The decision of whether to recruit internally or externally is one every hiring manager needs to make when they start a search. Usually that means weighing the skill sets already present on a team and determining whether there’s anyone ready to move forward. In a world of social distancing and remote work, however, it’s no surprise that we’re seeing internal recruitment become an increasingly popular talent trend. While many companies pushed pause on hiring earlier in the year, businesses are beginning to fill their open roles again. Instead of running large and potentially costly recruiting campaigns, they’re looking closer to home. While they’re many reasons to look to your current workforce first these days, let’s run through some of the top benefits of having an internal talent pipeline.
Benefits of internal recruitment
Why would you consider hiring internally instead of externally? External hires can bring new energy and new ideas to your current team. But when bridging the distance is a challenge, consider some of the benefits of looking inward. Hiring from your current employees helps to:
Save time and money: An internal search is often faster than weeding through external candidates applying for a role. Odd are, the hiring manager or human resource professional will know the internal candidates already and will have a sense of how they might succeed in the position. Not having to recruit externally also saves resources if you use a recruiter or leverage paid job postings.
Make remote interviewing easier: Recruitment is currently happening through screens and that raises a whole host of challenges on its own. If hiring managers are uncertain about hiring remotely, looking at their current staff is one way to get around the problem. Instead of interviewing strangers, posting jobs internally shifts the focus to working with known candidates that can decrease the risk of making a hiring mistake.
Create career paths: One thing most candidates ask about these days is what kind of career progression they can expect at their company. Everyone wants to feel like they’re growing and advancing, after all. Hiring internally is a positive signal to the rest of the company that senior leaders are paying attention to the talent already within their ranks. This can jump start company morale and increase employee engagement. It also makes it easier for new staff to see a future at the company that they will want to stick around for.
Jump start trust: Part of the benefits of hiring internally is that trust with a candidate is already established. An employee might be transferring between teams or managers but no one is starting from scratch. There’s a general sense of camaraderie already in place when leveraging internal hires that shortens the time it takes for a team to adapt to new team member.
Cut the learning curve: If you hire an internal candidate, you probably have a good sense of their current abilities and what sort of training they’ll require to be successful in their new job. That can dramatically shorten training or onboarding time as hiring managers can be much more targeted about what they’re passing on to a new hire. An internal candidate is also going to come to a role with a solid understanding of the company, culture, and expectations, again decreasing their start up time. They can find their feet quicker than an external hire and may have an easier time learning the requirements of their new role. This is particularly important to consider when hiring and onboarding in a remote capacity.
Planning for the future
If you want to not only use internal hiring now but also in the future, there are a few strategies you can use to strength your internal talent pipeline. Putting the tools in place now to nurture your in-house talent can help ensure you have the right people for the right roles later.
Identify gaps: When thinking about creating an internal talent pipeline the first place to start is by taking a good look at your current staff and their range of skills and abilities. Gaining a better sense of your employees, their interests, and career goals can help you identify potential to build on. It can also help you highlight any areas of weaknesses in your staff’s skill sets that might benefit from further support or development. Assessments are one way of gathering objective data about the temperament and motivations of your staff that can be a good place to start.
Develop your staff: Once you figure out where weaknesses or skills gaps lie within your current team, take steps to address those challenges. Investing in learning and development initiatives is a great way help your employees continue to grow and develop their talents. Employees like to stay with companies that take their career progression seriously and you may even find that providing development opportunities increases both employee retention and engagement. Developing employees also helps fill in some of those gaps on the team so that employees are ready to move up when positions become available.
Grow careers in-house: By having a plan for internal recruitment, you can build a stronger succession plan for key roles. Knowing you have internal candidates being groomed throughout the ranks and developing important skills allows you to better plan for retirements, turnover, or unexpected disruptions. It also gives employees a clearer view of what their career trajectory will be and what targets they need to hit in order to progress appropriately. Someone who can see how far away they are from their next career step and what they need to do to get there is more likely to stay put than an employee who might not have any idea how they’re doing.
Sometimes the best talent is already on the team
There are many factors to consider when debating between internal and external recruitment. Both have pros and cons depending on your talent needs and both can attract a different sort of talent. Knowing what skill sets you need to propel the company forward and what resource or restrictions your working with is a good place to start for any recruiting search. Plus focusing on internal talent has the added benefit of boosting your company culture and morale while also creating structure within the business that can be used for career tracking and succession planning. Covid-19 is making us all find new ways to looking at old problems and one way the talent industry is adapting is by paying more attention to talent pools which may have been overlooked in the past. If hiring externally is a challenge, take a moment to see if there are any qualified candidates among your current staff. Investing in your existing employees sends a powerful message that candidates will pay attention to, whether their internal or not.