmatic accessibility to employment and training services for IWDs. Youth with disabilities receive extensive pre-employment transition services to obtain and retain competitive integrated employment. It creates an Advisory Committee on strategies to increase competitive integrated employment for individuals with disabilities.

VEVRAA (4212) highlights include:

  • Hiring Benchmarks - Require contractors establish annual hiring benchmarks for protected veterans.
  • Data Collection – Require contractors document and annually update several quantitative comparisons for the number of veterans who apply for jobs and the number of veterans they hire. Having this data will assist contractors in measuring the effectiveness of their outreach and recruitment efforts.

Section 503 highlights include:

  • Utilization Goal- Establish a nationwide 7% utilization goal for qualified IWDs. Contractors apply the goal to each of their job groups, or to their entire workforce if the contractor has 100 or fewer employees. Contractors must conduct an annual utilization analysis and assessment of problem areas, and establish specific action-oriented programs to address any identified problems.
  • Data Collection – Require contractors document and update annually several quantitative comparisons for the number of IWDs who apply for jobs and the number of IWDs they hire. Having this data will assist contractors in measuring the effectiveness of their outreach and recruitment efforts.

The requirement of federal contractors to work more closely with the local providers (which includes the American Job Centers across the country) in veterans and IWDs outreach, and measure the effectiveness of this outreach, overlaps with the requirement for state workforce agencies to engage employers to align training with needed skills and match employers with qualified workers. State workforce agencies will also receive funding to aid in providing the needed training; however, they will be held accountable for the effectiveness of these new initiatives.

So, federal contractors need to create strategies for outreach to local levels that are actually providing them with veterans and IWDs hires, and states need to create programs for employers to help meet their hiring needs – and IWDs are included in these requirements. And, both are required to measure if these programs are providing jobs.

The National Labor Exchange (NLx) is positioned to help both of these parties collaborate to meet these regulations. The NLx is the only partnership of its kind that brings employers and state workforce agencies together, providing more opportunities to connect job seekers and employers.

To get more involved with the NLx or to learn more about opportunities available for meeting your VEVRAA and Section 503 regulations, contact a Membership Development representative at 1-866-268-6206 or email info@directemployers.org.

VETS-4212 Final Rule Published in the Federal Register

Friday, September 26th, 2014

VETS100A Changed to VETS-4212Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the publishing of a Final Rule that reduces reporting requirements for federal contractors and subcontractors who hire and employ veterans under provisions of the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA).

As the DOL’s site explains, “The final rule revises the VETS-100A Report and renames it the VETS-4212 Report. The VETS-100 Report will no longer be used. The VETS-4212 Report requires contractors to report specified information on protected veterans in their workforce in the aggregate, rather than for each category of veterans protected under the statute, reducing the required reporting elements by almost half, from 82 to 42. Under VEVRAA, the term “protected veterans” includes: disabled veterans, veterans who served on active duty during a war or campaign for which a campaign badge was authorized, veterans who were awarded an Armed Forces Service Medal and recently separated veterans.”

The Final Rule’s effective date is October 27, 2014. View the Final Rule.

Using Social Media in Your Job Search

Friday, September 19th, 2014

There are several ways a job seeker can use social media to supplement the application process. In this video tip, you’ll hear a specific example that you can immediately incorporate into your next job application process!

philip dana

Key Takeaways:

  • After you apply, write down the job requisition number.
  • Then, use sites like LinkedIn to reach out to the recruiting team or hiring manager for the role you’re interested, and reference the role for which you applied.

Get more advice from other Help Wanted blogs or check out our job seeker focused Pinterest board. Ready to look for your next job? Visit My.jobs and search over a million opportunities.


Attracting Top Talent Via A Distinguishable Online Brand

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

It is getting more and more difficult for brands to stand out when trying to attract top talent. In fact, in a recent study conducted by Universum, over 50% of respondents stated their biggest challenge in attracting talent is differentiation.

talent attraction stat from UniversumThe Internet is the go-to place for job seekers to search for jobs, and many companies are missing out on opportunities to standout amongst their competitors. Company career sites are not attracting top talent because they are too generic, revealing less about their unique position statement and more about their benefits and what they have to offer. DirectEmployers Member, Phillips 66, has taken significant steps forward, creating long-standing partnerships with several large universities who they have identified as providing good talent. After developing these partnerships, Phillips 66 incorporated a way to showcase these university relationships into their career site, thus distinguishing themselves as a key target company for new graduating talent. See how they’ve built their brand and partner outreach efforts into their campus recruiting initiatives by visiting http://p66oncampus.jobs.

Bland statements like, “This is a fun place to work…” that are intended to attract new talent are missing the mark. Companies need to provide creative ways to showcase their work environment. In addition to acting as their corporate career site, Member company, REI, has done just this by using authentic pictures of employees and direct, meaningful quotes from their team members about their experience at the company. See REI’s career site and how they’ve made their brand stand out amongst the crowd by visiting http://REI.jobs.


One way Phillips 66 is distinguishing themselves as a key target company for new graduating talent is through http://p66oncampus.jobs.

Finally, companies need to understand how to make top talent feel wanted. Knowing what is important to the talent you are trying to attract is half the battle in distinguishing yourself. A big challenge for veterans and military service members transitioning from active duty to a civilian job is finding the jobs that fit their skill set. To aid in this transition Member company AT&T has incorporated a customized military skills translator to assist in taking military-learned skills and translating them into skills applicable to civilian jobs. Through a veteran-focused My.jobs Microsite, AT&T, can speak to their military audience and provide them with a more customized job search tool.

Are you looking for better ways to distinguish your company and showcase what makes you the right choice for top talent? Schedule a demo today and in return for your time, we’ll send you a $10 Starbucks gift card. Click here to schedule a demo.

Disability Employment Benchmarking Data

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

The new Section 503 regulations require federal contractors to conduct an annual utilization analysis and assessment of problem areas, and establish specific action-oriented programs to address any identified problems. There’s never been a better time to consider partnering with organizations like the National Organization on Disability (NOD).

The NOD is a private, non-profit organization that promotes the full participation and contributions of America’s 56 million people with disabilities in all aspects of life. Today, NOD focuses on increasing employment opportunities for the 79 percent of working-age Americans with disabilities who are not employed.

Disability Employment Tracker

Starting September 10, the NOD has an opportunity for employers to enroll in Year 2 of the Disability Employment Tracker. This initiative offers companies across a range of industries the following benefits:

  • Confidential assessment of your disability and veteran employment practices
  • Benchmarking against other participants and industry-specific benchmarking, where statistically notable
  • Leading practices to educate internal stakeholders on successes and opportunities
  • PLUS, starting this year, DiversityInc will consider completion of the Disability Employment Tracker™ a significant factor when determining their Top 10 Companies for People with Disabilities
  • Free of charge to all companies

To enroll, email tracker@nod.org or visit www.NOD.org/tracker for more information.

Recognition Opportunity for Disability Employment

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Champions of Change

The White House is seeking nominations for its Champion of Change for Disability. They’re seeking innovators who are breaking down barriers to the middle class by providing employment opportunities for workers with disabilities, including workers with significant disabilities.

These leaders will be invited to the White House to celebrate their accomplishments and showcase their actions to ensure that individuals with significant disabilities have a fair shot at succeeding in good jobs and careers.

Please nominate a Champion of Change by midnight on Sunday, September 14, 2014. They are looking for Champions who reflect the diversity of our nation, including diversity of types/visibility of disabilities and veterans with disabilities.  Nominees may include the following types of individuals:

  • Small business owners who have lead efforts to hire workers with disabilities, including workers with significant disabilities, and who have hired and retained one or more workers with significant disabilities and a worker(s) who are helping to build that business while gaining middle class security.
  • Managers within large or medium sized employers who have developed effective initiatives for the hiring, retention and/or promotion of people with disabilities, including workers with significant disabilities.
  • Entrepreneurs with significant disabilities who have established successful businesses and are now employing others in a successful venture.
  • Leaders within companies or organizations who have disclosed hidden disabilities and have initiated efforts to educate others about employment of people with disabilities.
  • Public/private partnerships between employers and a state or local governments, colleges, foundations, or other entities that have developed effective collaborative initiatives focused on increasing competitive integrated employment for people with disabilities, including people with significant disabilities.

Nominate a Disability Employment Champion of Change (be sure to choose Disability Employment in the “Theme of Service” field of the nomination form).

As we approach National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), held each October, DirectEmployers will continue to educate and build awareness around disability employment issues and educational opportunities for employers. If you know of other upcoming efforts or resources, please comment and share them below!