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News & Press: Webinar Recap

Here’s What You Missed: “So You’ve Completed your AAP…What’s next?”

Friday, September 29, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Criselda Cooper & Oscar Martinez
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Some federal contractors think that their obligations to address the requirements of Executive Order 11246, VEVRAA, and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act end upon completion of their AAPs and such obligations will only have to be revisited the following year. Unfortunately, this could not be any further from the reality of affirmative action planning. AAP development is only the starting point. To fully fulfill federal contracting obligations, the contractor must also analyze the results, plan for the course of actions to remedy areas of concerns, implement the course of actions, evaluate those actions, and make adjustments when and where necessary.

Earlier this month, BCGi hosted a webinar providing information and strategies on what to do after your Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) is completed. Following are the highlights of the said webinar.

Common Misconceptions After the AAP is completed:

  • When do I submit the AAP the OFCCP?
    • UNLESS you have received an audit letter from the OFCCP, you will not have to submit the AAP. Developing your AAP on an annual basis is one of the requirements of being a federal contractor. You are obligated to submit your AAP ONLY if a location has received an audit letter.
  • It’s done! Now, we’ll wait for the next AAP cycle (hard copy of the AAP collecting dust on the shelf)
    • It is not enough to complete an AAP. Contractors should use the AAP as a diagnostic tool to identify and eliminate barriers to employment opportunities for employees and applicants. It is important to develop and implement a plan of action to address the potential problem areas found in reviewing the analysis results.
  • We’ll create one when there’s an audit
    • While some contractors might find this as a way to save money and resources from the trouble of creating AAPs that the OFCCP will not audit anyway, Biddle Consulting Group does not (and will not) endorse this mindset. First, it is required for federal contractors to develop AAP(s) annually and second, imagine the amount of time you will need to spend in developing two (2) AAPs to address the audit (i.e., the current AAP as well as last year’s AAP which is needed to develop the “Progress Towards Goals” report). Remember that you only have 30 days to submit your AAP to the OFCCP. Developing the AAP outside the constraints of an audit will also provide more time for the contractor to know the problem areas, investigate, and remedy before an auditor finds them.

So, what do we do after the AAP’s are completed?

  • Review the results revealed by the following reports:
    • Utilization Analysis
    • Data Collection/Hiring Benchmark (Protected Veterans)
    • Data Collection/Utilization Goals (Disability)
    • Adverse Impact Analysis
    • Compensation Analysis
  • Plan the course of action to address concerns revealed by the reports
  • Implement the plan and evaluate for its effectiveness along the way

 

We created the acronym AAP to explain how to carefully consider the Accuracy of the data/information used; Analyze correctly and; Properly interpret and prioritize your actions moving forward.

Things to consider when reviewing the results of the AAP:

  • Accuracy of Data/Information Used
    • Utilization Analysis
      • The following items play a vital role in identifying underutilization in any given job group. Ensure their accuracy:
        • Census codes and availability data
        • Recruitment area(s)
        • Development of job groups
    • Data Collection Analyses (IWD and VETS)
      • Are you using the form approved by the OMB to collect the disability status of employees and applicants?
      • Is the language in the solicitation forms clear?
      • Is all data captured and reconciled?
    • Compensation Analysis
      • Consider the following questions to ask:
      • Are employees similarly situated?
      • Are you using the appropriate unit for analysis (i.e., job group vs job title)?
      • Is the base salary data accurate?
    • Adverse Impact Analysis
      • Review the accuracy of the data from the following transactions report
      • Applicants
        • Ensure that all hires made within the at-issue transaction period are in the applicant file
        • Reconcile the race, gender, and job information from the hires to the applicant data
        • Ensure to refine the data based on the OFCCP’s definition of an internet applicant
      • Hires, Promotions and Terminations – ensure that all hires, promotions and terminations that occurred within the transaction period are captured
  • Analyze Correctly
    • Utilization Analysis
      • Understand the differences amongst the utilization tests and know how to conduct them. However, choosing the appropriate utilization test is not as important as ensuring the accuracy of the data.
    • Adverse Impact Analysis
      • Adverse Impact is present when a facially neutral selections device yields a substantially different rate of selection in hiring, promotion or other employment decisions which works to the disadvantage of members of a race, sex, or ethnic group. A substantially significant rate in selection is considered statistically significant when standard deviation of 1.96 or greater or a probability value of .05 or less is found. This indicates that something other than chance caused the observed differences in the selection rates to occur.
    • Compensation Analysis
      • When should you conduct cohort analysis, t-test or Multiple Regression?
      • Choose the most appropriate unit for analysis (i.e., job title, pay grade, etc.)
  • Properly Interpret and Prioritize
    • Look at the big picture and interpret how big and pervasive the problem is. Find out if certain potential issues flagged in the AAP can be resolved with job related explanations.
      • Does it show underutilization in a job group that also shows adverse impact in hiring? If so, this should be in your priority list. Ask the question: “Is the job group underutilized because women/minorities are not getting through the selection process? Why?”
      • Review the selection process. Is there something in the process that is filtering out qualified females/minorities from getting hired.
      • Look for “trends” in the job group. Review the previous AAP’s and identify if adverse impact, underutilization, or pay disparity keeps re-occurring from year to year.
      • Research if there are job related variables that can explain pay disparities.
      • Review the effectiveness of Good Faith Efforts and Action-Oriented Programs
      • Document all job listings and postings
      • Document reasons for employment and compensation decisions.

When planning for the actions needed:

  • Pinpoint the cause of any issues and determine whether additional analyses are needed. Ensure data accuracy.
  • Do not try to solve all issues at once. Prioritize areas of concern. Look into high volume jobs/job groups or with high turnover.
  • It is important that you get your upper management, talent acquisition team and hiring managers involved. Provide periodic training programs regarding AA/EEO.

Once a plan of action is formulated:

  • Do not try to solve all issues alone. Ensure to assign responsibilities and hold people accountable.
  • Set a timeframe to correct actions.
  • Periodically re-evaluate the effectiveness of the plan and adjust accordingly.

Contributing Author: Oscar Martinez, EEO/AA Analyst I at Biddle Consulting Group, Inc.


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