A new position has opened up, and you have 2 options: either hire from the outside or look inside your organization for your next star player.
The latter is a practice known as internal recruitment, and according to the Harvard Business Review, is only considered “an important source of people to fill vacancies” by 28% of talent acquisition leaders today — to the detriment of many organizations. External recruiting, after all, is costly. And according to the same HBR report, outside hires take three years to perform as well as internal hires in the same job. Whether internal hiring takes the form of promotions, transfers, or the moving of temporary employees to full-time positions, organizations that determine different ways to successfully implement an internal recruitment process fill vacant positions in less time for a lower cost.
The advantages of internal recruitment should come as no surprise to the seasoned HR professional. After all, your existing employees have already been vetted and hired by your recruitment team (or third-party recruiter) and withstood the test of time. Hiring from inside brings with it a certain level of surface-level confidence. But let’s dig deeper.
External recruitment is a time-consuming and costly process, from posting on external job boards and social media pushes to the meat and potatoes of the actual candidate interview and evaluation cycle. With candidates that are already part of your organization, you get to entirely skip this step.
In addition, you have the advantage of thorough insight into your potential new hire’s work history, from current salary to past performance reviews and background checks. This makes finding the right fit for the position, from culture to experience level a faster, and more seamless process than starting with hires outside the organization.
Successful onboarding is both important and rare.
Only 12% of employees think their organization does a great job with onboarding, yet those with a strong onboarding process enjoy 82% higher hire retention and 70% more productivity from their employees. This is all to say: if your current employees have made it through your organization’s onboarding process and stuck around, it’s no small achievement.
Not only will you save the time of completing tedious paperwork, explaining the basic functions of your healthcare or payroll, or setting expectations, but you’re also ensuring a greater level of comfort for both the “new” hire entering the role and their hiring manager.
As an existing employee, they’ve already navigated your company culture and made connections. Even if this new role is entirely unlike their current one, this established comfort level will ease the transition, and their knowledge of the company will help them understand how the role fits into the larger picture of the business.
As previously mentioned, hiring is expensive, and onboarding is time-consuming. By reducing and/or eliminating both, your organization saves money. From external recruiters and attending job fairs to the initial training and onboarding of fresh faces, the cost of external hiring adds up quickly.
When an organization announces the decision to hire internally, they’re sending a clear message to their existing employees: we see your potential. Internal hiring means that an organization actively seeks to enable career growth, and not just allow employees to perfunctorily perform the duties of a role for a few years before moving on.
This fosters the positivity and trust in a workplace that will gain an organization a loyal workforce over time. And not only will your employees think more highly of you, they’ll speak more highly about you to those outside the organization, paving the way for better hires down the road.
With all of these benefits, you might be asking “why wouldn’t I hire internally?” Well, there are few potential drawbacks to keep in mind when it comes to hiring from within:
Having clearly established the advantages and drawbacks of recruiting internally, let’s take our attention to its actual execution. While you’ll want to have a somewhat established process (or at least a few key steps — which we’ll get to in a moment), it’s important to recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all method for internal recruitment due to a variety of reasons.
From pre-existing team dynamics that differ from team to team, to the technical or experience level required for a position, the complexities of internal recruitment means that your process needs to have a degree of built-in flexibility for it to function.
But a good process is still a solid starting point. Before you begin looking for internal hires, take the time to craft an internal hiring policy that determines the following:
In addition to adhering to a general, pre-arranged process, here are a few general tips to make sure you avoid the common pitfalls of internal recruitment:
If your organization isn’t taking advantage of the full potential of internal recruitment, begin changing that today by taking a look at our top-rated recruitment software.