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Thar blows the OFCCP!

Posted by Colin Kingsbury

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Apr 3, 2007 3:51:00 AM

describe the imageMartin Snyder has never made any secret of his distaste for the OFCCP Internet Applicant rules, and in his most recent blog , he lays into aBusinessWeek article which basically says, "Don't hate the OFCCP, hate your lack of process discipline." Martin writes,
I agree, but I remain hopeful that at some point soon, enforcement action will commence and this matter will end up in federal court, where right thinking jurists will see it for what it really is; a constitutional affront, a violation of Executive Order 12866, and a costly mandate that neither meets its goals nor creates better processes.
How do you feel, really? Later in a comment, Martin adds,
This meme that the rule is somehow like SOX is bad spin. 

Don't worry about me giving up beating on the rule- its my white whale!
Moby Dick happens to be my favorite book, one of the few I've read repeatedly over the years, and Martin, I hate to break this to you, but the whale wins.

CFOs aren't widely known for their acute sense of wit, but if there was such a thing as the annual CFO comedy awards, Martin's line that the OFCCP regs are not comparable to Sarbanes-Oxley because "SOX is designed to give quantitatively better accounting" would bring the house down. Many would, I suspect, say that SOX served mostly the same purpose as the tails on senators' tuxedo jackets. Martin is welcome and may well be right to say that the OFCCP rules are attacking forms of discrimination which are so imperceptibly small as to effectively not exist, but that's really a different argument altogether. 

Chad Sowash of Direct Employers (one of the more important organizations out there today, IMHO), has in my mind a better response in his post, which mostly echoes the central point of the BusinessWeek article: consider the Internet Applicant rules as an opportunity to do a lot of things better. 

In my experience, HR and recruiting departments, particularly in smaller companies, are often led by people with good intentions but who are gasping for organizational resources and attention. For many of them, the necessity of the OFCCP rules provide a convenient anvil not just to achieve compliance, but to optimize actual recruiting results.