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Internal recruitment: what is it and how can you introduce it to your business?

internal recruitment

For many businesses, internal recruitment is rapidly becoming a popular alternative to the traditional external interview process. Companies are finding that, by investing more in their current staff, they are incentivising the workforce and increasing overall quality of output. However, if not handled properly, internal recruitment can completely backfire and lead to dissatisfied employees. So, what exactly is internal recruitment? And how can you implement it effectively?

What is internal recruitment?

Internal recruitment is when a business hires an existing employee to fill a job vacancy. This can take a number of forms, including:

  • Promoting employees into positions of higher authority
  • Transferring employees across teams
  • Taking on apprentices or work experience candidates as full-time employees
  • Retired employees returning for part-time or advisory work

If done effectively, internal recruitment can be a great way of building a culture of progression and development at your company.

What are the benefits of internal recruitment?

  • Save the time, money, and effort of conducting an external interview process
  • Boost company loyalty and employee engagement
  • Avoid the risks of hiring someone you’ve never met
  • Minimise onboarding time and reduce disruption to the company

While internal recruitment can be an incredibly fruitful policy, we’d advise striking a balance between internal and external recruitment. This helps you to progress employees at your company without suffering from cultural stagnation.

Read more on the advantages and disadvantages of internal recruitment here.

How can I introduce internal recruitment at my company?

The first step to implementing internal recruitment is to develop a cohesive and comprehensive internal recruitment policy. After that, it’s a matter of following these simple steps:

  • Write a coherent job description
  • Advertise the role internally
  • Encourage the right employees to apply
  • Screen the candidates
  • Conduct a balanced, unbiased interview process
  • Provide all candidates with constructive feedback

We’ll be breaking down each of these steps in more detail below, but this is the basic structure that any successful recruitment process, internal or external, needs to follow.

How to develop an internal recruitment policy

You may think the process sounds simple enough. However, drawing up a concrete policy before the process begins will ensure that it’s delivered as efficiently as possible. A successful internal recruitment policy will include:

  • Deciding exactly who will be involved in the crucial decision-making processes
  • Establishing clear regulations for anyone who is overseeing the process
  • Placing limitations on team leaders to prevent them from holding back employee progression, or unnecessarily poaching employees from other teams
  • Deciding the specific tasks and questions for the interview process

Writing the job description

In any recruitment process, transparency is key. That transparency starts with a clear and comprehensive job description. Make it absolutely clear what the job is, what the duties are, and what the benefits of the job are.

Work together with your recruitment team to decide the person specification. The more effectively you communicate the type of candidate you want, the more likely you are to get an optimal pool of internal candidates.

How to advertise a job internally

To make employees aware of a new opening, you can utilise the following tools:

  • Online message boards
  • Email
  • Internal social media platforms

However, you may want to consider how widely you advertise the opening. Sometimes, it can be good practice for team leaders to approach specific employees who they think would be suited to the role. By advertising to everyone, you risk unsuitable employees applying and becoming disheartened and disillusioned with the company when they don’t get the role.

Whichever option you choose, make sure that employees know who to contact if they are interested in applying.

Screen the candidates

Even though you may know the candidates already, it’s important to still carry out a screening process to ensure that they are the right person for the role.

Talk to their line managers about their performance and consult any files that could indicate key performance factors. For example, they could have a history of lateness, or they may have had conflicts with other employees.

Conduct a fair interview process

If you’re not careful, an internal interview process can be governed by bias. Even if it's unconscious, bias towards certain candidates can lead to unrest amongst the workforce. Bias can occur if:

  • The candidate is a member of the interviewer’s team
  • The interviewer and interviewee are friends outside of work
  • The candidate has a very different personality, political stance, or age from the interviewer

Therefore, it’s important to involve a range of people in an internal interview process. Some companies even bring in external recruitment experts to guarantee total impartiality. These people can give a fully professional opinion, as they will have no conscious or unconscious emotional ties to the candidates.

Provide all candidates with constructive feedback

One of the biggest dangers of internal recruitment is that an unsuccessful internal candidate could become disheartened and apply to jobs elsewhere. To ease their disappointment, we’d strongly recommend providing all candidates with constructive feedback after the recruitment process has concluded. Make them aware of their worth to the company and how they can further develop their career in other ways.

You could point them towards relevant training courses, or maybe suggest another role opening to which you think they’d be better suited. Pay rises are also a popular method of incentivising employees to stay at a company.

A recruitment agency to find your next role or candidate in construction, engineering and rail and more | Welcome to PPR Recruitment

If you’re looking for your next profession, whether it’s temporary, fixed-term, or a permanent position, or if you require skilled, experienced, and reliable operatives, PPR Recruitment is your one-stop solution. Give one of our knowledgeable and friendly recruitment experts a call on 01895 80 81 88 for further information on the benefits of internal recruitment. For anything else, contact us online or send an email to info@ppronline.co.uk.