DCI has noted a recent trend among some compliance officers that are alleging that a 1:1 applicant to hire ratio is a “per se” violation of the regulations.   If this was true, virtually all contractors would be in violation of the regulations.  It is quite common when analyses are conducted at the job title and/or requisition level to uncover an analysis as shown below:





1001 White






1002 Black










Oftentimes, the OFCCP (and even the contractor) believes a 1:1 applicant to hire ratio indicates that the contractor is out of compliance with the regulations.  The OFCCP often cites one of the following as the basis for the violation:

    1. The contractor did not post a job when they should have, violating 41 C.F.R. §60-300.5.
    2. The contractor did not maintain records of all applicants that applied, violating 41 C.F.R. §60-1.12.
    3. The contractor failed to solicit self-identification information from applicants pre-offer or pre-selection, violating 41 C.F.R. §60-1.3.
    4. The contractor is not engaging in outreach and recruitment of protected categories, violating 41 C.F.R. §60-2.17, 41 C.F.R. §60-300.44, and 41 C.F.R. §60-741.44.
    5. The contractor is in violation of the Uniform Guidelines at 41 C.F.R. §60-3.4 for not maintaining records concerning impact.

Is the OFCCP correct? Is this a problem?  Are we in violation of the regulations?  The simple answer is, it depends.

First, let’s address the issue of the “requirement” to engage in external outreach and recruitment.  THERE IS NONE.   The regulations only require that a contractor engage in outreach and recruitment for minorities and women when a goal is established.  If there are no goals established, a contractor can recruit and hire in any non-discriminatory manner it wants.   For example, if the contractor wants to convert temps to hires for some jobs, they are free and clear to do that.  This is especially true if the temp to hire scenario yields a diverse pool of hires.

If you have a 1:1 applicant to hire ratio it is a best practice to “peel the onion back” to determine the cause. If the simple answer is that you were not keeping applicant records in accordance with the regulations, then it would be a violation.  However, there are plenty of legitimate, non-discriminatory, compliant, and valid reasons why a 1:1 applicant to hire ratio may occur.  Here is some food for thought when conducting the internal research.

Defendable Reasons:

    1. Not all jobs have to be posted.  There, we said it.  A contractor can do what it wants as long as it is not violating the regulations or any other federal, state, and local laws.  (See prior DCI blog for more information on requirements for job postings.)
    2. Recalls from layoffs for unionized employees according to a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
    3. None of the other candidates who applied met the definition of an internet applicant.  For example, it is possible that other job seekers were not basically qualified for a position or withdrew from the hiring process.
    4. A requisition in which only one internal applicant applied and was subsequently selected; therefore, the requisition was never posted externally.
    5.  In some cases, there may be legitimate circumstances where a temporary employee is converted to a permanent employee without posting a job externally.

Non-Defendable Reasons

    1. The contractor did not maintain records of all applicants that applied, violating 41 C.F.R. §60-1.12.
    2. Goals were established and the contractor did not engage in targeted outreach and recruitment efforts.

In conclusion, a 1:1 hiring scenario in AAP hiring and applicant flow data may not be the end of the world as we know it.  Discovering this scenario in one’s AAP merits more research as to why the phenomenon is occurring. As long as the reasons are legitimate and in compliance with the regulations, as outlined in the aforementioned scenarios, a 1:1 hiring ratio should not equate to a Notice of Violation (NOV) from the OFCCP.

by Joanna Colosimo, Senior Consultant and Jana Garman, M.A., Consultant, DCI Consulting Group 

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