Hiring from the Inside: A Second Look at Your Internal Applicant Pool
Let's talk about an applicant pool that's so close to you it's practically starting you in the face. I'm talking about your internal applicant pool otherwise known as, your employees. It's pretty easy for a company to take this specific pool of applicants for granted when in fact your employees are not only your closest most readily available applicant pool, but they can also be your best applicant pool.
I often hear from companies' things like "we hire from within" and "we promote from within", but just saying you do that, is very differently from proactively hiring internal applicants.
A lot of the time there is this mindset of if an employee wants to apply, they'll apply. I'm here to tell you that's not all there is to it. HR professionals tend to have a belief that there is not a lot they can do to impact the outcome when in fact the difference between being average, and extraordinary is how proactive you are at driving the end result.
When it comes to your internal applicant pool, being proactive is pretty easy, and will result with you not only having more applicants, but also better applicants for your jobs.
What makes internal applicants so great?
One thing we talk about a lot when it comes to hiring is the potential for employee turnover. Employee turnover is defined as the number of employees who leave an organization and are replaced by new employees. We worry about this because a high employee turnover rate can be very harmful to your company when it comes to training and productivity amongst other things. When we take a step back and look at the reason employees turnover its not just because they're not good at their job. In fact it usually has very little to do with job skills, education or knowledge, but more to do with culture fit, values and dependability.
Culture fit, values, and dependability are extremely important for an employee to be successful and provide value to a company, but unfortunately those three skills are incredibly difficult to judge by reading a resume, or engaging in a 30 minute interview. The great thing about internal applicants is that you already know they are a good culture fit at your company, understand and have similar values as your company, and have proven to be a dependable employee. Even if your current internal applicant doesn't have the skill set, the pervious experience, or the education or the right knowledge to do the job, we already know they're a good fit for the company and are dependable and most likely willing to learn in order to perform well in their new job position.
Check how to encourage more internal applicants to apply:
So how do you go about encouraging more internal applicants?
1. Communicate with Your Employees
If you want to hire from within, communicate better with the job seekers, also known as your employees. Don't just assume that they will know you are hiring. When you have a new job opening up, send a quick company wide email letting them know the position details and that you're giving them an opportunity to apply first!
2. Shorten the Job Application
You shouldn't be asking your employees to go through the same long job application process as you would an outside candidate. Chances are you already know a lot about this person, so stick to asking the absolutely necessary questions for their job application.
3. Be Willing to Train Internal Applicants
Remember, we've learned that the most important thing for a successful employee it isn't that they come in knowing how they do the job, rather knowing that they're a good culture fit, dependable and consistent. When you know those things, its much easier to train someone on how to do the job.
Take advantage of the unique opportunity that comes with promoting from within your company and let them take a test run at the job. Give them a few days to try out the position and see how it works for them, something that you wouldn't be able to do with an external applicant.
4. Define Out the Career Paths
Look for potential jobs that would prepare a person for higher level jobs within your company. At ApplicantPro we focus on the fact that a high percentage of our hires start on our support team, and then move up into different positions within our organization. Because we know this is the career path that works for us, we then hire into support with future career paths for the employees in mind. Even if we don't tell them that this is our vision for the employee, we still might hire them in support and then later try to transition them into our product or sales teams.
In this tight labor market, you need to be looking for applicants everywhere but looking within your own company first is going to serve you well for many reasons. You'll be able to hold on to your current employees that you love and that have already proven themselves loyal, and dependable. You'll also be getting the most value out of each employee as you move them up through your organization.
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