The struggle for talent: Why growing your own could be the solution

As employers increasingly feel more confident about their business prospects* post-lockdown, many organisations have upped their recruitment efforts. But instead of spending arduous amounts of time and resources on external hiring, identifying and growing your talent internally may be the solution.

Here are four reasons why it’s time HR and hiring managers embrace internal recruitment.

Faster results and better ROI

As the talent market becomes fiercer, the recruitment process will take longer and be more expensive. And, even when you’ve had a job offer accepted, an inefficient onboarding process can put successful candidates off.

The process for recruiting internally, on the other hand, is more cost and time effective. No going through external recruitment agencies, no sifting through hundreds of CVs, and far less time spent conducting lengthy interviews trying to get to know the candidate. Instead, HR and managers can promote vacancies to their workforce, either by talking to employees directly, sending out a mass email or posting an announcement in communal areas or on your online HR portal.

And because they already know the company, its culture and its people, internal recruits are more likely to hit the ground running and get settled into the new role quicker than an external hire.

Boosts employee engagement and performance

To keep employees engaged and productive, businesses need to create an environment where staff feel valued, encouraged and sought after by internal leaders.

Employees would feel more engaged and motivated if they see a future in their current workplace. Internal candidates who have been rejected for in-house opportunities in preference to an external recruit are more likely to disengage and quit shortly after. But rejected candidates would be more understanding and trusting if they see a colleague get the role and move up the career ladder. Seeing other people’s progression in the same organisation can be motivating and spur them on.

Where possible, HR and hiring managers should encourage employees to apply for vacancies and provide appropriate feedback if they aren’t selected.  This will help employees focus on what they can do to make a difference for themselves, and your organisation. The best HR software will help you have a better outlook of the skills of your employees and help to keep on top of performance reviews.

While you won’t find ideal candidates internally all the time, your current employees should have the chance to pursue these opportunities. Of course, external recruiting still has its benefits, but failing to even consider existing employees in favour of external candidates is guaranteed to work against you.

Increases employee retention rate

The ‘war for talent’ isn’t just about sourcing new employees with the right skills but also holding onto the ones that you currently have. Research by Linkedin showed that 70% of employees are ‘passive job seekers’ and that 33% of employees rate career growth as their number one motivation to explore job opportunities outside their current employers.

It’s therefore essential that you foster career advancement and provide opportunities for employees to grow and enhance their knowledge, skills and experience.

Helps to build your employer brand

If you are genuinely focused on helping employees grow and develop with you, you’ll find they’ll be happy to share their experiences with others – either through the careers pages on your own website, on sites like Glassdoor or by acting as an ambassador for you at recruitment-led events.

Spreading the word about your company in this way ensures you’ll become more appealing as a potential employer, which will help your company attract the best external talent in the future.

Exploring internal recruitment in your organisation

Encouraging employees to apply for vacancies requires buy-in from different parts of the organisation. To decide whether you should hire from inside or outside the company, here are some steps to consider:

  • Meet with the management team to explore the pros and cons of your external recruitment activities.
  • Gather key stats – such as your historic recruitment costs, the time it takes to fill vacancies and retention rates, and availability of key skills in the external market – to help inform the conversation.
  • If skills gaps in the workforce are identified, consider if investing in training or mentoring programs could work as an alternative to recruitment. Make sure your career and succession plans are up to date.
  • If time to fill is an issue (e.g., when replacing those that are progressing through the company), then maybe it’s worth buddying up with a local university or college to help you find your future stars.

There will be occasions when hiring internally is not the appropriate solution, and you’ll have to set your sights elsewhere. But, if you’re looking to gain an advantage in the war for talent, then it’s time to ensure you really are nurturing the resources you already have.

*https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/work/trends/labour-market-outlook

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