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How to leverage your internal workforce to fill your vacancies

“I made an effort to improve my internal candidate process. The average cost of a hire is $4,100. Why would I spend that money, if I can find the perfect candidate, in my company, for a fraction of that?”

We talked about why it is important to have your processes in place. Today, we are going to dive into your internal hiring process, and how to set it up for success.

When you have a vacancy, it makes sense that you want to fill it quickly. Obviously, you look for the highest quality and the best candidate for the role. You look for long-term success and fit in the team.

So, why look outside for your candidates? You may very well have the ideal candidate for the position already working for you. Successful companies have processes and tools in place to effectively use the internal candidate pools and resources for positions, and very successful companies integrate their hiring practices into a succession management process, that looks ahead, in some cases, years.

Here are 5 considerations to help emulate these success stories and help your organization gear up for performance.

Design a process and procedure

Having a formalized internal candidate process on internal recruitment is the smart thing to do. It creates clarity for all involved: leadership, your HR and recruiting team, and your employees. If your employees know that open positions will be posted on notice boards, your intranet, or an (internal) job site, they know where to look when they feel ready for the next step. When your hiring team and candidates know what to expect during the process, it limits delays. Repetition helps drive a smoother, more efficient execution of the process.

Post as many positions as possible

Not all positions are created equal. And that means that the recruitment approach for positions can differ. Certain roles, such as leadership roles, highly technical or critical positions, may require a different plan. Appoint someone to a role directly and bypass a sourcing period; hire from another company or select a specific individual, or you know that you won’t get the right candidates. But as a role, it is good for engagement, transparency, and minimizing bias, to open the roles for applicants, especially from within.

Set expectations

A process will also set expectations for managers, and employees. It is not uncommon that employees make quick steps through roles. I have seen that in larger companies, and both with entry-level roles and employees, as with experienced professionals. However, think about setting rules around the pace, and sticking to the rules as much as possible. You can state that employees need to be in the role for 1 year or 2 years at a minimum before they can move to the next role. In the first year you learn, in the second year you deliver, and in the third year you excel. It may also be good, especially for roles that have an impact beyond the short-term, to have employees live with their decisions.

But it is important to note that there will be discussions. Especially when the employee is a perfect fit apart from his tenure in the role; if candidates are scarce; or when the employee is very open about his or her desire to move. You don’t want to lose someone because of a rule. But every exception comes at a cost, and in these cases, the cost is other employees being unhappy, and many, many discussions.

Have formal interviews

For a good internal candidate process, ensure you include formal interviews. This is important for several reasons. First of all, you can ask questions that are aimed at the position, instead of relying too much on the current positions, skills, and deliverables. For the internal employees it is an excellent way to get exposure to company leadership. Hiring teams are made up of employees senior to the role, so having interaction with senior staff helps the employee to showcase skills and accomplishments, and for leadership, it helps get a sound understanding of the skill sets of the employees.

And remember: using AskAway’s video tool help with that, by making the process easier and very efficient. In addition, the video recording option will help the organization with lots of first-hand data on the candidates, which can help with succession planning. The notes on a resume come to life when you hear the employee give the answer.

Formalize the internal candidate process as bargaining chip

Apart from it being the desirable and most times, the right thing to do, it can also help the company and leadership’s reputation, and build goodwill. Sometimes companies — and some countries— there is an exception to hire from within. When you deal with employee representation, it can help to agree on a formal hiring process to first look internally, before going out. It may slow down the process because you’d have to look internally before going out, but it may help build, strengthen or maintain an excellent relationship with formal bodies.

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