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EEOC & OFCCP Collaborate for Innovative 'HIRE' Initiative

EEOC & OFCCP Collaborate for Innovative 'HIRE' Initiative

On January 12, 2022, an initiative launched to encourage fair hiring practices that have helped to increase opportunities for underrepresented communities. . Here, we outline the latest information on the new HIRE initiative and how your organization can stay compliant.


What is the HIRE initiative?

The Hiring Initiative to Reimagine Equity (HIRE) is a collaborative effort between the EEOC and the OFCCP to establish greater access to quality jobs for individuals in underrepresented communities. Though job availability has increased under the nation's current economy, those in underrepresented communities still struggle to find quality positions. 

HIRE intends to work with employers to develop new strategies to eradicate unfair hiring practices that discriminate on the basis of:

  • Race

  • Gender

  • LGBTQ+ status

  • Religion

  • Age

  • Disability

  • Veteran status 

HIRE will work with employers and stakeholders to ensure these demographics have equal and fair access to quality jobs. 


How Did COVID Impact Fair and Equal Hiring?

COVID further exacerbated these issues by disproportionately limiting employment opportunities for underrepresented demographics. 

Association of Corporate Counsel president and CEO Veta T. Richardson said, "I applaud the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs for initiating a concerted effort to help overcome the historical and systemic barriers to employment plaguing underserved communities, which the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated even further." 

The HIRE initiative will focus on reforming the weakened aspects of the hiring process exposed by COVID, such as neglect for specific groups of people and disregard for fair hiring methods. 


What Are Employer's Next Steps?

Most employers are aware of the importance of and even advocate for fair hiring practices. The effort to strengthen diversity within the workplace and create a more inclusive team of employees is crucial for any successful organization. That said, employers still need to take steps to ensure they are compliant with all rules, practices, and regulations.

Consider taking these next steps as you prepare to maintain a fair and diverse workplace under the new HIRE initiative:

  • Be sure employees have access to all policies and updates. Consider training options to help employees recognize the importance of maintaining an inclusive and diverse workplace. 

  • Consider outsourcing a third party to help you make fair, equitable hiring and benefits decisions. These decisions can involve raises, promotions, hiring, and even PTO requests. 

  • Take time to re-evaluate your hiring methods. Be sure you are using relevant practices to base your hiring decisions. Degree requirements, job descriptions, advertisements, and even specific interview questions can all contain levels of bias. 

  • Be sure that all handbooks are up to date with the latest policies. Old guides may neglect policies that prevent bias and create more inclusive workplaces. 

  • Consider using an HRIS or other technological process to help you maintain proper practices and provide employees with equal and fair benefits. 

HIRE intends to release more detailed information regarding these efforts in time. That said, if you or your organization have any ideas, research, advice, or resources that you wish to share, you can do so by emailing and For further information, you can also visit the EEOC website.


Additional Resources

You can also stay informed, educated, and up-to-date with equal employment and other important topics by using BerniePortal’s comprehensive resources:

  • BerniePortal Blog—a one-stop-shop for HR industry news

  • HR Glossary—featuring the most common HR terms, acronyms, and compliance

  • HR Guides—essential pillars, covering an extensive list of comprehensive HR topics

  • BernieU—free online HR courses, approved for SHRM and HRCI recertification credit

  • HR Party of One—our popular YouTube series and podcast, covering emerging HR trends and enduring HR topics

HR Calendar 2022: Key Dates, Deadlines, and More
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