Equal employment opportunity and affirmative action overview


EEOC stands for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency primarily tasked with enforcing federal laws that prevent employment discrimination based on a candidate's race, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, or veteran's status.

Most companies and organizations are covered by federal nondiscrimination laws, and while the rules apply to firings, promotions, harassment, training, wages, and benefits, Greenhouse Recruiting is mostly concerned with how they intersect with the hiring process. Many companies prefer to proactively track and analyze their hiring data to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local nondiscrimination laws. In this article, we will provide a brief overview of the:


EEOC Questionnaire

Note: The questions included in the EEOC questionnaire are un-editable.

The EEOC questionnaire is a set of federally-approved questions about race, gender, veteran status, and disability status. The questions included in this voluntary questionnaire are un-editable because they were carefully crafted to comply with relevant regulations. Seemingly minor changes can be deemed a violation by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP).

The EEOC questionnaire is enabled on a per job post basis and will appear for candidates when they fill out an application through your organization's job board. 


Additionally, for candidates who entered your system without applying through a job post (i.e. referrals, prospecting, being associated with a confidential job), Greenhouse Recruiting also has functionality to email the EEOC questionnaire to candidates.



EEOC Report

Candidate responses collected from the EEOC questionnaire are anonymized and compiled in Greenhouse Recruiting's EEOC Report. This report is only accessible by users with Site Admin level permissions with the additional user-specific permission Can see EEOC and demographic reports.  



EEOC Data and Federal Contracts

The EEOC questionnaire also assists organizations with federal contracts track recruiting and hiring data, as required by law. Specifically, if a company has 50+ employees and any single government contract worth more than $50,000, such company is subject to the affirmative action planning requirements of Executive Order 11246 and its implementing regulations. These regulations require government contractors to create an annual affirmative action plan which includes, in relevant part, applicant and hiring demographic information, and analyses revealing whether hiring decisions have an adverse impact on any specific candidate demographic. Affirmative action plans must be completed by federal contractors on an annual basis and are subject to being randomly and periodically reviewed during audits by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).


Promoting Company Diversity

While the intention of the EEOC report is to fulfill federal requirements, some companies see an opportunity to use the same data to audit and promote diversity initiatives in their hiring practices. Whether your organization is analyzing which sources provide diverse pools of candidates or identifying deficiencies in recruiting processes, there are plenty of well-intentioned reasons why you might want to review recruiting data at a more granular level than what is provided in a standard report. Greenhouse cautions you, however, to speak with your legal counsel to better understand the benefits and risks in having access to, and reviewing, this type of information.