3 Ways an ATS Keeps You Legally Compliant

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TapeIf there is one thing more frustrating than the time it takes to find and hire someone, it’s ensuring legal compliance. However, with the right applicant tracking system, your company doesn’t have to worry about paper trails leading to no man’s land. Instead, they go to the right place and the right people. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) have a plethora of requirements for employers. Luckily, an ATS  can help you comply with them.

Job Board Posting

Considering 76 percent of job seekers prefer to apply for a position through a career site, it’s surprising that online job boards only account for 15 percent – 20 percent of the available open positions. An ATS can post to job boards for you, reducing the amount of work per opening. In order for the ATS to perform at its highest, however, specific qualifications are needed in the posting. These preset bona fide qualifications as dictated by the employer is how the ATS maintains compliance beginning with the job posting. The ATS then takes each of the applications and matches qualifications with keywords and key phrases. Those who best fit the job description move onward in the hiring process.

Candidate Rejection

ATS platforms give recruiters a choice of reasons to pick from if they feel an applicant doesn’t meet qualifications. If the choices don’t exemplify why the candidate should be removed from the application process, they should be allowed to continue with the interviews. Only 50 percent of job hunters  make it through the basic phases of the application process with an ATS. If a candidate doesn’t meet the qualifications set forth by the posting on the job board or career site, they simply don’t get hired.  This makes the screening and rejection processes easier for recruiters, and it makes the company less liable for possible employment discrimination litigation.

Employers tend to look for specific attributes when screening candidates :

  • 36 percent of employers look for multitasking skills
  • 31 percent of employers look for initiative
  • 21 percent want candidates who think creatively
  • 12 percent look for something else.


Seventy-five percent of top companies use applicant tracking systems to help them in the hiring process before resumés even make it to the recruiter. Even 60 percent of medium-sized companies use an ATS in their recruiting departments. It not only streamlines the hiring and onboarding of candidates, but also reports and collects the necessary information to maintain compliance with EEOC  and OFCCP  regulations.

Although a candidate’s name can reveal the gender of the candidate, and the educational history can shed light on the candidate’s age, ATS reports do not, however, disclose religion, ethnicity, or any disabilities. There are many reporting regulations that companies must follow, which you can see here.

There are several policies and reporting procedures  an ATS will help you comply with, but these are just some of them:

Sex as a bona fide occupational qualification   § 1604.2

The commission believes that the bona fide occupational qualification exception as to sex should be interpreted narrowly. Label – “Men’s Jobs” and “Women’s Jobs” – tend to deny employment opportunities unnecessarily to one sex or the other.

Age Discrimination in Employment Act   § 1625.3

It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an individual in any aspect of employment because that individual is 40 years old or older, unless one of the statutory exceptions applies. Favoring an older individual over a younger individual because of age is not unlawful discrimination under the ADEA, even if the younger individual is at least 40 years old. However the ADEA does not require employers to prefer older individuals and does not affect applicable state, municipal, or local laws that prohibit such preferences.

Definition of National Origin Discrimination   § 1606.1

The Commission defines national origin discrimination broadly as including, but not limited to, the denial of equal employment opportunity because of an individual’s, or his or her ancestor’s, place of origin; or because an individual has the physical, cultural or linguistic characteristics of a national origin group.

The EEOC and OFCCP protect job seekers against employment discrimination, and an ATS can protect your company against possible litigation with automated compliance procedures. Reporting candidate files doesn’t have to be the hassle it is with the endless paper trails. With an automated ATS, reporting is taken care of and delicately organized for easy access to keep your company compliant with federal employment regulations.

By Raj Sheth