Published on May 9th, 2023
Human resources (HR) departments typically prioritize external candidates when filling new positions. While this approach often proves successful, it may not be optimal for every role. In such cases, internal candidate sourcing may be worth considering. Although the concept of internal recruitment may appear vague to those unfamiliar with the practice, it involves much more than simply finding a suitable internal candidate. Nonetheless, you may still have reservations regarding the efficacy of this approach, given that most firms prioritize external recruitment.
Both approaches have advantages and should be considered complementary rather than mutually exclusive. Combining both methods is often the best way to secure the most qualified candidates. However, internal candidate sourcing may have unique challenges, and several essential factors must be considered when implementing this approach. This resource introduces internal candidate sourcing and includes fundamental aspects such as advantages, tactics, and useful insights for effectively implementing this approach.
Before delving into the rationale for adopting internal recruitment practices, it is imperative first to clarify its definition. Internal sourcing entails identifying suitable candidates for a new position from among your existing employees instead of sourcing externally. This process may involve selecting candidates from a particular team or drawing from diverse departments to fill the vacancy. This key distinction is the primary factor distinguishing internal sourcing from its external counterpart. While certain variations in approach may be necessary, the primary focus is often on modifying the overall sourcing process to align with internal hiring practices.
According to a recent study by LinkedIn, the prevailing trend among businesses is to adopt internal sourcing practices, with many employing this approach in combination with external recruitment. While internal candidate sourcing is typically utilized for full-time positions, some companies rely on it exclusively. The rationale behind this trend is that internal recruits exhibit higher productivity levels than external hires, resulting in faster revenue generation.
Moreover, internal candidate sourcing carries lower costs than external recruitment, making it a cost-effective and practical option for sourcing suitable candidates. Although there may be some disadvantages associated with internal recruitment, the benefits far outweigh any shortcomings.
According to LinkedIn's 2020 Global Talent Trends:
Although there are similarities between external and internal candidate sourcing, there are also significant differences between the two approaches. As a result, you may feel hesitant about implementing the steps required for candidate sourcing. However, the process of hiring from within is relatively straightforward and can be broken down into a few key steps:
While it may appear obvious, it is crucial to identify the qualities you seek in candidates for the available position and assess whether pursuing internal candidate sourcing will benefit your organization.
Precisely specify the necessary qualifications, competencies, and accomplishments for achieving success in the position to establish unambiguous criteria for eligibility of internal candidates. Subsequently, list the job on the internal job portal of the organization.
Collaborate with your frontline managers and senior leaders to identify eligible and motivated employees from your existing workforce who can apply for the internal job opportunity. This step can be enjoyable and rewarding. Delegate some of the initial legwork to your leadership teams as they have more insight into the workforce and can identify team members who may be ready for a new role.
Developing a plan with your HR team and hiring manager is recommended to effectively communicate the job opening and its requirements to your internal employees. This goes beyond just posting the job on your internal job board. Depending on your workplace, you can use various methods, such as placing notifications around high-traffic areas, sending emails, having frontline managers relay the opening in person, or utilizing official internal communication channels with the help of your internal communications team.
It is common for companies to have eligibility criteria for internal candidates, such as job tenure, job performance, or location. It is essential to communicate these requirements clearly and in advance to prevent employees from feeling disappointed if they are not considered for the role.
In most cases, there will be more applicants than available positions, and some unqualified individuals may apply. Providing a positive candidate experience and maintaining employee engagement by responding to all applicants is essential. Suppose you choose not to consider a candidate. In that case, it's important to have a plan in place for someone from HR or their management team to have a productive conversation with them about the reasons for not being considered and what actions they can take to improve their qualifications.
Although it may be tempting to skip providing updates to applicants during the recruiting process due to time constraints and competing priorities, it is important to resist this urge. Providing timely and consistent updates throughout the process will help keep applicants engaged and productive in their current roles.
Even though it may feel like a small gesture, regular communication can significantly impact company culture and employee morale. Not hearing back from a job can be stressful, so updating applicants can go a long way toward building a positive candidate experience and strengthening your company's reputation.
After finding the ideal candidate and extending the job offer, it's essential to inform the other applicants that they were not selected for the position. However, many hiring teams neglect to do this, resulting in damaged company culture and a loss of trust from employees. Though it may be uncomfortable, it's possible to deliver bad news in a positive manner that inspires unsuccessful candidates to continue investing in themselves. Similar to providing feedback to unselected interviewees, you can also have constructive discussions with all interviewees who weren't chosen, offering advice on how they can improve their skills for future opportunities. These conversations can be highly motivating when conducted with empathy and genuine concern for the individual.
Internal hiring offers numerous advantages that can quickly boost your company and effectively contribute to achieving your hiring objectives.
While internal candidate sourcing has several benefits, certain situations may not be advantageous or even harmful to your team's progress. Here are a few key considerations to keep in mind.
Internal candidate sourcing is different from external sourcing, and assuming so can lead to common mistakes. However, being aware of these mistakes can make them easy to avoid. Some of the most notable common mistakes in internal candidate sourcing include:
Internal candidate sourcing is a cost-effective and time-efficient approach to finding qualified candidates for job openings. However, it should not replace external hiring entirely and can be used with it. HR departments often suggest considering internal candidates before external ones, particularly for time-sensitive projects.
Internal candidate sourcing can be fast and easy, as existing employees are already familiar with the company culture and other employees. If you have upcoming open positions, using internal candidate sourcing can be a valuable option to consider. Our team of experts at HireQuotient can help you to achieve the same.
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