First of all, keep in mind that even if you eventually filled the position with an internal candidate, OFCCP may still expect you to show proof that you listed the job with the Employment Service Delivery System (ESDS) since you started out considering external candidates at the onset. The Equal Opportunity Clause under VEVRAA, which sets forth the mandatory job listing requirement, specifically states that the exception for jobs filled internally “does not apply to a particular opening once an employer decides to consider applicants outside of his or her own organization.” As far as best practices go, it is advisable to keep records not only of your external applicants but also your internal applicants. This way, you would be able to show a timeline indicating when your internal applicant expressed interest in the position. Thus, it would be advisable to have the employee apply to the job opening. As for including the external applicants in your applicant pool, OFCCP recommends that contractors include them in the applicant pool for this position, even if it will show that no one was hired for this job, and notate it stating that the successful candidate for this job came in internally.
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.