29, October, 2016
This Thanksgiving we THANK YOU for believing in us in our quest to build the next generation OFCCP compliant hiring solution. Our road hasn’t been easy but your support and confidence has been our inspiration.
I have been fortunate enough to already create a similar solution at my previous venture America’s Job Exchange aka AJE earlier. AJE has been reasonably successful, and went through a successful sale process. Then, why do it again?
The backdrop for the creation of JOBfindah is quite different from the context in which AJE was built. When the Department of Labor shut down America’s Job Bank in the middle of 2007, there were no specific guidelines on how companies would ensure compliance with OFCCP/EEO regulations in their recruiting process. There was widespread confusion among employers needing such a solution, and a lack of agreement among the experts on how to proceed. A company called JobCentral out of Indianapolis led by none other than Bill Warren rolled out a solution that was based on some interesting partnerships. In contrast, we put together a competing framework at AJE. Thankfully, the OFCCP issued clarifications shortly, and a new category of service providers was born. Over time, some new players entered as an opportunistic expansion, and the space seemed well contested.
However, even after years of existence, the OFCCP compliance never became a mainstay of online recruitment. While internet technologies, recruitment marketing, and mobile and social adoption exploded, the niche category of OFCCP compliance remained stuck in doing what barely needs to be done to pass a compliance audit. As OFCCP increased its foot print of auditors in subsequent years, and aggressively enforced the regulatory requirements, everyone simply worked for passing an audit and not building a hiring solution that works. Over time JobCentral rebranded itself as ‘Direct Employers’, and AJE sold itself prematurely to a cable company who had little or no interest in it.
The industry remained at a standstill while customers wanted much more. Businesses want to comply with the regulations, but they also want to attract applicants, reach various demographics, and leverage affirmative action to build a talented and diverse workforce. The players had little interest to go beyond simply checking the box of requirements. Even that became a piecemeal approach with inconsistent delivery and frantic activities at audit time. Instead of expanding the service offering, many started to argue over the adequacy (or inadequacy) of each other’s methods. The category became stagnant prematurely without making adequate efforts to leverage emerging technologies for innovation. At a time when the broader online recruitment and HR tech space exploded with new ideas and innovative work, our niche category became too intoxicated with the pursuit of profits.
After parting with AJE and its parent last year, I got together with a few industry veterans floating the idea of creating a new company with a forward-looking vision that goes beyond checking the box of compliance. We agreed that our approach must be to first build something that matches current industry practices but exceeds in capabilities and ease of use as the starting point. We spent a year jotting down all we heard from old customers, regulators and other participants of the industry, and developed a new platform that addresses many of those ideas. We improved upon the way one attracts and reaches applicants, and rolled out the most comprehensive outreach management software for our users to manage their talent acquisition and OFCCP compliance. In our mind, it is merely a beginning, a dawn of something truly next generation. Our mission is to carry the industry forward – a niche category for which the time has come to be mainstream.
So, once again, we have nothing else to say but THANKS, THANKS and THANKS. Thank you to our customers, our partners, our investors, and mostly thank you to all those employees who believes in the vision.
In case you haven’t seen what JobFindah can do for you to take your OFCCP compliant hiring program, set up a live demo wth me. I love it show it around.
By Rathin Sinha, Founder and CEO, November 2016