To Retain More Employees, Hiring Pros Are Turning to Internal Recruiting

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How much focus do you place on internal mobility in your hiring practices? In today’s upended talent market, sourcing candidates from your current ranks can be a powerful way to find the people you need amid the upheaval.

Even prior to the pandemic, more and more companies were seeing the value in recruiting internally. According to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2020 Report, 73 percent of hiring professionals say internal recruiting is becoming increasingly important. Additionally, LinkedIn found that the frequency of hiring internally — e.g., promotions, transfers, and lateral moves — has increased by 10 percent over the last five years.

The report also highlights exactly why internal recruiting has become so critical to employers in recent time: 81 percent of surveyed talent professionals said it improves retention, 69 percent said it can accelerate new hire productivity, and 63 percent said it makes the hiring process move faster.

It’s worth digging a bit deeper into these responses to understand what the increased use of internal hiring means for recruiters — and why internal hiring can be especially valuable when it comes to hunting for sales talent:

1. Internal Recruiting Accelerates the Hiring Process

Seeking internal candidates for your open sales positions is a great way to decrease the time it takes to fill the role. Nearly every step in the process is much faster when you prioritize an internal search.

For example, candidates are easier to find and engage when your talent pool consists of your current workforce, and you already have built-in references you can consult to assess fit quickly and accurately. With internal candidates, you can easily schedule interviews without all the typical back and forth, and if you decide the candidate is the right person for the job, they already went through all the necessary background checks when you hired them the first time.

As a bonus, once you offer the role to a candidate, the hiring manager can work out a transition plan with the employee’s current manager. That way, they may not have to even wait the standard two weeks to start training for their new role.

2. Internal Recruiting Accelerates New Hire Productivity

When you make an external hire, you have to onboard the candidate to both the job and the company. That means they have to acclimate not only to their new responsibilities, but also to the company’s processes, procedures, and culture. With internal hires, you’re skipping half of that learning curve. Internal hires already understand the company’s product, mission, and target clients, and more importantly, they are also well practiced in applying this knowledge to their previous role.

With an internal hire, the hiring manager can focus on training the person solely on the job itself. Because the new hire only needs to complete roughly half of a typical onboarding program, they can start adding value (or sales) to the team in roughly half the time it would take an external hire to do the same.

3. Internal Recruiting Improves Retention

Perhaps the most important benefit of internal recruiting is that it can boost employee retention across the board — not just for those internal hires. Employees tend to be more engaged when their employers make it a habit to hire internally, because they see that the organization is investing in employee growth and offering them opportunities to evolve in their careers. The more engaged an employee is, the more likely they are to stay. When a company believes in and promotes its own employees, the employees continue to believe in the company.

A company that practices internal recruitment at a meaningful rate gives its employees a visible career path, which in turn makes employees feel valued. Employees can keep growing in their roles, and when they’re ready to move on, they don’t have to look for outside opportunities. They know they can take the next step with their current company.

Why Internal Recruiting Is Crucial in Sales

As a sales recruiter, you’re hiring the employees in charge of driving company revenue. For the sake of the organization’s continued success, you have to get the recruitment process right. The longer it takes to source a hire for a sales role, the longer it will be before your company’s revenue can start growing. All of the time you save by hiring someone internally will give you months of new revenue opportunities that an external hire likely wouldn’t have. In addition to time saved, sales reps who already buy into your company’s mission will be more successful at selling your product to customers.

The entire life cycle of hiring, onboarding, and retention will benefit from hiring your sales team internally. Don’t waste any more time without an internal hiring plan.

Karyn Mullins is president of Connect with Karyn on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

By Karyn Mullins