No, Elizabeth, you need not have exactly the same “disqualifying criteria” for both internal and external job seekers – always assuming, of course, that such differences really ARE BASED SOLELY ON THAT STATUS. I hope I’m understanding that you would use as a reason something that was peculiar to that status and not something that could possibly be attributed to/associated with race, gender, etc. Or to deciding that a “basic qualification” that had already screened out external job seekers – and discouraged others -- would not screen out internal job seekers! NOTE: If that’s what you want to do, please ask the question again with some more details so that I can reply to those facts that are different than what I am assuming. That is, I’m assuming that would there be NO difference in the screening questions with respect to qualifications (education, experience, work history, etc.). Similarly, if this is a location/re-location issue, please include that in your question. I’ll try hard to comment on and help you achieve whatever is your lawful objective, but I no doubt could be more helpful with more information. I inferred from your question that you wish to have reasons – and the concomitant disposition codes – for screening out internal job seekers than would not even be applicable to external job seekers. (If my inference is incorrect, please elaborate.) For example, I think most employers have (and properly should have!) "rules" that apply to internal applicants that would, at best, be illogical for external applicants. Since disposition codes must reflect as accurately as possible WHY the job seeker did not rise to the status of "Internet Applicant" or WHY an Internet Applicant did not advance to the next step in the selection process or was not offered the position it may be, in fact, NECESSARY to have some different “disqualifying criteria” – and disposition codes -- for internal job seekers. A contractor might have a rule that an employee must be in his or her current position for at least six months to be eligible for another one. If an employee nevertheless expresses an interest in a vacancy, s/he may be eliminated PRIOR TO any consideration of even "basic qualifications" and thus, not "counted" as an applicant (Internet or otherwise). This is comparable to "rules" requiring that expressions of interest be submitted electronically, or accompanied by a resume; or requiring that an application be completed irrespective of whether a resume is supplied or -- for both internal and external job seekers (notice how I keep NOT using the word "applicants" until they are!) that the expression of interest must be submitted by a specified date. Employers may always establish "ground rules" for the manner in which interest is expressed -- the only imperative is that the rules be applied uniformly for the same job. (Different rules may be in force for different jobs -- such as accepting applications when there are no vacancies only for hard to fill positions – though I discourage that because "pipelines" are a VERY tricky compliance challenge -- particularly with respect to record keeping.) And employers may lawfully change the "rules"/policy/procedure. There must be no discriminatory reason (nor would it be wise to do so in the middle of the selection process for a specific vacancy) and, of course, document, document, document.) Internal are very different from external job seekers in an obvious and very important way: the employer already knows something about their job performance. If you advertise to internal job seekers that "basic qualifications" for the position include, for example, not being under an attendance restriction (or not applying for more than three opportunities at a time, or whatever) you should certainly have such a code(s) to disposition the applications for such employees who apply anyway. Performance appraisal ratings are so likely to be problematic that I would hesitate to make this a "basic qualification" but I would certainly recommend a disposition code to record this as the reason for non-selection (at whatever point in the process that occurs) if that's, in fact, the reason for the denial. (And do please start collecting data to analyze whether there's a statistically significant difference in the ratings of similarly situated men and women and various minority group members!) There may be other ways in which you treat -- or wish to treat -- employees differently than external job seekers, in which case I strongly encourage you to have disposition codes that will record the non-discriminatory basis for that different treatment. Although your question concerned disqualifying criteria, the employer may also treat internal job seekers more favorably than external job seekers. For example, it's perfectly lawful for an employer to post a job internally only before inviting expressions of interest from the outside. Or, to serve its own needs, an employer may give an internal applicant more time to start in the new position than it would be willing to give to a new hire. Whether disqualifying or more favorable, it would be very helpful if your Applicant Tracking System identifies internal and external job seekers for purposes of extracting data for the required analyses. I hope this has been helpful. Please feel free to ask again with more details
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