Internal Recruitment Methods

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Internal recruitment is the attempt to fill job openings with current staff, rather than with outside applicants. An efficient and cost-effective method of recruiting, it nonetheless can carry risks and costs of its own. On the plus side, it can reduce training costs (when the position to be filled draws upon existing expertise and the experience of the in-house staff reassigned to the posted position), stoke employee morale (in terms of dangling advancement opportunities), save time and money otherwise required for advertising and screening, and provide incentives for current employees to see and prepare for the "bigger picture" regarding their place and role in the organization.

On the other hand, internal recruitment opportunities can create complacency, negotiation leverage or a sense of entitlement among current employees if the posting is only internal, i.e., not an open competition allowing applications from outside applicants.

Moreover, it can insulate an organization from fresh perspectives and infusions of alternative skill sets and operational paradigms by perpetuating a work-culture climate, mission, policy and procedures that, although adequate, are not optimal.

While internal recruitment is not right for every business or every position within a business, it can be an effective way to encourage employees to stay with your company long term. Internal recruitment can be done through an in-office listing of available positions, or simply by evaluating those in positions directly below that which is available.

The benefits of hiring within are plentiful. The potential for advancement keeps employees from feeling stagnant and stuck within their current role. It is also a great way to foster employee loyalty to your organization. When workers feel that there is room for advancement they are less likely to begin looking elsewhere for better opportunities.

In addition to these benefits, your organization is able to reduce the cost of new hires-such as expenses measured in time, energy and money for background checks, screenings and required training. You can be spared having to spend time calling references and hoping you are getting an honest depiction of your candidate, as they will likely be familiar to you already and will have an employee file to reference. By taking the most qualified individuals from different areas of your business into supervisory roles you are creating a working team with a vast and practical knowledge of all branches and levels of your company without requiring any additional training.

However, when choosing a candidate to step up to a supervisory role it is important to evaluate the situation and be sure it will not cause animosity in the work environment. For this reason promoting to alternative divisions may be necessary. Another caveat is ethical: If you know that a candidate is being fast-tracked internally, consideration should be given to not wasting the time of outside applicants when the in-house employee is virtually certain to be hired. Of course, in some instances this may be unavoidable if there is a legal requirement that the competition for the job be open, as is generally the case with civil service positions. On the other hand, open competition helps prevent in-house complacency and pressure of ratcheted-up demands on the part of current employees being vetted for the job.
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