For DirectEmployers, 2021 started in much the same way that 2020 ended – at home. Much to the appreciation of our staff, we continued to thrive in our remote work settings, carrying on with our customer service, product development, and other necessary supporting roles to ensure the Association runs like a well-oiled machine. So many great things happened for our family of brands this past year, and we couldn’t be more thankful for our leadership team, staff, partners, and Members who helped make each accomplishment possible. Let’s look at these achievements in more detail as we close out another amazing year!

20th Anniversary Celebrations

This year was extra special for DirectEmployers as it marked twenty years of business for the Association. While a lot has changed, our mission and values have not. We remain dedicated to helping employers foster diverse and inclusive workforces through compliance with Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), reporting and outreach tools, and so much more. We’re thankful to continue this journey with our industry friends and can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together in the next two decades!


DE Talk Podcast Airs More Episodes

In 2019 we launched the DE Talk podcast featuring engaging conversations between industry experts focused on various emerging HR topics. In the early part of the year, we wrapped up season two with episodes on employer branding, disability, and professional development. Then in the latter half of the year launched season three with intriguing conversations regarding remote work culture, vaccine mandates, mental health, and the She-cession. We couldn’t be more grateful for our podcast guests and for sharing their expertise with our listeners. We still have a few episodes to go in season three, and we can’t wait to share them! Want to know when new episodes are released? Sign up to receive DE Talk emails!

Continuation of Reach Out for Happy Hour

Outreach is still a priority for federal contractors, but making contact with veteran, disability, and diversity organizations can be difficult and time-consuming. Back in 2020, we introduced a new way for our Members to learn more about our partners – through monthly Reach Out for Happy Hours! During these 30-minute Zoom calls, our Members are invited to listen in as a chosen partner explains their mission, employment programs, and resources while answering attendee questions and leaving with a direct contact to communicate with moving forward. In 2021 we hosted twelve Reach Out for Happy Hours with over five hundred total attendees. That’s a lot of connections made – and hopefully a lot of outreach records added to Partner Relationship Manager! Members can view the recordings in DE Connect to learn more about these participating partners.

Recruit Rooster Announces Talent Community

Back in February, our Recruit Rooster flock unveiled a new product – compliance-driven talent community! Developed by fellow DE family brand RocketBuild, this software seeks to increase candidate engagement, increase applicant flow, and decrease the cost to hire – all with OFCCP compliance in mind. While this product is still in the beta testing phase, it is shaping up to be a game-changer for recruiters and talent acquisition professionals alike. Watch this 30-minute webinar to learn more, and reach out to Recruit Rooster for more details!

DE Masterclass: Disability Roundtable Series

February also marked the beginning of the DE Masterclass Disability Roundtable series. Each monthly webinar focused on a specific disability and included a doctor to describe it in detail, an expert from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) to explain appropriate accommodations, and often an individual who has the disability themselves. The panel also included employment law attorney John C. Fox to address any legal issues that arise during the discussion, giving attendees a full-circle look at specific disabilities they may experience within their workforce. We hosted ten roundtables this year with nearly 700 Member attendees – what a great turnout! Members can view the recordings of these sessions in DE Connect or within DE Academy.

DE Academy Relaunch

Speaking of DE Academy, we also relaunched our on-demand learning platform, giving it not only a new look but also a more accessible interface and a variety of new courses. From OFCCP compliance and disability training to sexual harassment and general professional development, DE Academy is your trusted source for continuing education with all courses taught by recognized industry experts – and all at your pace! Learn more about DE Academy, check out our complete course offering, and stay tuned – new courses are on the way!

DE Academy on laptop, tablet, and mobile phone

DEAMcon21 Virtual

In April of this year, we hosted our first-ever virtual Annual Meeting & Conference, also known as DEAMcon. This event consisted of five half-days of learning executed by DirectEmployers Members, industry experts, government officials, and inspiring keynote speakers. We were honored to have OFCCP Director Jenny Yang, disability advocate and actor R.J. Mitte, diversity strategist Torin Ellis, and transmilitary advocate Laila Ireland as our keynotes, each of which left attendees motivated to make much-needed changes in the workforce. While hundreds of virtual conferences took place this year, we went above and beyond to make this year’s DEAMcon experience unique and engaging. To achieve this, we included features such as photo contests and giveaways, swag bags delivered to the attendee’s preferred mailing address, a virtual Demo Hall for networking, live-streamed yoga classes, virtual happy hours complete with interactive games and a mixology class, and more. It’s no wonder our attendees coined DEAMcon21 “the best virtual conference they have ever attended!”

JD Supra 2021 Readers’ Choice Award Winner

As if the month of April wasn’t satisfying enough, our very own OFCCP Week in Review team was recognized as the #1 Author in Government Contracting during the JD Supra 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards! This team, comprised of employment law attorney John C. Fox and DirectEmployers’ very own Executive Director Candee Chambers and VP of Learning & Development Jen Polcer, faithfully publishes the latest news in employment law each and every week. This publication receives tens of thousands of views each year and is read by C-suite executives, in-house counsel, media, government officials, and other professionals across the country. Congratulations to this very deserving team!

JD Supra Readers' Choice Award Recognition as Top Author in 2021

Central Indiana Top Workplace Award

Halfway through the year, we were thrilled to be named a winner of the Central Indiana Top Workplace 2021 Award by the Indianapolis Star. Out of the 89 companies awarded, DirectEmployers ranked 16th in the small business category. We are so proud of our staff and are happy to be recognized for our employee engagement efforts as we work to evolve our company culture in a flexible, remote setting.

Wow! Can you believe these only make up half a year’s worth of achievements?! Stay tuned for part two of this series as we dish on our first in-person conference attendance since before the pandemic began, more product launches, and a few other impressive milestones.

Kacie Koons
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