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OFCCP Compliance, Disability Inclusion, EEOC Strategic Plan & More | Takeaways from DEAM14 Track

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Despite the quick turnaround from DEAM13, the DirectEmployers 2014 Annual Meeting and Conference (DEAM14) was better than we could have imagined! With record attendance, amazing presenters, and several chances to network and mingle, this year’s conference was the best yet. Along with the general sessions, our agenda gave attendees the opportunity to choose three concurrent sessions each day, ultimately tailoring their conference experience to suit their specific interests.

While each track didn’t have one particular focus, a number of the sessions were submitted and approved for HRCI credit, adding even more benefit for attendees. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights and key takeaways from Concurrent Workshop A.

Day One

Rosaly Morsheimer and Angie Grilliot of UnitedHealth Group presenting at DEAM14.

After an amazing keynote speech from employment law attorney John C. Fox and a quick lunch break, everyone parted ways to attend the sessions of their choice. First up in Concurrent A were Angie Grilliot and Rosaly Morsheimer of UnitedHealth Group as they outlined their geographically based strategic sourcing plans that focused on underutilization and outreach for compliance. Attendees of this session were given examples of how to apply their AAP information to their talent acquisition strategy as well as why they should document and track sourcing activity for compliance purposes.

Next up, Tracy Hudson Spicer of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) spoke to the commission’s strategic plan in regards to social media and arrest and conviction record usage by employers and it’s effect on the laws that they enforce. This included the top 5 rules and trends for social media and employment law, as well as a quick fact/myth game with drink tickets for the evening’s networking reception as the prize for the first to answer correctly.

Tracy Hudson Spicer of the EEOC presenting at DEAM14.

A quick “retro break” complete with root beer, popcorn and old fashioned candies preceded the day’s final session led by Meg O’Connell and Deb Russell of Global Disability Inclusion. In this presentation, the two elaborated on the benefits of hiring from the disability community (comprising 19% of the U.S. population), as well as the record keeping and tracking requirements established through the new changes to Section 503.

Key Takeaways:

  • Building relationships and documenting interactions is key to the success of having a comprehensive and compliant diversity strategy
  • The problem with social media in employment law lies not in the use of social media channels but what the recruiter does with the information that they learn.
  • A disability employment program is fully evolved when it is able to successfully leverage the fullest talents and usable skills of those with disabilities

Day Two

James Pierce of Piercing Strategies and David Scheffler of Pinnacle Affirmative Action Services presenting at DEAM14.

James Pierce of Piercing Strategies and David Scheffler of Pinnacle Affirmative Action Services kicked off day two with an engaging session on the major changes of VEVRAA and Section 503, including the benchmarks and outreach that fall on the employer in order to be compliant.

Second in line was DirectEmployers Member Sheryl Von Westernhagen of OfficeMax and corporate disability consultant, James Emmett. In this inspirational and energetic presentation, the two discussed the development of a disability and inclusion strategy, as well as best practices for making it work for both the organization and their employees with disabilities.

DirectEmployers Member Sheryl Von Westernhagen of OfficeMax and corporate disability consultant James Emmett presenting at DEAM14.

Prior to lunch on day two, Concurrent A ended with DirectEmployers’ very own VP of Compliance & Partnerships, Candee Chambers. Known for her knowledge and experience with OFCCP compliance and successes with the audit process as a former employer, Candee detailed the changes put in place by the Final Rule and how employers can realign their strategies to remain compliant.





Key Takeaways:

  • Your recruitment processes should first change as regulations and audit focus changes, then flow to your ATS and other technologies
  • The four pillars of Future Disability & Inclusion are: Stakeholder Buy-In, Financial Sustainability, Messaging and Engagement and Partnership
  • Outreach, outreach, outreach!

DirectEmployers VP of Compliance & Partnerships Candee Chambers presenting at DEAM14.

Thank you to all of our wonderful speakers; we truly appreciate you taking the time to share your stories, experience, and successes with our attendees! Members, keep in mind that you have access to all of the presentation slides in Pipeline. We encourage you to revisit the sessions you attended, take a look at some of the sessions you missed, and print copies for future reference. Stayed tuned for track B and C highlights!




Interested in presenting at DEAM15? We are now accepting speaking proposals! Visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DEAM15callforpresenters to submit your proposal! 

Getting Started with PRM – New Member Benefit from DirectEmployers to Assist with OFCCP Compliance

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

The new OFCCP regulations that went into effect March 24, 2014 for VEVRAA and Section 503 require federal contractors to build meaningful relationships with diversity, disability, veteran, women and other minority organizations. This also means recording communications and exchanges with those partners and demonstrating outreach effectiveness.


Dee Anne Faller and Jason Sole showing Members the PRM during DEAM14.

DirectEmployers Association designed a new tool to help Members streamline this process by providing a single location to enter, access and store this data, regardless of their device or location. This new tool, called Partner Relationship Manager (PRM), was officially unveiled recently at the DirectEmployers 2014 Annual Meeting & Conference.

The PRM is included with DirectEmployers Association membership, which means our Members don’t need to purchase or maintain additional services to assist them with tracking outreach efforts. This tool will help Members by:

  • Easily working with national and local partners from within a single tool.
  • Simplify maintaining partner contacts and tracking outreach efforts.
  • Providing an economical alternative to other tools.
  • Recording details regarding hiring activity from a partner organization or contact within a partner organization.
  • Running reports that capture the outreach efforts and their effectiveness – from one platform.

Over the next several months we will roll out tutorials, a user guide and schedule training sessions. To get started with PRM, please follow these two steps:

  1. Create an account on My.jobs at: https://secure.my.jobs/
  2. Email or call your Membership Development Representative to request activation of the employer functionality of your My.jobs account – if you’re not sure who your point of contact is, please email PRM@DirectEmployers.org

Members can view the DEAM14 presentation about PRM on Pipeline. We also set up a PRM forum for Members to post feedback or additional questions. Please don’t hesitate to post there or contact your Membership Development representative.

DEAM14 Brings Knowledge, Networking and Actionable Information

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

The Veterans Connect Career Fair and DirectEmployers 2014 Annual Meeting & Conference (DEAM14) took place March 25-27 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City. Both events were a huge success and DEAM14 had record-breaking attendance!

We’ll be sharing all of the great information and best practices from the conference over the next few weeks, so stay tuned. In the meantime, check out our recap video for DEAM14 highlights and to hear what some attendees had to say about the event:

View more event highlights from our DEAM14 photos on Flickr. Registration is open now for DEAM15, taking place May 13-15, 2015. Learn more at: http://DEAM15.DirectEmployers.org.

A New Way to Recruit College and Graduate Students with Disabilities

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

The following press release was authored by the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) and was originally posted on March 20, 2014.

Private-sector employers can now use WRP.jobs, a no-cost online job board, to find pre-screened college students and recent graduates with disabilities looking for internships and permanent positions.

Employers can post single jobs or elect to connect all appropriate college-level job vacancies to WRP.jobs. Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) candidates looking for entry-level, career-track positions or professional internship opportunities can view and apply for positions. Candidates represent all majors and include graduate and law students, as well as veterans. WRP.jobs directs applicants to employers’ career pages and applicant tracking systems.

The WRP is a government-wide program co-sponsored by the Department of Defense and the Department of Labor to increase employment of people with disabilities in the federal workforce by providing a pipeline of qualified and highly motivated candidates. Each year, trained WRP recruiters from federal agencies interview college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are looking for internships and permanent positions. Qualified candidates are added to the WRP database, which has been shared with WRP.jobs.

The WRP.jobs portal for non-federal employers is a pilot project developed through an innovative partnership between EARN and DirectEmployers Association.

To access WRP.jobs, employers can visit www.AskEARN.org and click “Request WRP Candidates” to register.

For more information or to post jobs, visit http://askearn.org/#refdesk/Recruitment/WRP.

OFCCP Welcomes DirectEmployers Association & Helps Dispel Misinformation Surrounding Revisions to VEVRAA and Section 503

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

DirectEmployers Association had the unique opportunity to work with key personnel in the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) to conduct a listening session exclusively for Members. Moderated by employment law expert John C. Fox, senior partner at Fox, Wang & Morgan, P.C., this session featured the OFCCP’s Patricia Shiu, Director; Debra Carr, Director, Division of Policy, Planning and Program Development; and Naomi Levin, Branch Chief for Policy Development and Procedures, Division of Policy, Planning and Program Development.

John C. Fox, Tom Eckhart, me and Candee Chambers meeting up at the OFCCP prior to the listening session.

Since the majority of the almost 700 Member companiesof DirectEmployers Association are federal contractors, it only makes sense to work closely with the OFCCP. The goal for this session was to help dispel any misinformation that surrounds the OFCCP’s revisions to the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 – which is significant for federal contractors so they can adjust their individual compliance strategies before the implementation date of March 24, 2014.

DirectEmployers Association, as well as several of our Member company representatives, received an incredible welcome at the OFCCP in Washington D.C. I had the privilege of attending in person, and was truly honored when we walked in the door to see a professionally printed welcome sign in the Department of Labor’s lobby, outside the door of the meeting room AND in the meeting room. (Thank you to Bernard for these signs and the warm welcome!)

About 10 of our Member companies were represented in person including Hilton, KPMG, Sodexo, Marriott, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Citizens Financial Group. In addition, over 300 of our Members eagerly participated by dialing-in to the session and listening via phone.

Candee Chambers, VP of Compliance and Partnerships for DirectEmployers Association kicked off the listening session by thanking Patricia Shiu, Debra Carr and Naomi Levin for hosting the listening session. Candee stated, “I think everyone realizes what these regulations mean for all of us and I think everyone’s nervous about getting it right and I think this is a great opportunity to help us do that.”

John C. Fox acted as moderator by asking questions that were submitted by Member companies prior to the listening session. John encouraged the participants to ask their questions as well.

“Thank you Candee both to those on the line and those here in the room today, we have several hundred attendees joining us. I’m delighted to be here for this very special meeting with OFCCP and DirectEmployers at the OFCCP,” stated John. “I just want to say this is extraordinary, this group and this administration getting together with the contractor community and to listen and adapt to the regulatory environment and the way you do business.”

John began by sharing two observations regarding what’s different about OFCCP today than when he roamed the halls two decades ago. “I remember being in this room many, many times, and there are two things that really commend the wisdom that Pat has demonstrated about having a listening session. The first thing that dawned on me is that industry is much more diverse and much more complicated than it ever was. This is really a challenge for a regulator. Today there are over a hundred industries, so Pat has to deal with that in a way that her predecessors never had to deal with, and it’s much more complex,” stated John. “The last five years it’s gotten so much more competitive in the marketplace that you all are doing business in ways you’ve never done before. And that’s the second thing that I think is different for Pat and Debra and Naomi as they confront regulations and how they address the regulated community, and that is HR is so thin right now. I’ve never seen HR as thin as it is today. Particularly, the last four or five years, you’re being asked to do more with less and often to do much with nothing. And Naomi and Debra, and Pat are aware of that and very sensitive to that issue and that’s why they want to listen to some of your concerns about how you will integrate the new regulations,” continued Fox.

Candee with Member Rosa Coppedge of Sodexo.

Pat Shiu stated, “Before I turn it over to Debra and Naomi, I wanted to thank my staff, especially Debra and Naomi who worked for four long, hard grueling years to bring this over the finish line along with everybody here at the Department of Labor.I also wanted to say that we very much, at OFCCP, appreciated all of your comments. And I hope that you know we took them to heart and we analyzed them over and over and had lots of discussions about them, and tried to balance a lot of competing demands. But when it came right down to it, what we decided was really important, the aspirational goals, the benchmarks, the accountability and the metrics. And two very wise women suggested to me that what business needed was flexibility.” Pat continued, “Give us the flexibility to do what’s best for our industry, our company to get there. Don’t tell us how to get there. That seemed to me to make a lot of sense and it really guided what we did in the final rule. But as with all other decisions here at the Department of Labor, they are evidence-based decisions, based on metrics, so this will be an exercise where you all will be collecting data and we will be collecting data for the first time to really see how we can achieve our mutual goal,” Shiu concluded.

John went on to ask the questions by topic, beginning with the general questions regarding preparations for the implementation date of March 24 – the date that the regulations become legally final. After that, he moved to the question of listing of jobs with the employment delivery service system (ESDS), while addressing some self-identification questions. Understanding it could be a runaway train, he had to limit the time spent on them. Here’s a recap of the key questions addressed by the OFCCP:

John: As Director of Policy Division can you give the audience a sense of how many employees you have working on the regs?

Debra: Not enough. So all this work, the FAQs, the writing of the regs, all the listening sessions, all the creation on our website now about resources available for outreach recruitment, change in corporate culture, best practices around disability issues in the workplace, how to recruit, attract and retain, veterans, all that work is really done by a very small staff. So in my division, as we print out the regs, we’re talking about 20 people. And those 20 people don’t all work on the regs. The actual work on the regs is done by me, Naomi, [and] one other staff member will help along the way with some others. We just kind of shuffle the chairs on a sinking ship. So, day-to-day basis, doing all this work, we’re talking three to four people.

John: When do you think you might have new FAQs – is there some sort of schedule or just whenever?

Debra: We were aiming to do FAQs on a rolling basis every couple of weeks. That has slowed because we’re doing more conversations, we have lists that we’re queuing up and we hope to get cleared next week, and even that process of rolling out an FAQ is not as easy as it may seem. We have conversations, we have meetings, phone calls we make choices about what needs to be on the short list, Naomi and I will start writing, we’ll flip back and forth, we listen to solicitors, they get to bless and clear, we keep Pat informed, we touch base with our colleagues in the operations side of the house.

John: It sounds like between now and March 24 we should look for a rollout of FAQs, we should look for more content-based webinars.

Debra: Yes and let me add two more things that we’re doing to help position you that you should be aware of. We have heard some contractors say they don’t know where the resources are for outreach and recruitment, they don’t know how to develop relationships with the organizations that would help them in that area, and so on our website we put up probably a month ago, some resources on those topics. We’re also working with VETS in DOL for more resources for veteran recruitment

John: I hope everyone is aware that VETS–the Veterans Employment Training Service–is another assistant secretary down the hall from OFCCP with whom OFCCP works closely on veteran’s issues.

Debra: And we’ve been working with the office of disability employment policy to shore up the information that we provide to you on disability rights in the workplace issues, and we’ve been working with our communications and outreach folks to enhance that employment resources referral directory that’s been on our website forever and ever and ever because we’ve heard some of you say that it’s not useful. You go and take a lead and it’s a dead lead. So we’ve worked on clearing that out. It is not perfect, but it’s better and it should get better as we move forward and it will be better the more I hear from you about how it’s working.

The last thing that I will say is our overall approach to working with you has shifted. This period of when we implement and train and support you in regulatory implementation is all about helping you succeed. In order to do that we came to you in a very constructive way and I think that’s what you should be experiencing. So to the extent that you have anxiety about what’s going to happen on March 24, what will happen after I do my first AAP, will I get this exactly right…I said before and I’ll say today, this is a transition for us all. So your first encounter with us on the first day is not going to be like you have to have all the I’s dotted and all the t’s crossed or else. No, all we want to do is go in and engage you, figure out what you have done, what you have not been able to do, give you assistance, to work with you, to get you where you need to be. We know there are going to be data limitations, so what we’re trying to do is work with you. You’ve got to demonstrate that you’ve done something, you can’t sit on your hands and say I just didn’t know what to do. This is a different approach to policy and to enforcement under these new regs.

Candee and Patricia Shiu, Director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), outside of the listening session meeting room.

Naomi: I will just say if you miss any of our webinar trainings we are posting them after they are done so you can always go back and find them and listen to them and even watch them if you need them because they are resources and the questions that we get during webinars, we go through them, I go through them and look for good candidates for FAQs that we’ve seen over and over and we’ll go to Debra and say this issue keeps coming up a lot, maybe we need to sit down and develop an FAQ around it. Not only use those to train you, but to get information to help us help you again, kinda full circle.

John: Very helpful. If we could turn the discussion to job listings, now who in the employment service delivery system will see the job listings? 

To access the remaining questions and answers, you need to be a DirectEmployers Member company. Members can access the full post in Pipeline. If you’re not a Member and want to learn more, please visit http://www.directemployers.org/become-a-member/ or call 866-268-6206. 

DEAM14 Session Preview: Redefining Your Online Presence to Attract Diverse Candidates

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

The DirectEmployers 2014 Annual Meeting and Conference (DEAM14) is just around the corner–I mean that literally, it’s less than 30 days away at this point and we couldn’t be more excited to see regular attendees and new faces as well. While we hustle around finalizing last minute details, I thought I’d take a moment to highlight a session entitled, “Redefining Your Online Presence to Attract Diverse Candidates,” which features DirectEmployers Manager of Digital Strategy, Seth Flater, and Kristy Seidel, Hyatt Corporation’s Director of Talent Acquisition.

Heather Hoffman & Seth Flater of DirectEmployers Association

Heather Hoffman and Seth Flater from DirectEmployers Digital Strategy team presenting on the .JOBS Roadmap at DEAM13.

While many of you may have heard of the .JOBS top-level domain, or even invested in its technology, the .JOBS platform has continued to further evolve and is now viewed as a highly sought-after online recruitment tool. In addition to improved job seeker experience, branding and SEO capabilities, the platform is also being used as a tool to disseminate job openings to sites built specifically for diverse candidates such as veterans, individuals with disabilities and minorities. As part of the OFCCP’s revisions to VEVRAA and Section 503, employers need trackable and measurable outreach to diverse that further prove to the OFCCP that your organization has gone the extra mile to list your jobs and better connect with these diverse job seekers.

At DEAM14, Seth and Kristy will take the stage and address how companies can improve their online presence and make their jobs known to the diversity community by strategically listing them on sites that target that specific niche. When looking to reach a particular segment of job seekers, keyword-targeted sites like Veterans.jobs, Diversity.jobs and Disability.jobs can play a huge role in making job opportunities known and branding your company as a diversity-friendly employer.

Seth will provide analytics and back-end knowledge, while Kristy will discuss the accomplishments of Hyatt Corporation who has actively pursued integrating a diversity solution into their recruitment strategy. During this time, she will discuss why Hyatt chose to use the .JOBS platform, as well as deliver analytical data that supports why this solution should be considered a viable option when weighing alternatives.

This session is just one of the learning opportunities that will be available at DEAM14, so join us March 25-27 in Washington, D.C. Not only can you network with colleagues and potentially meet with nationwide partners, you’ll be able to learn other corporation’s best practices when it comes to tackling OFCCP challenges. Take a moment and register to attend our conference today!

Conference Highlight: A First Look at DEAM14

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

As a new conference season kicks off, our team is hard at work planning the DirectEmployers 2014 Annual Meeting & Conference (DEAM14), taking place March 25-27 in the Washington, D.C. metro area. The timing for this year’s conference couldn’t be more perfect, as those within the federal contractor community are likely well acquainted with the March 24 implementation date for the revisions to VEVRAA and Section 503. The agenda will focus on all aspects of veteran and disability hiring, as well as a variety of important issues and best practices for recruitment and talent acquisition, social media, employment branding, and much more. In addition, our partners the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) will be hosting a pre-conference Advocacy event, stay tuned for more details.

Take a look at some of the exciting highlights that you can expect from DEAM14 and be sure to register to attend today as the conference is quickly approaching. Registration is free for DirectEmployers Members! Register now.

UnitedHealth Group speaking with job seekers at the 2013 Veterans Connect Career Fair.

Veterans Connect Career Fair
Prior to the start of the conference, on Tuesday, March 25 from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., we will be hosting a Veterans Connect Career Fair at the conference venue, the Hyatt Regency Crystal City. This event will give employers direct access to the talent within the strong military presence of the area and connect with veterans, transitioning servicemembers and their families who are currently in search of a career. As an added benefit to this military outreach opportunity, career fair registration comes with two complimentary registrations for DEAM14!

Our partner NASWA educating DEAM13 attendees.

Demo Hall
In appreciation of our valued underwriters who help to keep the conference free for our Membership, we will once again have a Demo Hall for our supporters to showcase their products and services in a no-pressure environment. Open during breaks and evening networking receptions, this space is the place to experience the latest innovations in HR technology and service – plus there will be plenty of freebies and food and drink! Want to get your organization a spot in the Demo Hall? There are still a few underwriter opportunities available!

Engaging Keynotes
Through our conference, we strive to provide attendees with not only learning and networking opportunities, but also inspiration. Keynote speakers are a great way to give the audience energy and a bit of an entertaining break from the typical educational sessions. One of this year’s exciting keynotes, employment law attorney John C. Fox, Esq. of Fox, Wang & Morgan PC, will take the stage to provide insight into the new regulations, his experience as a trial attorney and his former role as an insider at the OFCCP. Check out his column, the OFCCP Fox Report, exclusively for DirectEmployers. In addition, John Robinson, Managing Partner and CEO at Our Ability, will be giving the keynote address on day two. Born a congenital amputee, John’s inspirational story will show us what is possible and what it takes to overcome obstacles in life and business.

Impressive Agenda
We understand that our conference attendees are looking for useful and actionable information that they can take back to the office. That’s why we vet our speakers to ensure that we have the most engaging and relevant presentations, and this year we have some pretty impressive sessions on the agenda! Some highlights include a session on VEVRAA & Section 503 from Beth Ronnenburg of Berkshire Associates, a veteran hiring panel with participants from LifeTechnologies, Intel and EMC Corporation, a presentation on achieving DOL hiring targets by Howard Green from the National Organization on Disability, and an exciting product update from DirectEmployers Association.

Sounds impressive, right? Register for DEAM14 today and be sure to book your room at the conference venue while the discounted group rate is still available. Hurry, it ends on Monday, March 3! Need some help urging your superiors to approve your registration? Customize our convenient “justify your trip” letter to showcase the many benefits of attending.

DirectEmployers and Employment Law Expert John C. Fox to Host Listening Session with Director Patricia Shiu and Other Key OFCCP Figures

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

DirectEmployers is offering assistance to the federal contractor community by way of a listening session that features OFCCP compliance experts, John C. Fox of Fox, Wang & Morgan, P.C. and the OFCCP’s Patricia Shiu Director; Debra Carr, Director, Division of Policy, Planning and Program Development; and Naomi Levin, Branch Chief for Policy Development and Procedures, Division of Policy, Planning and Program Development.

INDIANAPOLIS, January 16, 2014 – Today DirectEmployers Association, a trusted employer-driven association of talent acquisition and inclusion leaders, has the unique opportunity to work with key personnel in the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) to conduct a listening session at the U.S. Department of Labor, exclusively for members of the Association. Moderated by employment law expert John C. Fox, Fox, Wang & Morgan, P.C., this session will feature the OFCCP’s Patricia Shiu, Director; Debra Carr, Director, Division of Policy, Planning and Program Development; and Naomi Levin, Branch Chief for Policy Development and Procedures, Division of Policy, Planning and Program Development. The participants will work toward dispelling any misinformation that surrounds the OFCCP’s revisions to the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA) and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, giving federal contractors a chance to adjust their individual compliance strategies before the implementation date of March 24, 2014.

“A large portion of our membership represents the federal contractor community,” commented Bill Warren, Executive Director, DirectEmployers Association. “With all of the information and interpretation that surrounds the OFCCP’s revisions to VEVRAA and Section 503, this opportunity gives our members the ability to glean accurate information directly from the source, providing them with a clear direction on how to implement the new requirements into their strategies.”

Prior to this exclusive listening session, members of the Association were asked to submit questions regarding the new regulations to generate an interactive discussion among the OFCCP representatives and the company participants to create greater understanding among the federal contractor community. Select members from companies like Armstrong, BAE Systems, Bechtel, Citizens Bank, DuPont, Hilton, Marriott, KPMG, Raytheon and Sodexo were also invited to the Department of Labor to experience this event in-person, while the membership as a whole was invited to listen in virtually.

Founded in 2001, DirectEmployers has worked for over ten years to help federal contractors comply with OFCCP job listing requirements by providing the technology necessary to deliver jobs to the appropriate employment service delivery system (ESDS). In addition to job delivery and partnership facilitation to help with veteran, disability and diversity outreach, the Association also helps employers to amplify their employment brand and job visibility through the proprietary .JOBS top-level domain. For more information on membership and how you can become involved in the Association, visit http://www.DirectEmployers.org or call (866) 268-6206 and ask to speak to a Membership Development representative.

About DirectEmployers Association
DirectEmployers is an employer-driven association focusing on talent acquisition and inclusion that utilizes its technology and thought leadership to amplify job visibility and employment brand, facilitate partnerships to meet EEO/AA goals and provide proof of job delivery.

Media Contact: Nancy Holland, VP of Marketing, DirectEmployers Association, nancy@directemployers.org, (317) 874-9022

DEAM13 Sessions Tackle Compliance Questions for Federal Contractors

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

With the publishing of the new OFCCP regulations, compliance was a major focus of the DirectEmployers 2013 Annual Meeting & Conference. We knew our Members would arrive in San Diego with questions and concerns, and were prepared with a half day of general sessions devoted to the subject, in addition to a track of concurrent sessions led by field experts.

After a day of general sessions and a delicious lunch by the pool, attendees returned to the conference center for breakout sessions of their choosing. The first session was a panel discussion comprised of winners of our inaugural Member Awards Competition. After taking questions from the audience and receiving their awards, attendees moved on to the next session of the afternoon.

First up were DirectEmployers’ very own Digital Strategists, Ronda Johnson and Steven Apostolidis, as they delved into diversity outreach and how the .JOBS top-level domain (TLD) can assist in the hiring of women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans. In their presentation, Ronda and Steven stressed how ‘good faith efforts’ are no longer enough, making initiatives like the .JOBS Diversity Outreach Solution a great tool for federal contractors to add to their compliance toolbox.

Key Takeaways:

  • .JOBS has Diversity Outreach Solutions available.
  • Over 100 companies have adopted a Veterans Crosswalk.
  • Google has 67% of the search engine market share.

For the last concurrent session of the day, Qualcomm’s Gerry Borja and Vanessa Jones presented on veteran outreach, another hot topic among employers. They took time to discuss their veteran integration program with the idea that it’s not just about accommodating the regulations, but about helping people. With a thorough overview of their ‘QCIP – Warriors’ program, attendees were left inspired to develop their own outreach programs within the allotted resources and budget.

Key Takeaways:

  • San Diego is home to the nation’s largest number of veterans returning from wartime duty. (2/15/11)
  • Veterans need assistance transitioning into the workplace as more return from active duty.
  • It is about helping people, note all about statistics.

Participants during DEAM13 compliance track session.

The compliance track on day two kicked off with a presentation centered on the National Labor Exchange (NLx)–a partnership between DirectEmployers and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA)–and its role in helping federal contractors become compliant in the eyes of the OFCCP. This role was further confirmed by Members such as Tipton Bradford of IHG, who gave a summary of how the partnership has successfully supplemented their compliance strategy, as well as confirmation from representatives of various state workforce agencies.

Key Takeaways:

  • Since the 2009 presidential inauguration, the OFCCP has reviewed nearly 19,000 federal contractor establishments.
  • IHG has been affiliated with DirectEmployers since March of 2007.
  • The NLx is a cost effective solution for IHG (since they have hotels and offices in multiple states) to help the company achieve a diverse workforce.

Next was a premiere presentation by James Emmett of the Poses Family Foundation regarding its partnership with DirectEmployers Association and their mission to help Members create custom solutions that help satisfy Section 503 requirements. In this session James explained not only the legal reasons to hire individuals with disabilities, but also the ethical reasons to do so, and gave an insightful, albeit high-level, overview of what it takes to do it right.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hiring people with disabilities makes good business sense for many reasons including: lower turnover, fewer absences, good performance, untapped labor pool.
  • A “disability friendly” environment encourages employees to disclose & request needed supports.
  • The disability community is the fastest growing labor and customer niche market in this country.

The final concurrent session was a panel discussion moderated by DirectEmployers’ VP of Compliance & Partnerships, Candee Chambers, joined by members of the Recruitment Regulatory Compliance Committee (RRCC). Tasked with keeping members informed of the OFCCP’s regulatory changes, panel participants addressed the recent changes, shared best practices, and discussed how the NLx helps satisfy the regulations through job delivery. We are still in the process of transcribing the Q&A from the discussion, which will be provided exclusively to Members through the Pipeline.

We hope that all of our attendees had the chance to get their questions answered, and walked away with a game plan for tackling the new regulations before their effective date of March 24, 2014. We are also excited to be hosting the DirectEmployers 2014 Annual Meeting & Conference (DEAM14) that very same week in Washington, D.C., with another strong compliance focus.

Want to take a closer look at these presentations or view photos from the event? Our Members can find it all in the Pipeline.

DirectEmployers Secures Date for OFCCP Listening Session with Director Patricia Shiu

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

As the March 24th deadline to become compliant with the new OFCCP regulations approaches, the federal contractor community is actively seeking advice and direction on how to do so. To help our Members easily transition into the new changes surrounding VEVRAA and Section 503 with a clear comprehension of what is expected, we are forming new compliance partnerships and resources. A few weeks ago we announced our alliance with employment law attorney, John C. Fox, who over the next year will be authoring eight (semi-quarterly) compliance-focused columns within his blog “The OFCCP Fox Report”, as well as hosting four Member-exclusive webinars.

We are also excited to announce that on Tuesday, January 16, 2014 from 10:00 – 11:30 am EST we will be holding a listening session hosted by not only Mr. Fox, but also the Director of the OFCCP, Patricia Shiu, and the Director of the Division of Policy, Planning and Program Development at the OFCCP, Debra Carr. During this hour and a half session, the experts will be answering questions previously submitted by our Members, as well as non-members, with time at the end for attendees to ask additional questions.

While this session is beneficial to employers who are looking to gain a better understanding of the new laws, it is also helpful for the OFCCP, providing an idea of what information needs to be clarified and to help diffuse any confusion that surrounds the new requirements. Questions not answered during the session will be used for future training sessions and webinars provided by the OFCCP.

The listening session seeks to provide answers to pertinent questions and clear up any misunderstandings that exist within the current regulatory environment, and we are thrilled to offer this exclusive opportunity for our Members. While only Members can participate in the listening session, non-members are also encouraged to submit questions, with the answers to be provided after the session has ended. We will be submitting the first round of questions to the OFCCP one month prior to the listening session, and we invite anyone to submit questions they would like to have answered.

Have questions that you would like to have answered during the listening session? Please use the following link to submit your questions: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JB8FFBY.