Lateral Hiring

Step-by-Step Guide to Lateral Hiring

Published on February 2nd, 2023


What is Lateral Hiring?

Lateral hiring refers to the recruitment process of bringing in experienced professionals from outside an organization, rather than hiring entry-level employees or promoting from within. It is typically used to fill specialized or senior-level positions and can be an effective way to bring new skills, perspectives, and knowledge into an organization.

Organizations seek to hire experienced individuals with interpersonal, cognitive, and leadership abilities required by the company through a lateral recruiting process. It can be difficult for HR professionals because candidates eager to advance their careers frequently demand more benefits and compensation.

The difference between lateral and mainstream hiring is that lateral hires frequently carry with them certain work experience. This suggests that the job candidates under consideration already have the necessary knowledge and skills.

Benefits of Lateral Hiring

  • Bringing in new skills and expertise: Lateral hires can bring new skills, knowledge, and experience to an organization, which can help to drive innovation and improve overall performance.

  • Filling specialized or senior-level positions: Lateral hiring is often used to fill specialized or senior-level positions, which can be difficult to fill through internal promotions or entry-level hires.

  • Improving diversity and inclusivity: By looking outside the organization, lateral hiring can help to bring in a wider range of perspectives and experiences, which can lead to a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

  • Reducing time and resources spent on training: Lateral hires often have the skills and experience needed to hit the ground running, reducing the amount of time and resources an organization needs to invest in training and development.

  • Bringing in outside network and connections: Lateral hires often bring with them a network of contacts and connections from their previous organizations, which can be valuable for business development and growth.

Challenged faced by HRs during Lateral Hiring

1. Lack of Efficiency

Employers who use the conventional method of hiring frequently lack efficiency. A simple resume shortlisting process followed by in-person interviews does not guarantee that the selected candidate is the ideal fit for a certain job position. It can be difficult to schedule interviews around the hiring manager, team manager, and candidates' schedules.

Additionally, the recruiting cycle's cost and duration can increase if the procedure fails to exclude irrelevant profiles. Companies need a strict screening procedure to find the perfect fit because lateral recruitment is typically intended to hire for a post that demands experienced individuals.

2. No Clarity

On a daily basis, hiring managers have a lot on their plates. For them to likewise closely monitor the continuing recruitment in such a situation would be extremely inconvenient. Communication problems frequently prevent leaders from receiving real-time updates.

Due to a lack of necessary alignment among all the involved stakeholders, there appears to be a lack of visibility in the whole lateral recruitment process.

3. No Behavioural Assessment

If there is no way to evaluate the personality and behavioral traits of potential employees, HRs are forced to make decisions primarily on gut instinct, which can be biased in various ways.

Candidates that do not fit the company's culture and values are far more likely to quit within a short time, which raises the cost of recruitment as well. Because businesses lack the resources to choose applicants that are a good cultural match for their company, this casts doubt on the lateral hiring decision.

4. No Capacity to measure Domain Knowledge

Candidates who apply for lateral hiring have certain expertise. Even though their previous projects are clearly listed on their résumé, it might be difficult for HR professionals to assess a candidate's topic knowledge during an interview. Simple aptitude exams on paper wouldn't be sufficient to guarantee the caliber of your hire. Another obstacle to lateral hiring is that employers lack the tools necessary to assess candidates' technical proficiency.

Step-by-Step Process of Lateral Hiring

1. Use Automated Tools

Pre-screening comprises selecting a small number of applicants from a pool of resumes based on the job role. HR bots are streamlining one of the most time-consuming parts of hiring by automating this repetitive and manual task. They are also adding analytics to forecast the suitability and quality of candidates.

In order to save time that HRs could use to do their daily tasks, bots can imitate an HR's job. Similarly, candidates no longer need to wait for phone calls to acquire any job-related updates benefit from bots. Additionally, a lot of time is saved by the chatbot's 24/7 accessibility.

2. Take help of Competency Framework

Organizations can evaluate employee performance and create a positive, open workplace environment by using a thoughtful competency framework. However, HRs must have a detailed job description that includes all the job requirements before developing a competency framework.

You can get professional advice if you run into difficulties creating frameworks for various job roles. A subject matter expert develops a framework after an in-depth discussion with the line manager that combines behavioral traits, cognitive skills, and domain knowledge. These three together make up a competency framework's foundation.

3. Assess Skills

Simulators are crucial in evaluating candidates' abilities and expertise, which helps candidates better comprehend the nature of the job. They enable hiring managers to mark candidates on a list of predetermined factors while saving a significant amount of time and human labor, thanks to their auto-complete functionality.

To evaluate a coder's potential, their method of understanding an issue, and their practical knowledge of a particular language, coding simulators imitate a coding challenge. Similarly for other non-technical roles, you can choose other real-life simulators to assess your candidate. You can either select a test from a library of pre-built ones or create one specifically for your needs.

Case study simulators also give candidates access to actual business problems in a virtual setting. The objective is to gauge how candidates approach the issue and what conclusions they came to based on various assumptions along with decision-making skills.

4. Plan the Interviews

In lateral recruiting, a planned interviewing procedure is essential. The funnel of interviewees at various stages of the selection and recruitment cycle is highlighted, giving various stakeholders a feeling of clarity and direction.

The logistical headache of in-person interviews is further eliminated by the use of video interview tools, and pre-screening employment, which further speeds up turnaround and minimizes costs. Structured interviews are more productive if competency-based interviews come after them.

The competencies, weighting, questions based on behavioral indications, and candidate scoring may all be done by hiring managers with ease. There are fewer opportunities to make biased or subjective judgments because interview questions are matched to the necessary competencies.

5. Make Data-driven Hiring Decisions

Employers now have more options thanks to recruiting decisions supported by data. Employers not only have access to top talent but also to a wealth of talent that can be exploited in the future.

Utilizing data analysis allows for a more focused approach to hiring and choosing candidates. Predictive analysis has the capacity to set out likely outcomes of a specific event, providing hiring managers with better visibility.

SMEs can help develop a better knowledge of lateral recruiting data over time. Once an industry benchmark has been established, candidates' performance on several examinations can be graded based on how quickly they completed each portion and how well they did overall.

The Future

You can take advantage of HireQuotient’s wide assessment library to easily assess the skills and knowledge of your candidates.

To obtain accurate information on your candidate's diverse skill set, remember to focus on the tests you wish to provide and employ other evaluation and research techniques.

The outcomes of their competence assessments can also be used throughout and after the onboarding procedure.

You can utilize a candidate's test results even after you've employed them to identify any skills gaps and monitor their progress over time.

To help your new employee develop in their position and realize their full performance potential, you can go through the findings with them and create a customized training program. Additionally, it demonstrates your appreciation for their abilities and your interest in supporting them as they develop in their new position.

You'll find the hiring process to be easier with HireQuotient. Book a demo today!



Radhika Sarraf

Radhika Sarraf is a content specialist and a woman of many passions who currently works at HireQuotient, a leading recruitment SaaS company. She is a versatile writer with experience in creating compelling articles, blogs, social media posts, and marketing collaterals.

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