The end of the year is slowly creeping up on us, and it’s time to start reflecting on what you have achieved in 2021. Think back to the goals you set for the year and the projects and initiatives you worked on to help achieve them.
Part of your reflection should include processes and practices that have aided in an open and equal hiring and working environment. Think of the good, the bad, and perhaps even the ugly. How many new team members did you hire? Are they for a variety of teams from various backgrounds? Is there still room for improvement?
70% of job seekers want to work for a company that demonstrates a commitment to diversity and inclusion (D&I). This commitment should be at the forefront of your recruiters and the entire HR or People team’s minds. It goes beyond just hiring. It should be in the lifeblood of your organization.
If your team can improve, or needs the resources to track the data, then look no further. With Recruitee’s intuitive EEO Compliance features, it’s easy to collect demographic data and generate reports — helping you stay EEO compliant and measure your diversity and inclusion efforts.
Disclaimer: Before you start using Recruitee’s EEO features, we recommend that you consult a lawyer to ensure you fully comply with the laws and regulations that apply to your company.
What is Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)?
For US-based companies, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) is a law upheld by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). EEOC is a federal agency established in the US in 1964 as part of the Civil Rights Act to enforce laws against workplace discrimination.
EEO is focused on building a fair, ethical, and diverse workplace through laws that protect candidates and employees against discrimination of any kind based on, but not limited to:
- Sexual orientation
- National origin
- Veteran status
What EEO means for candidates
EEO does not mean that candidates from underrepresented groups will be hired. However, the law does ensure that no one is rejected, discriminated against, or faced with difficulties based on the above during the hiring process or employment.
For instance, you cannot be discriminated against if you are pregnant or of a certain age. All hiring, promotion, and even firing decisions need to be made on merit when a candidate or employee truly matches the requirements and has proven themselves a high performer.
If you fail to comply with the EEO laws and regulations, then it could lead to complaints, lawsuits, and massive fines for your company. There are also other costs when working with a uniform workforce, and you could be missing out on new ideas and perspectives that come from having diverse employee backgrounds.
Responsibilities to uphold EEO
Most companies with US entities of over 15 employees must comply with EEOC regulations and EEO laws. The laws apply to all work situations, including hiring, harassment, wages, and benefits.
The EEOC has made it mandatory for private-sector employers with 100 or more employees and federal contractors with 50 or more employees meeting specific criteria to submit annual demographic workforce data — the EEO-1 report.
Meeting EEO standards
With Recruitee, we’ve got you covered when it comes to EEO laws and EEOC standards. It’s simple to set it up in your Recruitee account — find the EEO tab in your Company settings and toggle on “Enable EEO Compliance” (only users with high-level data access). Then you can enjoy features including:
Collect candidate data with self-identification questions to stay EEO compliant or measure your diversity and inclusion efforts. This can be done automatically or with a manually sent email, depending on the source of the candidate.
For candidates who apply via your careers site built with the CareersHub (Careers 2.0), these questions can be answered directly as part of the application process. An EEO data collection email will be sent automatically to those who apply via Indeed, LinkedIn, or a custom integration built using our public API. In the case of referrals and sourced or manually added candidates, the email must be sent manually.
EEO candidate statuses
Get an overview of the EEO statuses of candidates to understand if you need to take any action (e.g., send an email with self-identification questions).
Statuses for candidates in jobs with EEO enabled include:
- EEO data collected - when a candidate has provided at least one answer to questions on your careers site or from the email
- EEO data requested - when a candidate has not answered any questions but was “exposed” on your careers site or received questions via email
- No EEO data - when a candidate never received the questions
Generate an EEO-1 report
With a few clicks of your mouse, you can export the generated EEO data for a particular period for the Employment Information Report (EEO-1) that you must submit annually to the EEOC to ensure you meet specific criteria. This report displays the collected demographic data and shows a breakdown of your workforce by race, gender, and job category.
Adding an EEO statement in your job ads is required to remain compliant. Even if it’s not obligated by law for your company (or entity), it is still recommended to include an informal statement expressing your commitment to diversity. Your mission statement or core values could also reflect this inclusive mindset and could even help to entice underrepresented candidates to apply to work for you. Don’t only show your commitment to diversity and inclusion on your website or careers page — actually live it in your company!
How does Recruitee foster diversity and inclusion?
From the time that you apply to a position at Recruitee, the “come as you are” working environment is apparent. During onboarding, the diversity and inclusion policy is discussed, resources are shared, and safe places are available to discuss these D&I topics openly (or privately) and offer tips for being more inclusive in any given situation.
The employees at Recruitee suggested forming a Diversity and Inclusion Committee and creating an open Slack channel where anyone can join, contribute, learn and share to their heart’s content. We feel it’s important to open the discussion on D&I and strive to be better through education and action. The work is never done, and by creating an open working environment, we can keep the conversation going.
“You have to have inclusion before you can have diversity. We want everyone at Recruitee to feel they can be themselves. Our people are our most valuable assets, and we need to support all of them, not just a select group.”
Rebecca Taylor-Clarke, Head of People & Talent at Recruitee
It’s an important topic to us at Recruitee, and it should be important to you as well. Check in with your employees, send out a D&I or engagement survey, ask questions, look at your current employees and see where they would welcome more diversity. But most of all, listen to your employees’ ideas. They are full of them, and they have first-hand experience that could improve the status quo at your company.
Upholding equal employment standards beyond the law
Remove as much bias as possible from the interview process. Include multiple hiring managers, complete well-rounded evaluations, and utilize screening questions. With our upcoming fair evaluations features, you will be able to limit the visibility of evaluations to make sure that your feedback is impartial and not influenced by others. By instituting an unbiased hiring approach, your company, current employees, and future employees will all benefit.
Where do we go from here?
The process of reducing discrimination in the workplace is never over. It’s an ongoing journey to provide open, diverse, and secure spaces where everyone can feel welcome and be themselves.
Think of ways to incorporate more diversity and inclusion into the soul of your company. It will only serve to make your company and workplace even stronger, more innovative, and all-around more enjoyable for everyone.