Recruiting Internal Candidates: Is It a Case of Better the Devil You Know?
Mindset provides sourcing and selection services to our clients. Our clients most commonly use us because they recognise that we are usually better at selection than they are; meaning that they can concentrate on what they are best at, growing their businesses.
Enlightened managers recognise that to get the best people for a position they must consider all possible candidates, both internal to the company and external.
Internal candidates, at first glance, can look like the ideal candidate, but commonly, they carry a lot of baggage. They tend to have unrealistic views of themselves and their capabilities, yet they are still highly valued by our clients in their current positions. Internal candidates may feel they have a right to the role.
Mindset will usually handle internal candidates by having them apply for the role and then putting them through the same detailed selection methodologies that external candidates are put through. This enables Mindset to make positive, objective recommendations on which candidate is the right person for the job, not the most convenient.
The common positives and negatives of internal candidates follow;
|Candidates know the culture, products and/or services of the organisation, meaning fast ramp-up into the role.||Can be entrenched in the ways of doing things, and resistant to change. This is especially so in transformational projects when new heads with new ideas and ways of doing things are important.|
|Are well known to the company’s management, “better the devil you know”.||Are well known to the company’s management. No one is perfect, if someone has been in a role for a while their colleagues know their strengths AND weaknesses (which will likely be focused on more)|
|Can start in the role quickly, does not have to give notice, move cities etc.||Leaves another hole to be filled, which may prove to be even harder, especially with the prior occupant still involved.|
|Often can be less expensive than external candidates.||If you are under-paying an employee (compared to market values) then they are readily headhuntable, something becoming increasingly common as the talent shortage bites.|
|Convenient, easy solution.||Convenient does not mean they can do the job!|
None of the above means that internal candidates should be ignored. Far from it, but they should go through the same stringent selection processes to ensure that they CAN deliver the expected results in the role.
In my next post I’ll take a look at how to manage unsuccessful internal candidates and prevent them from becoming disengaged and a distraction to your business. In the meantime, I’d love to hear how your organisation handles applications from internal candidates? Do they go through the same processes as external candidates?