EEOC Drops Internet Applicant Definition Clarification: “We Can’t Agree So Forget It!”

by Michael Haberman on April 7, 2008 · 1 comment


After four years of attempting to clarify the definition of “Internet applicant” the EEOC said they have been unable to reach any agreement on a clear definition with three other agencies, so they are now saying the definition in the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (the one they were trying to clarify) is good enough! Well thanks for all the hardwork! They have concluded that “the precise definition of the term ‘applicant’ depends upon the user’s recruitment and selection procedures. The concept of an applicant is that of a person who has indicated an interest in being considered for hiring, promotion or other employment opportunities. This interest might be expressed by completing an application form, or might be expressed orally, depending upon the employer’s practice.” Well thanks a load!

The OFCCP has done a better job of definining Internet Applicant. It’s definition is:

“An Internet Applicant is defined as an individual who satisfies the following four criteria:

  • The individual submits an expression of interest in employment through the Internet or related electronic data technologies;
  • The contractor considers the individual for employment in a particular position;
  • The individual’s expression of interest indicates the individual possesses the basic qualifications for the position; and,
  • The individual at no point in the contractor’s selection process prior to receiving an offer of employment from the contractor, removes himself or herself from further consideration or otherwise indicates that he or she is no longer interested in the position.”

So the solution to this dilemma is to adopt a procedure similar to the OFCCP’s definition, adapt it to what works for you and then be CONSISTENT with it. First, only accept resumes or applications when you have an opening. Secondly, have minimum qualification that must be met before someone can proceed. Thirdly, make any preliminarily “qualified” applicant express further interest by filling out an application. This will eliminate the resume broadcaster. If someone wants to seriously be considered for a position they will do so.

Hopefully this will cut down on the number of applicants you have to track and will make life a bit easier on the ol’ HR department.

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