HR must be aware of the complications of internal hiring to avoid redundancy

There has been a significant increase in UK companies hiring people internally since the pandemic started. In fact, according to LinkedIn, between April and August this year, internal hiring increased by 20% compared to the same time last year.

Over the next six months, 31% of employers said they’d focus on enabling employees to move to different roles while another third said the most important priority is reskilling and upskilling staff.

This is all good news, yet it’s important for employers to bear in mind that complications can easily arise when there is any talk of changes to employee roles – even if they are positive ones. The issue is likely to be exacerbated too, if employers are making redundancies or other changes alongside internal hiring.

Redeployment can be highly beneficial for employers, not least in retention of knowledge, mitigating the risk of losing key people, as well as saving redundancy or recruitment costs, but it’s not as simple as creating new roles and making them available to staff.

From an employee’s perspective, when their company goes through any major change they may initially feel disbelief, shock or anger. They won’t know what will happen to their role and how that will impact their home life and finances. They may feel concern about changes to who they work with, their workload, whether they are right for new roles or whether they’ll lose their job entirely.

Redeployment managed well means employers can benefit from a smooth transition, so employees understand their worth and skillset while being more likely to consider new roles and feel positive about being retrained. Those who aren’t rehired are supported to find new roles externally, all of which supports business goals and protects employer brand.

If redeployment is not managed well, however, employees are likely to feel confusion and doubt, which impacts motivation and productivity, adding to organisational difficulties.

To fully benefit, employers need to invest time and resources to help the transition, not least creating and delivering a solid communication and support programme, ensuring a fair and unbiased re-hiring process and ensuring appropriate reskilling and upskilling opportunities.

It’s important to consider all factors carefully. For instance, at an early stage of a redeployment process, employees may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of a new role.

In fact, they might find it difficult to recognise how their experience and skills translate into anything different than what they are used to. On top of that, applying for a position when they may know who their competition is for the role may also prove complex. Employers may need to encourage people to apply for new roles then support them so they get more interest and uptake.

Support can take different guises. Employees may appreciate help to identify and articulate transferable skills, knowledge and experience. This will help them build their CV so that they feel confident in applying for internal vacancies.

Indeed, providing guidance at the interview stage increases the success of a redeployment programme. Coaching employees on how to effectively present themselves, their experience and transferable skills is ideal.

When employers support all their people through change – those who are directly and indirectly impacted – it means each is better able to engage with the process and respond with more motivation, commitment and productivity.

A good redeployment strategy that focuses on all employees – those who are directly and indirectly impacted - allows an organisation to focus on moving forward more quickly and decisively.

Rhys Moon is commercial director at outplacement and redeployment service provider Renovo.