External Availability (Factor 1)

JUMP TO: Recruitment Area Wizard — an automated process


  • Introduction to External Availability tabs
    • What is the Current U.S. Census Data Source?
    • What is a Reasonable Recruitment Area?
  • Add a Recruitment Area to the System
    • (Optional) Change the Default Advanced Options
    • If Standard Area was Chosen
    • If Custom Area was Chosen
    • (Optional) More Reasonable Recruitment Area Data Sources
  • Assign Recruitment Areas
    • Assign a Default Recruitment Area by Plan
    • (Optional) Assign a Recruitment Area by Job Group
    • Edit a Recruitment Area Assignment (by Job Group)
  • Import Recruitment Areas and Census Codes from another Plan
  • Establish External Availability in a Master Plan
  • Census Coding


Establish External Availability by Building Recruitment Areas

Introduction to External Availability tabs

External Availability is the first part of determining Availability. This software task area is comprised of two tabs, as described in this documentation topic:

  • Recruitment Areas (entry tab) — Define a Reasonable Recruitment Area (RRA) for each Job Group (or by plan)
  • Census Coding (article linked above) — Match a Census Occupation code to each Job code/Title in the AAP to establish the number of persons “having the requisite skills” in the RRA.

To support the External Availability calculation, balanceAAP is loaded with U.S. Census Bureau demographic data, organized by defined geographic regions and coded by occupation.

What is the current U.S. Census Data Source?

For plans dated January 1, 2014 and later, the census data source is the EEO 2006-2010 ACS Tabulation Data set (or EEO Tabulation for short). Therefore, under Create Plan / Step 5, the default setting conforms to the appropriate data source.

Note: Older plans in balanceAAP may have been created using the 2000 census data source.

Quick Reminder: Click the Recruitment Areas > [Settings] button, located in the upper toolbar, to display the current Plan Settings for the External Availability (or census data) Source. You can also review other Availability Calculation Settings.

What is a Reasonable Recruitment Area?

A Reasonable Recruitment Area is the geographic area from which your company recruits; and this area may be tailored to an AAP by Job Group, as appropriate. An RRA can be built from the following standard census areas:

  • Place (city or municipality)
  • State
  • Country (or county set, if low population)
  • Core-Based Statistical Area, or CBSA (metropolitan area)

This article also covers custom RRAs, which can be built by combining census areas, or using other data categories (e.g., education) that are available in balanceAAP.

Add a Recruitment Area to the System

Note: If Zip codes or a Drilldown fields are included in the data set for use in determining RRAs, External Availability will open the Recruitment Area Wizard, and the areas will be organized by that field.

A Recruitment Area must first be added to the system, making available for later assignment. Begin by choosing the [Add a Recruitment Area] button from the upper toolbar. From the Reasonable Recruitment Areas menu, click the radio button for:

  • Standard Reasonable Recruitment Area from the standard regions defined (2010 census, including counties, states, and CBSAs)
  • OR

  • Custom Reasonable Recruitment Area combining 2 or more standard regions and assigning custom weights

(Optional) Change the Default Advanced Options

When using the 2006-2010 census data source, Advanced Options will be set to the system defaults, as noted below. Click Show Advanced Options, a link at the bottom of the menu. Then, review the default selections, and make new selections, as necessary:

  • Residence — Includes both employed and unemployed persons, based on where they live (Default)
  • OR

  • Worksite — includes employed people, based on where they live


  • Total US Population (Default)
  • OR

  • US Citizens Only

Quick Tip: If the Show Advanced Options link is not displayed, check the setting for census data source, as outlined below under Review Plan Settings for External Availability. The census data source must be 2006-2010.

Click [Next].

If Standard Area was Chosen

Select the Region Type from the drop-down. If the State drop-down displays, select a State.

Highlight the desired region on the Regions list, and click [Next]. The selected region will display on the Name menu. Review and rename it if desired, and click [Finish].

If Custom Area was Chosen

Select the Region type, and if applicable, select the State name. The Unselected Regions field will be populated with the available regions. Use the [Right arrow] to move the highlighted region to the Selected Regions field.

Notes: Hold down the CTRL key on your keyboard to select more than one region. To remove a region from the Selected Regions field; highlight it; and click the [Left arrow].

To display regions from other statistical areas, revisit the Region Type and State drop-downs. Add one or more regions in the same manner as described above.

Click [Next]. Name the RRA, and Weight each of the area’s regions: Retain the even weighting displayed as the default, or edit each Weight field as desired. (A warning will display if the sum is over or under 100 percent.)

Example: Richland County and Fargo, North Dakota could be combined into a custom RRA. After weighting each region, based on its role in supplying qualified candidates for your organization's workforce, the resulting RRA could be named: “Richland County 60% Fargo 40%”.

Click [Finish].

(Optional) More Reasonable Recruitment Area Data Sources

After clicking [Add Recruitment Area] menu, choose More Reasonable Recruitment Area options. Select one of the topics below; click [Next]; and proceed through the guided menus:

  • Age
  • Earnings
  • Educational Attainment (5 levels)
  • Educational Attainment (6 levels)
  • Industry
  • Other (e.g., NORC Ph.D. data)

Assign Recruitment Areas

Areas that have been added to the system can be assigned in any of your organization’s plans, by accessing one of two sub-tabs in the External Availability > Recruitment Areas tab header:

  • By Plan (Default entry page)
  • By Job Group

Assign a Default Recruitment Area by Plan

On first entry to the By Plan tab, the default Recruitment Area will be set to the United States. Select an RRA specific to your organization from the drop-down.

(Optional) Assign a Recruitment Area by Job Group

On the By Job Group tab, click the Use Default Recruitment Area link for a Job Group to override the default RRA. Choose a different RRA from the drop-down, and Save the selection.

Quick Reminder:: Click [Add Recruitment Area] if the area you wish to use is not displayed in the drop-down.

Edit a Recruitment Area Assignment (by Job Group)

Return to the Recruitment Areas > By Job Groups sub-tab. Using the Recruitment Areas for Job Groups menu, click on a Recruitment Area link. Select another area from the provided drop-down, and click Save. Remember, if the area you want to assign is not displayed for selection, return to instructions above to Add a Reasonable Recruitment Area.

Quick Tip: Areas created by the Recruitment Area Wizard can be made available for selection: Recruitment Area Wizard / Include Wizard Areas in Assignment Menus.

Import Recruitment Areas and Census Codes from another Plan

To bring in Recruitment Areas and Census Coding from an existing balanceAAP plan, choose [Import] from the upper toolbar.

Choose Company, Establishment, and Plan from the drop-downs.

If the source plan is detected as using a different census data source, answer an additional question, regarding whether to translate Recruitment Areas or import only census codes.

Note: This import will not affect any current census codes when they are not present in the source plan.