The Why and How of Internal Hiring in Light of the Great Resignation

Trends like the Great Resignation reveal that employees are looking at pursuing new career opportunities. But what if they could get these new opportunities in their current workplace? Would they then stay?

While the Great Resignation shows that some employees want to get out of the game, we need to look closely to see what this trend is actually saying – that people want to now ‘change’ the game itself. 

Can internal hiring then be the antidote to the great resignation?

While organizations have to identify how to make themselves attractive to potential external talent, they have to make sure that they are retaining the employees they have. 

Internal recruitment thus emerges as a viable strategy to navigate the talent crunch. Every organization has qualified, trained, and reliable candidates just a few desks away.

  • External hiring is time-consuming, often stressful, and complicated. Ensuring a good fit can be a challenge and finding the right resource can be effort-intensive since a lot goes into attracting, vetting, interviewing, and finally selecting a candidate.
  • Internal hiring allows organizations to hire current employees for open positions across the organization. These employees are already aware of the organization’s culture and policies. It is easier to onboard them to new roles and get them to hit the ground running in no time. 
  • Internal hiring also influences employee motivations and productivity as it demonstrates the organization’s intention to reward top talent and augment employees’ professional goals. 
  • Internal hiring is a big positive signal that the organization values the career progression of its employees. Employees also value this attitude and reward the organization with their loyalty since their career progression is taken care of.
  • Internal hiring reduces the learning curve, makes onboarding faster, reduces the time to hire, and also saves costs. It nourishes trust, improves employee engagement, and helps organizations retain the best talent. 

Does internal hiring need a hiring strategy?

Internal hiring is a venerable arrow in the organizational quiver. However, it has to be used right and avoided when not necessary. External hiring is also important since it brings specialized skills and new ideas and attitudes to the table. 

While it might be easier to promote or move someone to a new role internally, it can be influenced by bias and can lead to resentment among others. Moving someone internally also demands organizations to consider the backfill demands. Thus, keeping the candidate pipeline filled also becomes a consideration point for HR. 

When it comes to internal hiring, having the right hiring strategy is as important as an external hiring strategy.

Here’s what the internal hiring strategy should cover:

Develop bias-free processes 

Employee familiarity is one of the greatest advantages of internal hiring, but it can also be a curse. Familiarity can lead to preconceived notions and can introduce bias. Bias destroys the best hiring efforts as hiring bias leads recruiters to select the person based on feelings and not facts.

Eliminating guesswork from the recruiting mix is critical to making the right hiring decisions. As such, to hire the best person for the job, organizations have to become more data-driven in their internal hiring strategy.

Developing the capacity to identify the right employee with adroit skillsets becomes an important aspect to drive bias-free internal hiring. 

Develop skill mapping capabilities 

To drive robust internal hiring outcomes, organizations have to capably map out the open positions across the organization. Following this, they have to develop an error-free way to map the employees with the right skills and the potential to grow in these roles. 

Having data-backed intelligent processes that employ technologies such as AI for skill and potential identification help organizations filter the best internal candidates without bias and at scale. The employees can be ranked and scored against open roles to determine career progression opportunities and ensure good internal hiring decisions.

Analytics drive opportunities 

Organizations today can leverage comprehensive recruitment platforms powered by data and analytics to improve their recruitment outcomes. Just like in external recruitment, recruitment data can be analyzed and sliced and diced to evaluate the effectiveness of the hiring sources, determine the cultural fit, conduct diversity analysis and pay gap analysis to select the most well-suited internal candidates for open job roles.

These platforms give organizations the opportunities to fix diversity and pay gaps and make the workplace more equitable. It also demonstrates organizational commitment toward taking actionable steps to improve the outcomes of DEI initiatives.

Proactive stance 

Developing the capability to mobilize internal resources or enable job rotations is becoming critical given the accelerating pace of change, high attrition levels, and growing demand for bias-free hiring at speed and scale. 

As such organizations cannot depend on manual processes alone. Technology-enabled, AI-powered recruitment platforms give organizations the throughput and velocity they need to create robust internal and external hiring processes, eliminate bias from hiring, and improve succession planning by mapping internal candidate profiles to job roles better. 

Plugging into the HRIS or employee database, the right recruitment platform ensures that recruiters get the candidate who is the ‘best fit’ for the job by assessing a plethora of customizable parameters. Internal hiring decisions can then be made with greater confidence.

Detailed analytics on recruiter usage statistics further ensure that any bias is identified and proactively eliminated. Such processes also help in building the organizational morale as employees know that favoritism or biases do not factor anywhere in the recruitment process.

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In Conclusion

The post-pandemic hiring recovery continues on its tumultuous trajectory in 2022 as well. Trends like the great resignation have added further complexity to the recruitment landscape that has been coping with fierce competition, hiring demand, and a complete overhaul and alignment of employee experience with candidate expectations.

Given the growing talent shortage, organizations are contemplating if they should ‘build’ their workforce from within or ‘buy’ the skills from the external job market. Whether to build or buy is a useless debate since now organizations have to do both – the question is to identify under what conditions you do so and how to do it well every single time.  

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