You could certainly add the questions for internal applicants. There is nothing that precludes your organization from surveying internal as well as external applicants for vet and disability status. The more interesting questions is whether you should mix external and internal applicants in applicant reports. OFCCP has never provided any explicit instruction on whether external and internal applicants who express interest in the same position should be included in any data submitted to OFCCP for that position. OFCCP's Internet Applicant rule speaks to the subject of applicants, as does the itemized listing that organizations receive at the start of a compliance review. The words "external" and "internal" appear nowhere as qualifiers in regard to applicant data to submit. However, our experience during compliance reviews, as well as the language surrounding various documents OFCCP has released, suggests that OFCCP expects to receive data on external applicants only when organizations begin a compliance review. OFCCP has generally drawn a clear distinction between "hires" and "promotions." For example, item 18 in the itemized explicitly distinguishes hires from promotions. In its various analyses of personnel activity under Executive Order 11246, OFCCP compares "applicants" to hires. ("Applicants" in this context are generally individuals who meet the definition of "Internet applicant" in the agency's Internet Applicant regulations.) OFCCP rarely compares applicants to promotions, and in our experience on the rare occasions this happens, the agency only compares internal applicants (i.e. employees who expressed interest in an opening) to promotions. The Internet applicant rule itself and the supplementary information that was provided by OFCCP when the Internet applicant rule was released speak to situations where external candidates are being considered for an opening where there will be a hire. Thus, it appears that OFCCP wants federal contractors and subcontractors to compare external candidates, and external candidates only, to hires. This situation has been muddied by responses to frequently asked questions that OFCCP released on the revised veteran and disability regulations. (See especially http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/regs/compliance/faqs/503_faq.htm#Q38.) In its FAQs, OFCCP suggests that the word "hires" means "anyone selected in a competitive process." Thus, "hires" would include both external hires and promotions. This obviously contradicts the language in item 18 in OFCCP's itemized listing, where the words "hire" and "promotion" have very distinct meanings. It also creates confusion as to who should be counted as an applicant when conducting the data collection analysis required by the veteran and disability regulations. Since promotions are "hires" in its veteran and disability FAQs, OFCCP seems to indicate that it wants organizations to report on internal and external applicants together. The bottom line appears to look like this: - For item 18 and other reporting on race, ethnicity, and gender to OFCCP, reports on applicants should probably include only external applicants. - For the veteran and disability data collection analysis, OFCCP may want organizations to report on both internal and external applicants. - While it is not clear that OFCCP's FAQs on what constitutes a "hire" (or an "applicant" or a "job filled" or so on) are an appropriate interpretation of the agency's veteran and disability regulations, it probably makes sense to collect veteran and disability information from internal applicants as well as external applicants. This way, if your organization decides to report on both internal and external applicants in the data collection analysis, you have that data available. The questions of how you count applicants can be a tricky one. As I occasionally note, you may want to run your specific situation by your legal counsel or another professional service provider your organization uses to give insight into your organization's specific affirmative action obligations.
You can use this OFCCP audit checklist to ensure you're doing what is required to maintain OFCCP's regulations including VEVRAA, Section 503, and EO 11246. Or request a demo to streamline your compliance and recruiting efforts.