About Availability


  • What is Availability?
    • How Availability is Calculated in BalanceAAP / List of Sub-modules
  • Understanding External Availability Components
    • Why U.S. Census Information is Important
      • What is the Current Census Data Source?
    • What is a Reasonable Recruitment Area?
    • About Census Occupation Code Matching
  • Understanding Internal Availability
    • Feeder Job Considerations
  • About Factor Weights
  • List of Related Reports

Learn about the Availability Calculation

What is Availability?

Availability is a calculation that compares the composition of the likely candidate pool with the composition of your organization's workforce to ascertain whether women and minorities are adequately represented. Since these candidates can come from both external and internal sources, Availability is comprised of two calculation factors:

  • External Availability (Factor 1)
  • AND

  • Internal Availability (Factor 2)

Weighted calculations for Factor 1 and Factor 2 are considered together in an AAP to establish how many qualified minorities and women are "available" for jobs at your organization.

How Availability is Calculated in BalanceAAP / List of Sub-modules

BalanceAAP offers an array of tools to support the plan preparer, from building and weighting Availability components to outputting the final Incumbency versus Availability analysis. Accordingly, the Availability module takes you through each step, in the following order, as shown in the side navigation menu:

  • External
    • Recruitment Areas — Define a Reasonable Recruitment Area (RRA) for each Job Group (or by plan).
    • Census Coding — 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.
  • Internal — Identify and apply weight to "feeder" jobs that serve as a pipeline to other positions.
  • Factor Weights — Assign weight to the relative importance of Factor 1 versus Factor 2.

Quick Tip: Because performing the Availability analysis will take some time and attention, feel free to return to this current Help page as you work through the steps. The module-specific articles are also accessible from the Help Table of Contents, via the link in the Help header.

Each of these components are defined below.

Understanding External Availability Components

Why U.S. Census Information is Important

This U.S. Census Bureau captures responses from the American population about demographics and occupation, collecting the information in an "EEO Tabulation" (for short). To support the External Availability calculation, balanceAAP is loaded with this demographic data set, which is organized by:

  • Defined geographic regions
  • AND

  • Occupation code

Links to Federal Resources:

What is the current Census Data Source?
All newly created plans will use the EEO 2014-2018 ACS Tabulation Data set (or EEO Tabulation for short). Therefore, under Create Plan / Step 5, the default setting conforms to the appropriate 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 a geographic area from which your company recruits. As appropriate for your organization's recruiting and hiring practices, each RRA may be tailored by the Job Group.

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)

BalanceAAP also supports the customization and blending of areas.

About Census Occupation Code Matching

Census Occupation codes form the bases for determining how many people in the defined Reasonable Recruitment Area(s) have the requisite skills for jobs at your organization. Therefore, each Job code/Title at your organization must be matched to a Census Occupation code so the proper External Availability statistics can be pulled.

Understanding Internal Availability

As positions become open at your organization, the Internal Availability analysis looks at the presence of women and minority candidates within your organization who are qualified for potential movement into these jobs.

This task area involves:

  • Identifying “feeder jobs” for a Job Group by Job Title/Code or Job Group.
  • If multiple feeders are identified for the Job Group, weighting the relative importance of each identified job in providing qualified incumbents.

Feeder Job Considerations

A feeder job acts as a "stepping stone," offering internal candidates a pathway into a higher-level Job Group, when a suitable position opens. Although this movement typically occurs through advancement, or promotion, some organizations may also consider lateral moves, or transfers, as feeder pathways. If multiple jobs feed one Job Group, weighting can be applied to reflect their relative contribution to likely placements.

For the calculation to be performed, the feeder job must be staffed during the plan year. In determining feeder jobs, organizations typically rely on current (and historical) promotion data, along with examining their promotion practices.

About Factor Weights

In determining the total Availability result, Factor Weights represent how much emphasis is assigned to:

  • Factor 1 — External Availability

  • Factor 2 — Internal Availability

When weighted and considered together, the two factors will produce an estimate of overall Availability by Job Group for comparison to your organization's workforce. The resulting INCUMBENCY VERSUS AVAILABILITY report will alert you to any underemployment of minorities and women.

Ultimately, the PLACEMENT GOALS report will serve as a guidepost for filling open positions where underutilization is present, during the upcoming plan year.

List of Related Reports

In addition to AAP-required reporting, balanceAAP outputs several underlying Reports to serve as Availability checkpoints along the way:

  • Required in the AAP
  • Supporting reports
    • BEST UTILIZATION RULE (Available in Factor Weights)

For some descriptions and samples, download the: Client's Guide to AAP Reports.