What To Consider When Selecting And Evaluating An Outreach Vendor

Outreach vendor evaluation

Published: March 23, 2021

Given all of the OFCCP requirements that organizations need to adhere to, many federal contractors use third-party vendors to assist in their diversity outreach and job postings to the state workforce agencies.  Using a third-party vendor takes a lot of the admin work involved in compliance off your hands and gives you peace of mind in the event of an audit.

Below are a handful of things to consider when selecting and evaluating an outreach vendor.

1. Pricing: Ask about pricing upfront. This is especially important for small to medium sized federal contractors.
If the price of the service isn’t right for your organization, there is no sense in starting the evaluation.

2. Proof of Recordkeeping: Is the vendor able to provide proof that jobs were posted externally on the diversity job sites and state workforce agencies?  This is typically done by providing screenshots of your jobs posted externally on these sites.  The vendor should archive these screenshots and other records for at least 3 years, so you’re protected in the event of an audit. 

3. Reporting: You will need reporting during an OFCCP compliance review and for your records.  Ask about reporting and request a sample report for your review.

4. Analytics: Ask the vendor if they can track clicks and views on your posted jobs. This is important when conducting an annual assessment of your outreach.

5. Reputable Diversity Sites:  Ask about the vendor’s diversity sites. Are they reputable third-party diversity sites? Did the vendor simply create these sites themselves? Are the sites listed as a resource by the OFCCP, Veterans Administration, National Resource Directory, Employer Assistance and Resource on Disability Inclusion (EARN) or some other federal agency?

6. What Else Do They Offer? Does the vendor offer a programmatic (pay per click) service? Can they help you negotiate job board contacts? Do they have access to 10,000’s general, diversity, university and niche sites? Do they have other recruitment and outreach services?

Some federal contractors find themselves at risk during an OFCCP compliance review because they did not evaluate their outreach vendor properly upfront.  Others federal contractors feel they may be paying too much for the service or do not have access to enough services.  A little due diligence when selecting an outreach vendor can help avoid these pitfalls.

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