Your next great candidate could be within your own four walls already.
Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver, and the other gold.
If you were in the Girl Scouts, you know that old campfire song by heart. The sentiment may seem trite, but it actually holds a valuable lesson for folks in human resources — appreciating the people you already have is just as important, if not more so, than bringing new people on board.
I should know. My first job at Clearlink, the Salt Lake City-based company where I’ve worked in human resources for the better part of five years, wasn’t in human resources at all. It was in quality assurance. I spent my first four months here listening to and scoring calls on the sales side of our business — a far cry from how I spend my time today as a human resources generalist.
When I switched departments, I may not have known much about new hire paperwork or advertising job openings, but my time at Clearlink had given me something equally valuable — insider knowledge. I understood how policies and procedures were interpreted and followed by the general workforce, and this gave me a leg up. From day one, I was able to predict more accurately how well received a new or modified policy would be and adjust expectations accordingly.
Today, I oversee Clearlink’s employee relations, and I’m convinced that giving current employees with transferable skills the opportunity to advance is the best available option when filling a new position.
Here are five compelling reasons why you should recruit from within:
1. Internal Candidates Are More Loyal
The first and most obvious reason to recruit from within is that your candidate has already committed to your company and demonstrated buy-in. A miserable or negative employee will likely start looking for a new job at a different company, not a different job at their current company. One of the worst setbacks in the hiring world is bringing on a great candidate only to see them leave 90 days later because they’re not the right fit.
2. Internal Candidates Have a Higher “Company IQ”
Employees that are promoted internally have the benefit of already knowing your business structure. In most companies, “business as usual” is anything but. It takes time for a new hire to learn the company culture and performance expectations that make up your company’s particular modus operandi. Not so in the case of an internal hire! A current employees already knows the flow of the business and can jump right into their new role.
When you promote from inside your own walls, the employee already has relationships established. It’s always risky bringing someone new to a team. What if they seem like a good fit during the interview process, but don’t quite jive once they are hired? With a current employee, it’s easy to set up a day-long job shadow to see how they will work with the team, and if their skills and work habits are right for the open position.
3. With Internal Hires, What You See Is Actually What You Get
You don’t always get a clear picture of a person until they’re already working for you. There are a lot of traits that resumes and interviews don’t measure well, and it’s unusual to get an unbiased opinion from a candidate reference. With current employees, you already know what they’re like. You can speak with their current manager to get an honest perspective on their performance, attendance, and conduct. If you see red flags, you can quickly reply with a “Thanks, but no thanks” to the employee, and save yourself some of the time and effort that’s normally required for outside candidates.
4. Internal Recruitment Saves Your Company Money
Promoting from within is an easy way to save your company money — a huge win at any organization. You essentially skip most of the costs associated with hiring a new employee, including headhunter fees, relocation costs, and time and money invested in new hire orientation and training
5. Hiring From Within Helps You Retain Current Employees
Above all else, when you promote from within, you send a clear message to your entire company: you are invested in each employee’s success and career growth. Internal recruitment is one of the most powerful ways to create a welcoming and caring company culture—a daunting task for any company. When employees see others given the opportunity to progress, it results in an overall happier and dedicated workforce.
Personally, I am thankful that I was promoted from within, not only for my person career growth, but because it gave me a deeper understanding of our purpose and vision.. It may be difficult to change the way your organization thinks about internal recruiting, but I assure you: If you take on the challenge, you will reap the rewards.
How has your company benefited from this new recruiting trend? Chime in with your comments below!
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Colbie Burton is a Human Resources Generalist for Clearlink. She specializes in employee relations, leave of absences, and on-boarding new hires. While working for Clearlink, she graduated with a degree in communication from the University of Utah in 2013.