Hiring for a new or recently opened position can be a complicated and stressful process.
A lot of effort goes into attracting, vetting, interviewing, and ultimately securing a candidate for the job. Even after all that, sometimes you end up with a candidate who isn’t a good fit, and the process starts all over again. It’s time-consuming and costly, and when you’re hiring a stranger, it can be a crapshoot.
Internal recruitment, on the other hand, takes the guesswork (and much of the cost) out of the hiring process. It’s a hiring strategy that helps you avoid many of the pitfalls of traditional recruiting and fill your vacancies much faster. That’s why it’s important to look within your organization as much as any other recruiting channel—you could have fully qualified, talented, and reliable candidates just a few desks away.
If you’ve struggled with traditional hiring in the past, it may be time to build an internal recruitment process. Take a look at the four biggest benefits of this strategy, and see if it could help your organization.
#1 You Already Know Internal Candidates
External candidates for a job come with a significant amount of risk.
Even when they come highly recommended from reliable sources, there’s still a chance that they’re not going to measure up, stick around, or fit the culture. According to a CareerBuilder survey, the average cost of a bad hire can be as much as $11,000 in small businesses (fewer than 500 employees) and up to $24,000 in large businesses (more than 1000 employees).
Mis-hiring is a common—and expensive—problem, and many companies have higher turnover rates as a result.
Even the best interview questions or the most thorough reference checks can’t always solve this problem, as it’s hard to get a feel for how someone performs without actually putting them to work. In many situations, the only way to truly put their performance as an employee to the test is to give them the job and put them on the payroll. And if they don’t meet expectations, you have yourself a mis-hire.
Hiring internally doesn’t carry the same level of risk. While you may never have seen the given employee doing that specific job before, you have seen that employee work within your organization. You have firsthand knowledge of how they perform, how they fit into company culture, how they handle conflicts and problems, and so on, which means you can be confident in whom you’re hiring.
#2 Internal Candidates Already Know the Company
Likewise, internal candidates already know whether or not they like the company—they’ve already decided whether or not it’s worth sticking around. If they’re applying for an internal position, it’s usually a sign that they’re willing to invest more career time into your organization. Otherwise, they would be applying for jobs elsewhere.
This means you’re less likely to have to replace them soon after hiring because the job, the team, or the organization wasn’t what they expected.
It also means you’ll spend less time on training and onboarding because the candidate is already familiar with some or all of the systems they’ll be using in their new position. (Note: We said less time on onboarding, not no time on onboarding. It’s still important to onboard your internal hires!)
#3 Internal Candidates Are Easier to Find
Recruiting externally requires a great deal of searching. Putting lines in the water via different channels can be tedious and time-consuming. You may have to sift through dozens or even hundreds of applications, just to find a small handful of candidates that might fit. Or worse, you may not attract any applicants and therefore never find the right candidate.
In-house recruitment, however, can be much easier.
You can broadcast the open position to the whole company in minutes if you choose; then, interested employees know where to take their resume and information if they want to apply. While you may still see some unqualified candidates and have to do a little sifting, your options are usually far better, and the applications come in with much less effort.
#4 In-House Recruitment Boosts Company Loyalty and Engagement
Most importantly, internal recruiting is crucial for morale and engagement.
Your employees want opportunities for growth, learning, and progress. As they continue to work for your organization, they will be looking for ways to move up—to increase their status, to better their pay, and to expand upon their current talents and responsibilities. Hiring from within your workforce is one way to provide such opportunities.
Hiring is an important part of an HR professional’s job, and doing it right takes a great deal of effort. While some external hiring will always be necessary, taking the time to build an effective internal recruitment process can really pay off in the long run.