Make Internal Hiring Work For Your Company

hiring psychology
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Liz Strikwerda

Content strategist and corporate blogger (2000+ posts). Her work has been featured on G2's Learning Hub, Human Resources Today, Better Buys and over 500 business websites. She plays bluegrass mandolin and enjoys sailing her catamaran and hiking in the red rock wilderness of southern Utah. Connect with me on LinkedIn

Internal hiring can help solve 4 common recruitment challenges:

  1. It takes too long to fill open positions
  2. It’s hard to find candidates with the right skills
  3. Some new hires aren’t a good cultural fit
  4. We are spending a lot on recruitment

All hiring managers know that internal recruitment is faster and cheaper.

Let’s discuss why.

First off, you’ve got a head start in the process. You’ve done a background screening. Checking references is easy because they’re just down the hall. Many tasks in the onboarding process aren’t necessary the second time around.

Internal hiring is not without its drawbacks.

4 Potential Disadvantages of Internal Hiring

  1. Resentment among employees and managers
  2. A productivity lapse in the position vacated
  3. If the organization lacks diversity, internal hiring will enforce the status quo
  4. Limited innovation and new insights

Create an Internal Hiring Process

How do you prevent the problems listed above? A carefully-designed policy will keep everything transparent and equitable. Then you will gain the most benefit from your internal hiring efforts.

Define the Goals of Your Internal Hiring Policy

Articulate your company’s dedication to employee career advancement. Explain how internal hiring fits with your career paths program. Describe the reasons why its important to follow the policy. Outline consequences for not following the rules.

Internal Hiring Process Integrity

Address the following in your policy:

  • Do you require hiring managers to post a job internally before looking outside the company?
  • How will you advertise the position so everyone has a fair shot?
  • Are all employees allowed to apply?
  • Is there a minimum tenure for eligibility?
  • Can managers invite employees from other departments to apply?
  • Do applicants need permission from their manager to apply?
  • Should you use an outside agency to evaluate internal candidates to minimize bias?

5 Tips For Successful Internal Recruiting

Companies who use the following practices experience the most success.

  1. Track internal applicants with your ATS the same way you use it for outside applicants
  2. Communicate frequently with internal applicants
  3. Give non-selected candidates feedback so they understand how to be more competitive next time around
  4. Screen internal candidates just as carefully as outside applicants
  5. Tailor your job description for
    • You will be able to explain the job requirements as related to current projects.
    • Your internal applicants have inside knowledge that can help them determine whether they are a good fit for the position.

Maintain a Workforce Skills Inventory

Keep employee profiles up to date. It’s a systematic way to match open positions with in-house talent. Remind supervisors to update profiles after every performance review.

Include hard and soft skills. Identify skills that don’t relate to their current position.

Your HRMS can create a skills report. It will show your workforce’s abilities organized by skill. This can help you determine which positions are a good fit for internal posting. Align it with your yearly hiring plan.

Consider the following skills/credentials:

  • Job goals and interests
  • Languages spoken
  • Education (certifications, degrees, areas of study)

What is Internal Recruiting?

Internal recruiting is identifying and inviting current employees to accept another job position within your company.

Types of Internal Recruiting

  • Promotions: When an employee is promoted to a higher position
  • Location transfer: When an employee relocates to another department or office
  • Inter-departmental transfer: When an employee assumes a similar level position within their department
  • Temporary-to-permanent: When an intern, temp, or part-timer assumes a full-time, permanent position
  • Contractor-to-employee: When a 1099 independent contractor becomes an in-house employee

Consult our How To Hire Your Next Employee series for guidance on hiring operations and policies. We explore each step in detail—from job descriptions to offer letters.

By Liz Strikwerda

Simplify HR management today.

Simplify HR management today.

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