The Best Recruiting Strategy You've Never Used

Guest Contributorby Julie Harrison | Posted | Talent Acquisition

The Best Recruiting Strategy You\'ve Never Used

Okay, so maybe you have used it. But most organizations that I’ve been acquainted with haven’t. Or, at least, not beyond a basic email out to all staff advising of a new job posting.

That’s right; I’m talking about enabling internal talent mobility so that you can recruit from within. And why is it the “best” strategy? Because no other strategy will deliver an ideal candidate with:

  • No lost time: recruiting, screening, and interviewing takes time. Time that you likely don’t have to spare when a key role becomes open. And today, hiring takes longer than it ever has, with the average interview process now taking 23 days, up from 13 days just four years ago. And this time rises substantially depending on the title of the role since, as example, it takes an average of 55.5 days to fill a senior vice president role.
  • No hiring costs: beyond the costs of the recruiter’s time, there’s advertising, management time spent interviewing, and onboarding and training costs. Plus, external hires tend to be paid more than internal hires – 18% more, according to one recent study.
  • No culture risks: As any recruiter can tell you, fit can be a tricky thing to hire. It’s really difficult to actually “know” a culture, until you’ve spent time within it, and similarly, individuals during an interview process might behave differently in a regularly work day. A misfit is expensive. But unfortunately common, since the average company is losing 1 in 6 of their new hires each month for the first three months.

Plus, hiring from within is great for employee morale -- employees witness that their effort and loyalty is valued.

Enabling internal talent mobility

But what does “internal talent mobility” actually mean? While it would be nice to think that posting a job for internal consumption is all there is to it, internal mobility is effective when there’s an integrated strategy that has support from the top.

What we’re talking about is succession planning across the entire organization – not just at the executive or leadership level. Trust me, I know this is no easy affair. Just getting succession planning started at all can be quite a challenge. But that’s what we’re talking about here. And when you consider what’s at stake – your retention rates – the investment really makes sense.

Adopting an integrated approach

Just as performance management is transforming from a “once and done” annual effort to an ongoing series of discussions, so too is career management. Both of these transformations involve recognizing the employee as an asset and actively engaging them in the process at hand.

Gone are the days of using a separate portal for employees to access resources related to managing their career. Now, companies are actively encouraging internal mobility within their organizations with tactics that are integrated within all areas of talent management, from learning and development, to succession planning and performance.

Getting starting with three easy steps

Like any meaningful endeavor, it can seem overwhelming to get started. There are, however, some first steps that you can take to spur on internal discussions around internal career paths.

1. Talent Profiles

As part of your onboarding process, encourage employees to populate a talent profile with key skills, interests, and short- and long-term career goals. Next time there is an open role, managers can search the internal profiles to see if there is a fit within the existing employee population. (An example of how a hiring manager can compare talent profiles is shown in the image below using Halogen’s TalentSpace™ platform.)

Comparing profiles

2. Job description profiles

Another tactic that you can use is to allow employees access to all of the corporate job descriptions. That way, employees can review the qualifications and competencies that are considered ideal for their desired future role. Transparency is key to enabling talent mobility, and opening up job descriptions, while just a beginning step, is certainly a helpful one.

3. Mentors and coaches

Often there are just as many employees that are eager to mentor and build their own leadership and coaching skills as employees that would like to work with a mentor. You can allow both types of employees to self-identify and then match them up accordingly. For greatest success, it is a good idea for both parties to establish some basic guidelines for their mentor-mentee relationship.

If you’re interested in these and other tactics for integrating career management into the day-to-day discussions of your workforce, join my colleague Hawley Kane and me for an upcoming webinar. Details and a free registration link are below.

Employee Career Management

Learn how to inspire and retain your employees through career management!


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Employee Career Management

Learn how to inspire and retain your employees through career management!


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