Section 503 and VEVRAA - Data Collection Analysis Requirements
In 2014 the OFCCP added a new requirement to the agency's Section 503 and VEVRAA regulations called the "data collection analysis," often referred to as the "data metrics."
Between the two sets of regulations, contractors are required to maintain a total of eight data points pertaining to applicants and hires over the previous AAP cycle:
- Total number of job openings
- Total number of jobs filled
- Total number of applicants for all jobs
- Total number of applicants hired
- Total number of applicants who self-identified as a protected veteran
- Total number of protected veteran applicants hired
- Total number of applicants who self-identified as an individual with a disability (IWD)
- Total number of disabled applicants hired
If you are only subject to the disability AAP requirements and do not prepare AAPs for protected veterans, simply exclude numbers 5 and 6.
The OFCCP's regulations apply a special three-year recordkeeping requirement to this provision. The agency envisions that contractors will satisfy this by keeping one chart with three years worth of data, like so:
The OFCCP intends for contractors to use these figures to calculate overall, veteran, and IWD hiring ratios, and to use that information as a rudimentary "trend analysis" showing the upward or downward fluctuation in selection rates. In fact, when the OFCCP first proposed the requirement the agency described the job openings/filled ratio, applicant/hire ratio, veteran ratio, and IWD ratio.
However, the OFCCP's regulations do not define key terms such as "job openings," "jobs filled," and "hired." Unfortunately, the agency published guidance (external link) in the form of "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQs) that only served to confuse the matter.
In an effort to be helpful, the OFCCP defined "job openings" as the number of individual positions advertised as open in a job vacancy announcement or requisition. As an example, the OFCCP states, "[I]f one job vacancy announcement or requisition includes 5 open positions and results in 4 hires, the contractor would document this as 5 job openings."
The OFCCP further defined "jobs filled" as all jobs the company filled by any means, be it through a competitive process or noncompetitively, e.g., through reassignment or merit promotion. The agency instructs that contractors should take into account both new hires into the company and those employees who were placed into new positions via promotions, transfers, and reassignments.
In contrast, the OFCCP notes, "hired" refers solely to those applicants (both internal and external to the contractor) who are hired through a competitive process, including promotions.
These definitions divorce the first two metrics entirely from one another and the rest of the figures. By the OFCCP's definitions, the total number of "job openings" would almost certainly always be less than the total number of "jobs filled," because job openings refer to job vacancies while jobs filled includes transfers, promotions, reassignments, etc. regardless of whether or not there was a vacancy to be filled. Moreover, the number of job openings and jobs filled serve no legitimate OFCCP compliance concern.
Oddly, the OFCCP released a sample data collection analysis chart (which has since disappeared from the agency's website) in which job openings, jobs filled, and total applicants hired were all the same figures, which is impossible under the OFCCP's definitions in the FAQs.
In practice, the OFCCP has not enforced the definitions in the FAQs and seems to ignore them entirely, perhaps for good reason. Instead, OFCCP compliance officers expect contractors to use the same definitions of "applicant" and "hire" as they do for hiring analyses under E.O. 11246. In fact, compliance officers will often compare the data collection analysis figures to the applicant and hire summaries you are required to provide in an audit and will raise questions if the numbers do not match.