Internal hiring is a life-saving tactic in this tight labor market – especially with the skills shortage in tech and other roles. The benefits are all there – it requires less time and resources, retains institutional knowledge, and helps build a culture of commitment and growth. Yet, Harvard Business Review states only 28% of talent acquisition leaders use internal candidates as an important source of people to fill their vacancies.
We know this figure will change over the next couple years, and other experts in the field agree. Fortune 500 companies are recommitting to internal mobility, and we’ve created our newest guide, 3 Ways to Retain Your Best Employees with Internal Mobility, to help them with that shift.
This blog expands upon one of most important actions in our guide – building a better candidate experience and application process for internal candidates. Internal candidates are a different audience all together, and your recruitment strategy must address that.
What Internal Candidates Want
We’ve said it before, internal candidates want to feel appreciated, so when they are applying for a position, make things easy.
We don’t mean mislead them into thinking they might get the role just because they work there. You of course must find the best fit for the position, regardless of whether it’s internal or external. But don’t just direct current employees to your general career site when they show interest in finding a new position like you would every other candidate. This can be frustrating and may dissuade employees from looking for jobs internally. Simply telling them to sign up for job blast from your current career site misses the mark as well. Organizations have also told us that less than 10% of employees sign up for or visit their main career site, meaning many opportunities go unnoticed by suitable internal candidates. There needs to be a more targeted approach.
Like any type of recruitment marketing, you have to reach the candidates where they are – not expect the best talent to come to you.
Make it Easy
Current employees, especially those with in-demand skills, want an experience that matches what first attracted them to their present roles. That feeling of it being fresh and exciting and feeling sought after.
How can you strategically market to current employees, meet their expectations, and help your recruiting team fill the roles more easily? In this age of technology and ongoing communication, it takes an Internal Mobility Platform, such as Talemetry’s, to bring your internal job board to life. With a trusted platform and partner, organizations can ensure:
Employees get a VIP internal apply process that includes personalized role notifications, a portal where they can see which jobs would be a good fit, and a tool for them to easily express interest in roles.
Recruiters can use AI, machine learning, and automation to better understand employee preferences and career intentions and can identify which employees are looking for a new role. They can evaluate attrition risk and create targeted campaigns to improve retention and proactively source internal candidates with a recruiter mobility database.
As world-known industry analyst Josh Bersin states, internal mobility is not a simple problem. You have to create a development centric culture, where managers know not to stand in the way of career progression, or employees could progress right out of the company.
The Risk – What if They Don’t Get the Job?
Naturally, if an internal candidate doesn’t get the job there could be some hard feelings. They could feel undervalued, deflated, and judged by peers. The goal is to cut those emotions off at the pass. Be upfront from the beginning about the qualifications needed for the job, the hiring process, and if the time comes, why they weren’t chosen for the job.
To avoid hard feelings, give them constructive feedback and steps they can take to be a better fit for a similar role in the future. Create a conversation and listen to their feedback as well. With external candidates you can be less specific, but internal candidates deserve more. For example, if you offer trainings needed for that role or know of programs outside of the company that would help them grow, point them in the right direction and encourage them to persist.
Keep the door open and check in periodically over the next 3-6 months to see how their goals are progressing. Use your tools to wrap up things on a high note – looking towards future possibilities and the company’s interest in retaining them.
Discover how Talemetry helps organizations build personalized candidate — and employee — experiences.