Four Ways to Make the Affirmative Action Planning Process Easier
By: Laura Pohopin
Developing an affirmative action plan (AAP) is not an easy task. If you're part of your company's plan development process, you know how much work it takes to ensure everything is in order to meet Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs' (OFCCP) regulations. With that in mind, here are some tips to help make your planning process a little easier.
- Take Advantage of the Best AAP Resources
There are many resources available to federal contractors to learn about OFCCP's regulations and requirements, and one place to start is its website. However, if you are looking for a translation of the complexities of the regulations into understandable language, you should take advantage of an expert's insights. For instance, Berkshire has been a leading AAP resource for federal contractors across the country for over 30 years. Our Fundamentals of Affirmative Action Planning class teaches you how to effectively manage the plan development process-along with preparing for an audit. If you prefer easy access to online resources we offer recorded webinar presentations, white papers, an HR blog, and our HR Compliance and Management Forum on LinkedIn. Berkshire's tools and resources provide valuable information on AAP regulations, industry best practices, and the latest compliance trends.
- Get an Early Start Gathering Your AAP Data
Gathering data is the first step in the AAP process. Therefore, it's important to meet with your HRIS team well before your plan date to discuss the data requirements and develop the data queries for your HR and ATS systems. As a best practice, Berkshire recommends starting the data discussion well before your plan date to ensure you have your data ready on, or as close to, your plan data as possible. Because there have been significant changes to the data collection requirements, communicating with your HRIS team early will ensure you have the right data the first time.
- Automate Your Plan
Okay-you've done your research on the regulations and have your data set in hand, but now what? Will you prepare your AAP(s) manually or use software?
Whether you prepare one plan or many plans, plan preparation software is a must for two important reasons: accuracy and compliance. With the right software solution that incorporates the latest regulatory requirements, you can produce accurate and compliant plans, streamline your process, and save a lot of time.
Berkshire's BALANCEaap is a robust solution that automates complex tasks necessary for preparing a compliant plan. It has built-in quality controls, extensive data scrubbing/error-checking features, and generates all OFCCP's required reports and narratives. BALANCEaap gives you a 100% technically compliant plan. And as a bonus-it's easy to use! Regardless of your level of experience, from start to finish you are guided through every phase of plan development.
- Outsource Your Plan
Affirmative action regulations are becoming increasingly complex, and navigating all the requirements can be overwhelming and extremely time-consuming. Why not let the experts do the heavy lifting for you? AAP experts can guide you through the complexities of gathering data, help you manage your plan preparation, and keep you informed of the regulations.
Berkshire is a leading AAP outsourcing provider. When you use our plan preparation services, we become part of your team-handling the small details so you can focus on your "big picture" goals and objectives. Affirmative action compliance is our core focus, and our AAP experts will not only prepare 100% defensible and audit ready plans for your organization, but assist you with the implementation and communication of your results.
Affirmative action planning won't ever become easy, but there are things you can do now to make the process smoother for your organization. Take advantage of the resources available, and be proactive in your AAP efforts. With even more OFCCP changes on the horizon, now is the time to start implementing these tips to make your job easier!