· Features

Your own people could be your best hire

The days of having a job for life are long gone. Research has indicated that on average people will have seven careers in their lifetime. While the need to move on to a fresh challenge isn’t surprising, are some organisations missing a trick?

Armed with the knowledge that people will want to move on and try new careers, could organisations be doing more to keep them by recruiting from within?

Research carried out by Cornerstone OnDemand across Europe found that over three-quarters of organisations (77%) understand that internal recruitment is critical; however, 54% do less than a third of their recruitment from existing talent. 

It’s important to have a clear understanding of what internal recruitment actually is. Ultimately, it’s a review of all current employees to see whether any have the skills, experience or qualifications to fill existing vacancies within the organisation.

While internal recruitment is not new, it can be a challenge to do because of the complexity of moving an employee across an organisation and training them in a new role, taking into account performance management, succession planning and training.  

Changing mindset

For some, internal recruitment is a totally new mindset. In many instances, this means asking managers to let their best people go.

Cornerstone’s report Your Company’s Got Talent, found that fear of losing a top performer was cited as the biggest barrier to internal recruitment. However, this is a short-sighted opinion and the focus really has to be on the bigger picture.

It's a fact of life that people will change careers and managers need to decide what is worse – losing a star performer from a team or the organisation itself.

In many cases, long-standing employees can be important to organisations in terms of culture or skills and also represent a sizeable investment from a training perspective. On average it costs £30,000 to recruit a new employee due to the cost of lost output and logistical costs of sourcing and onboarding them. Therefore, if there is a way to reduce the cost to the business, the organisation should explore it. 

Granted, internal recruitment will cause some disruption in the short-term but in the long-term the benefits far outweigh these in terms of the opportunities it can present to employees, such as career development and helping an organisation position itself as an employer of choice. Also, it sends out a strong message about employee retention and how passionate the organisation is about holding on to its people.  

Interestingly, the research also highlighted that HR professionals felt they experienced technological as well as social and professional barriers to internal recruitment.

Sixty-nine percent of respondents stated that they relied on simple job posting systems to hire internally, even though more that 40 per cent thought a dedicated planning system was a must-have due to the efficiencies it offers, especially in terms of reducing time taken to fill a vacancy. Technology needs to be seen as an ally to internal recruitment and help to speed up the process of getting the right people in the right roles. 

Making the most of your people

With organisations spending on average £2,550 per employee per year to develop their people’s skill sets, it does beg the question why an organisation wouldn't try to keep those skills in their own business and profit from them.

While it’s inevitable that people will move on at some point in the future, making sure it’s not too premature is key in terms of experiencing the benefits of developing your people. Internal recruitment can help with this. 

The research found that internal recruitment is seen as an investment in the future, creating a deeper understanding of an organisation’s people and what makes them tick or move on.

Interestingly, countries across Europe have differing attitudes; the UK seems to be more interested in engaging and retaining people than any of the other countries surveyed; France is looking to improve employee development with internal recruitment; and the UK and Germany focus more on the short-term impact of internal recruitment on recruitment costs and time to fill positions than France and Italy.  

Internal recruitment as a future focus

People are always going to change careers and jobs, and short of locking them in the office, this can’t be avoided. However, employers can be flexible with their people and help them grow and develop by providing them with the opportunity to try new roles and careers within their organisation.

This will provide employees with new challenges and experiences, keeping them engaged and motivated, whilst helping organisations to keep great people and be more strategic in terms of their recruitment. After all, good people are hard to come by, so why let them go?

Vincent Belliveau is senior vice president and general manager EMEA, Cornerstone OnDemand