April 27, 2006   view past issues

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Feature: A Strategy for EEO Compliant Sourcing

Passing an audit by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requires that an organization both demonstrate a good faith effort at compliance and achieve meaningful levels of diversity among its workforce and new hires. Indeed, the former-a well designed and conscientiously executed strategy-is a precondition for the latter-results that matter.

Historically, one of the ways an employer could demonstrate good faith was by ensuring that all of its openings were posted on the U.S. Department of Labor’s job board, America’s Job Bank. Because this site was operated in conjunction with state employment agencies and open to all U.S. citizens, posting an opening there was a de facto commitment by the organization to consider any qualified person, regardless of their race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion or sexual orientation. The openings may have also been posted on other job boards or on the employer’s own Web-site, but as long as candidates from America’s Job Bank were considered, the Government was (usually) content that the company had made a conscientious effort at compliance.

Now, however, that strategy will no longer work. The U.S. Government has decided to disband America’s Job Bank, effective June 30, 2007. While some states may launch their own job board, they will not provide the same level of candidate coverage and, hence, certainty in a Federal audit as the national board. So, what should companies do? How can they demonstrate their good faith efforts at compliance?

I recommend that employers adopt a strategy that recognizes the reality of sourcing online. That reality is simple: No one site-including America’s Job Bank-can ensure an organization that it will reach the entire candidate population or even a significant segment of it. And, tapping into the full range and depth of the workforce is the only way to make a genuine effort to hire without bias.

What is this strategy? I call it the 7:1 Method. It’s best described by the following formula:

2GP + 3N + 2D = 1GH


GP are general purpose employment sites, which typically support recruiting in a broad range of professions, crafts and trades, industries and/or geographic locations. It’s important to use two GP sites, no matter how large any one may be, because research indicates that candidates who visit one general purpose site seldom visit another. Tapping two sites, therefore, is the best way to maximize the range of your candidate coverage.

N are niche sites, which should include one that specializes in the career field you are trying to reach, one that specializes in your employer’s industry, and one that focuses on the geographic area where the position is located. If one of these three criteria is not germane to your requirement (e.g., location is not important because you’re willing to relocate the new hire), then use two sites in one of the other criteria. However you allocate them, a total of three niche sites is necessary to maximize the depth of your candidate coverage.

D are diversity sites, including those that focus on the full spectrum of diversity candidates as well as those that specialize in candidates of a specific gender, race, ethnic background, religion, age or sexual orientation. These sites add clearly important depth to your candidate coverage, but they do not attract sufficient traffic to provide adequate reach in and of themselves.

GH is the one great hire you access each time you source with seven sites that enable you to reach the full range (provided by the general purpose sites) and depth (provided by the niche and diversity sites) of talent online.

The 7:1 Method only works, of course, if the right sites in each category (GP, N, D) are selected. There are tens of thousands of sites from which to pick, and the best sourcers and recruiters know how to:

  • identify the alternatives in each category,
  • evaluate the alternatives so as to determine their relative capabilities and track record, and
  • select the sites that will work best for them in each requirement.
  • In short, they are savvy consumers as well as savvy recruiters of talent.

    With that one caveat, this sourcing strategy is the best way to align the Government’s legitimate need to eliminate bias from the workplace with your legitimate need to hire the best talent for your openings. Why is that so? Because the 7:1 Method is both comprehensive and focused:

  • Sourcing on 7 sites demonstrates a genuine effort to search for candidates as broadly as possible and without limitation, which also ensures that you reach enough of the workforce to find the best possible prospects for your openings.
  • Sourcing on 2GP, 3N and 2D sites demonstrates your genuine commitment to searching among all relevant candidate populations, which also ensures that you will produce a diverse and talented slate of prospects for those openings.
  • Yes, the 7:1 Method takes more effort and probably costs more than simply posting on a single site. And, yes, it is a more involved approach to tapping the Web’s candidate population than simply executing a contract for the lowest possible price with a single job board. But that’s the point. Recruiting the best and most diverse workforce requires a greater investment of recruiter time and talent and organizational money than habit-based posting or simplistic procurement. And if the CEO or CFO doesn’t think high performing workers are a sufficient return for that investment, remind them of its other benefit: being able to avoid the hassle, cost and potential disruption of a failed EEO Commission audit.

    Thanks for reading,


    P.S. Don’t keep WEDDLE’s to yourself. If you like our newsletter, please tell your friends and colleagues about it. They’ll appreciate your thinking of them. And, we will too!

    This Issue’s Sponsor:

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of

    Diversity is an important component of any online recruiting campaign. Achieving a diverse workplace is not merely a destination, but an ongoing process. offers a variety of diversity job posting, resume database and branding packages to meet your online diversity recruitment needs. For more information please contact or call us today at (973) 992 7311.

    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    The American Journal of Preventive Medicine, a publication of the American College of Preventive Medicine, reported the results of a study which found that employers can achieve a significant return on an investment in workplace health programs. According to the study, these programs have the potential to yield $3-to-$6 for each $1 invested in them. That’s a deal that will impress even the CFO. What do the programs entail? Typically, they feature onsite medical screenings, health education classes, and clinics as well as financial rewards for employee participation and healthier food in the cafeteria.

    Ernst & Young LLP and ExecuNet released the results of a survey of corporate plans to deal with the impact of aging Baby Boomers on the U.S. workforce. According to the poll’s respondents, of those that were concerned about the impending retirement tidal wave (and interestingly, not everyone was), 53% thought it would lead to worker shortages, while 63% thought it would create a “brain drain.” How can you prepare for the inexorable exit of the largest demographic cohort in U.S. history? Recognize that not all Baby Boomers can or will want to retire. Indeed, other surveys have shown that a significant percentage will continue to work on a full or part time basis. To capture the “unretiring” among your workforce, launch an alumni section on your corporate career site. Use it to stay in touch with former and even current employees who may be eligible for retirement, but prefer to stay active in the workforce.

    The Harvard Business Review published an article by Philip Kriendler and Gopal Rajguru entitled “What B2B Customers Really Expect.” It details the authors’ research into what customers and vendors think are the most important attributes of salespeople. They found that customers place the greatest value on a salesperson’s subject matter expertise and ability to devise solutions. Vendors, on the other hand, rank that capability a lowly third among desired attributes, both in their evaluation of salesperson performance and in their recruitment of new salespeople. Similarly, a whopping 4-out-of-10 customers expressed dissatisfaction with salespeople’s knowledge of their business and industry, yet fewer than 25% of vendors look for such expertise when recruiting. Finally, vendors list social and communications skills first among the attributes they seek when recruiting salespeople, yet customers rank them dead last. Talk about two ships passing in the dark of night.

    International Data Corporation released a study which found that “homeshoring” is an increasingly popular strategy for customer care and call center workers. As the name implies, these employees work from home, rather than commuting into an office each day. Presently, there are a total of 112,000 home-based customer care and call center workers, and IDC expects that number to jump to more than 300,000 within just 4 years. From my perspective, that estimate dramatically understates the role this approach will play in workforce management. Why? With rising gas prices, it will be necessary to “homeshore” more than just customer care and call center professionals if employers want to avoid wholesale departures as their workers look for employment closer to home. While “offshoring” never affected more than 1-2% of all workers, “homeshoring” may well become the norm in the fuel-challenged decades of the 21st Century.

    IT Manager’s Journal published an article on “podslurping” to describe a new and significant threat to corporate security. The data storage capacity of many of today’s MP3 players-now routinely at 4 gigabytes or more-can make them a powerful tool for absconding with sensitive and/or proprietary corporate information. In addition, of course, the iPod and its cousins are small and easy to conceal and highly mobile. What should employers do? Add a covenant to your corporate IT policy which precludes employees from attaching personal devices of any kind (e.g., MP3 players, portable Zip drives) to corporate networks and/or using them to download and store corporate data.

    Section Three: Site Profiles

    Site Insite … how well do you know the Web’s 40,000+ job boards?

    1. Your new home construction company needs to hire several experienced project managers. Where could you go online to build a strong slate of candidates?

  • 2. Your hospital needs to hire a new surgical nurse who can start work right away. Which of the following sites would help you sew up this requirement?

  • 3. Your insurance company needs to hire 30 claims processors in order to be ready for this year’s hurricane season. Which of the following sites would deny you access to top prospects?

  • (answers below)

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2005/6 Guides and Directories

    WorldatWork JobLinks

    Association for Compensation, Benefits and Total Rewards

    Post full time jobs: Yes

    Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes – All

    Distribution of jobs: International

    Fee to post a job: $201-300/posting

    Posting period: 42 days

    Can posting be linked to your site: Yes

    Resume database: No

    Number of resumes: N/A

    Source of resumes: N/A

    Top occupations among visitors: HR, Compensation, Benefits

    Other services for employers: Banner advertising

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: No

    Answers to Site Insite

    1. All but, the site of a company that connects home buyers with home builders.

    2. All but, the site of the Samsung Nursing Academy in Korea.

    3., the site of a graphic/Web design company.

    Support Our Sponsor:

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of

    Diversity is an important component of any online recruiting campaign. Achieving a diverse workplace is not merely a destination, but an ongoing process. offers a variety of diversity job posting, resume database and branding packages to meet your online diversity recruitment needs. For more information please contact or call us today at (973) 992 7311.