An HR Glossary for HR Terms
Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms
Applicant Flow Log
What Is an Applicant Flow Log?
An applicant flow log, also known as an applicant tracking system, is a recordkeeping system used by both private companies and government agencies during the hiring process. Tracking certain job applicant information helps organizations analyze whether or not their recruitment process is fair and compliant with regulations set by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
What Is the Internet Applicant Rule?
The Internet Applicant rule, set by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), refers to online-applicant records that federal contractors need to maintain. Specifically, federal contractors and subcontractors must solicit the following required demographic data from online job applicants: Race, gender, and ethnicity.
The purpose of the Internet Applicant rule is to ensure employers are complying with anti-discrimination and equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws. This helps employers recruit and maintain a diverse and inclusive workforce.
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What Is the OFCCP Definition of an Applicant?
An “Internet Applicant” is an individual who has met all four of the following criteria:
- Has submitted a job application online or via electronic technology
- Has been considered by the contractor for employment in a particular position
- Has the basic qualifications for the position
- Has not withdrawn their candidacy before receiving the job offer
Who Needs to Keep an Applicant Flow Log?
What Is the Difference between the EEOC and the OFCCP?
Both the EEOC and OFCCP aim to promote non-discrimination in the workplace and are authorized to file lawsuits against non-compliant employers, but their scopes and areas of enforcement differ.
The EEOC is a federal agency that protects workers in private businesses that are not contracted with the federal government. The commission enforces federal anti-discrimination laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and more.
On the other hand, the OFCCP is part of the U.S. Department of Labor and oversees federal contractors and subcontractors. The OFCCP ensures those who do business with the federal government follow EEO and affirmative action requirements. Specific regulations include Executive Order (EO) 11246, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), and more.
What Information Should You Include in an Applicant Flow Log?
Applicant demographic information federal contractors and subcontractors need to track includes:
- Disability status (only contractors with 50 or more employees and at least one contract of $50,000 or more are required to collect this information)
- Veteran status (only contractors with 50 or more workers and at least one contract of $150,000 or more are required to collect this information)
To be clear, applicants’ responses are voluntary, and they cannot be used to make hiring decisions.
Federal agencies and contractors should also record the status of each application (whether the applicant accepted the position, retracted their interest, etc.). For more detailed guidance, contact the OFCCP.
What Are the Difficulties of Complying with the Applicant Tracking Rule?
Adhering to applicant tracking requirements can be challenging since employers need to strike a balance between data collection for compliance and maintaining applicant privacy. The data also needs to be analyzed and reported in specific ways, and if an employer is non-compliant, they risk fines and penalties such as not being awarded future government contracts.
Common mistakes found on applicant flow logs include:
- Missing information for all applicants who were considered for employment, not just those who were interviewed or hired
- Not recording internal applicants on the applicant flow log
- Not recording the disposition of each applicant (how far they progressed in the hiring process)
- Including expressions of interest that are outside of the current affirmative action plan year
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