The Unique Challenges of HR for Government Contractors

Hiring top talent is challenging enough in the private sector, but there are additional rules and regulations for hiring employees to work on government contracts. Depending on the size of the contracts and your company, you may need to fill out extensive audits and follow detailed processes to prove that you are hiring fairly. Let this guide be your resource to make sure you are following regulations carefully. 

Understanding Executive Order 11246

The main rule that you need to follow when hiring teams for government contracts is Executive Order 11246, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on Sept. 24, 1965. This law covers equal employment opportunity (EEO) and states that:

  • “The contractor will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.”

This applies to hiring, firing, promotions, changes in position, or any other aspect of human resources. Additionally, employers need to post signs clearly explaining these employee rights for all workers to see. 

When you start to work on government contracts, you will likely see this executive order mentioned. This is the framework for the extra steps you need to follow in order to stay compliant.  

Implementing Executive Order 11246 and Other Regulations

Even if your company already has non-discrimination policies and equal opportunity hiring posters hung in common areas, there are additional steps that your organization needs to take in order to be compliant. These include:

  • Saving all resumes, applications, job postings, and candidate responses for at least one year (or two years for organizations with more than 150 employees).
  • Placing the EEO tagline in all job listings.
  • Submitting an annual Affirmative Action Plan (AAP) and EEO-1 Report showcasing your efforts to prevent discrimination in the hiring process. (There are AAP samples that you can use.)
  • Sending 503(b) forms to candidates (regardless of whether you interview them) to they can self-identify based on their disability. This is part of ADA non-discrimination law.

These guidelines and regulations change based on the value of the government contracts you work with (in tens of thousands) and the number of employees you have. The larger the contracts (and the more employees) the more compliance steps you will need to follow. This is why it is so important to read these guidelines carefully to know exactly what is expected of your organization. 

Additionally, you must be able to open your books to auditors at the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) at any given time and prove that you are compliant. 

What Happens if These Regulations Slip?

Everyone makes mistakes or forgets certain processes from time-to-time, but it is in your best interest to make sure that you are following federal compliance guidelines correctly. The OFCCP has been known to audit contractors regularly and check their hiring processes. They want to see where your jobs are posted, which resumes you have on file, and whether or not you are filing your annual reports and action plans. It is better to take additional steps and know what is required than to fall behind. 

If the OFCCP finds that you are not compliant, they may pause the contract until you reach compliance or they may limit your ability to get contracts until you update your hiring processes. If your business is based on getting government contracts, then you need to make sure you are following the clear hiring guidelines. 

Outsource your HR to Government Contract Specialists

We know how difficult it can be to stay compliant while hiring for government contracts – especially if you handle both private and public work. This is why we specialize in maintaining compliance for our clients to make sure their contracts are secure. 

If you just secured a government contract and aren’t sure how to stay compliant, or simply need an expert source to take over, set up a free consultation with Corban OneSource. We can walk you through how our team handles HR, from hiring to pay and benefits.