Now that four months have passed, and the OFCCP has given a webinar on how to implement your new VEVRAA AAP, let’s revisit – what exactly is a hiring benchmark?
Helpfully, the very first question and answer during the VEVRAA webinar was “What do you do with the VEVRAA hiring benchmark? How do you determine if you’ve met it?”
Keir Bickerstaffe, Senior Attorney, Office of the Solicitor took this question, and here is how he answered:
“Whether or not you meet the benchmark…first of all you establish the benchmark in one of two ways…so whatever your benchmark is, then you would look at the hiring data you’ve accumulated for the year. If the percentage of protected veterans you’ve hired is equal to or above your benchmark then you have met your benchmark. But again, I want to emphasize that that’s not the be all and end all…not how compliance will be measured necessarily…contractor’s won’t be cited for not meeting the benchmark…want contractors to really look at outreach and recruitment…and tailor accordingly going forward.”
DCI Comment: Ok, so now we have clarity. The benchmark should be compared against the percent of protected veterans hired, and used as a tool to determine the effectiveness/appropriateness of outreach and recruitment efforts.
“…Let me also remind everybody that the benchmark, the hiring benchmark, is what you plan to hire for next year. So you would be looking at the composition of your current workforce and seeing, using that benchmark as the yardstick against that and setting your benchmark for what you plan to hire the next year.”
DCI Comment: Wait, so now we’re supposed to assess our workforce – like with the 11246 and 503 utilization goals and analysis? Also, how can we set a percentage or number of protected veterans we “plan to hire” without setting a quota? This response seems to confuse a hiring benchmark with a goal (and they wonder why contractors are still confused?).
by Kristen Pryor, M.S., HR Analyst and David Cohen, President, DCI Consulting Group