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Why internal hiring matters

Neel J Shah
December 19, 2022

They say you shouldn’t worry about things you can’t control, and in fairness, pandemics, interest rate hikes and global recessions are somewhat out of our hands. But as the economy continues to slow down like a drunken tortoise, we thought we’d look at one way to ‘recruit smart’ – and that’s internal hiring strategies.

Embrace internal mobility

It’s always tempting to think that your next great hire is some knight in shining armour, riding over the hiring hill. But rather than searching (and paying expensively) for external candidates, what about looking within?

In a landscape where hiring freezes have become the norm, the importance of hiring internally is not just a nice idea – it’s an essential strategy. As one researcher notes in this LinkedIn blog: “If you’re not allowed to hire from outside, you now have to find people inside for critical roles.”

The article goes on to recommend setting up a dedicated internal mobility programme, and lists the following benefits compared to hiring externally:

  • It takes less time and money to source (and saves on relocation costs);
  • It allows for faster onboarding and ramping up;
  • It means you know that the candidate is aligned with your mission and vision;
  • It also means you know exactly what a candidate’s recent performance has actually been.

To illustrate the benefits of internal hiring, the blog bestows upon us a sexy horizontal bar chart:

How to make internal mobility work

If you’re sold on the idea that internal hiring is the way to go, here are some simple steps for how you can support your company’s internal mobility programme. Namely:

  • Keep your teams up to date about open roles (and who to contact) through your comms channels. This could include Slack, your internal job board and company emails.
  • Speak to your recruitment colleagues about shifting the focus away from external candidates towards internal talent.  
  • Consider hosting an internal job fair (alongside your HR team) where internal employees can learn more about open roles, and hopefully feel comfortable asking questions.

Understandably, when you’re making hiring decisions in a busy organisation, it’s hard to see the wood from the trees. But by looking internally, you might find a talented trunk or two.

If you’d like to read more on this subject, there’s a useful Paddle blog with some actionable strategies.

Use the big freeze to fine-tune your operations

Times of economic uncertainty present an opportunity not just to think about internal hiring, but internal processes overall. Just because you’re not hiring at a million miles per hour doesn’t mean you have to sit there watching the tumbleweed blow, and a hiring pause is a great time to work on your operational to-do list. 

“I am using this time to help improve hiring processes [and] remove bottlenecks we found while moving so fast,” says Marc Hamel, Senior Technical Sourcer at Meta AI in this SeekOut blog. “Equally (and most fun), I get to learn more about what the teams I’m supporting are building, what tools are they using, and how they are using them.”

Any period of recruitment down-time is the perfect opportunity to assess your tech stack and think of ways to transform your candidate experience. Here is a to-do list from the aforementioned blog, and for some further reading, they’ve compiled a handy guide to developing a short and long-term talent acquisition strategy:

  • Check user logs and contact inactive users to be able to reassign available licenses.   
  • Configure your ATS and set up essential reports and metrics.   
  • Fine-tune your interview process to provide a better candidate experience.   
  • Evaluate if current tools and systems will be able to evolve with your needs.  
  • Sign up for demos with new vendors to stay up to date on the latest tech innovations and compare your current solutions.

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