Powering Up Internal Mobility: Treat Internal Candidates Like External Candidates!
The War for Talent continues to threaten organizations with unexpected attrition and loss of human capital. To fight this war, companies spend an incredible amount of money on assessment software, internal career sites, corporate citizenship, and learning & development, all with the goal of getting employees to love what they do, where they work, and their career path at the company. It's a tall order! For those that can pull it off, lower attrition rates, higher productivity, and increased internal mobility is their reward.
There is an interesting line drawn in HR between Talent Acquisition and Talent Development departments. One is responsible for finding the employee and the other grows and retains them once hired. While there are many different aspects of these two HR functions, there are also so many foundational similarities. Talent Management needs to apply Talent Acquisition best practices post hire in order to achieve ideal staff retention and growth within the organization:
• The Match – Just like in any good recruiting model, you must deliver content and a value proposition that is interesting to the candidate. Internal employees are no different. They require the same high level of on target engagement. You wouldn't passively leave it up to a prospective candidate to search your job database in the hopes that they would find a posting they like. You would deliver and showcase the exact roles this candidate would want to see. So, make sure the internal staff is being fed updates on any opportunities within the company that match their interests, at all times.
• The Communication – Nothing kills an employment brand more than lack of follow through. Smart companies know how and when to follow up with each and every candidate they touch, which demonstrates appreciation for their time and efforts in applying. This same principle exists for internal candidates. Employees deserve the same level of common courtesy that you would give an external candidate. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen. Companies begin to act like an old married couple that takes one another for granted, and they forget to do the very things that brought them together in the first place. So, employers must always continue to provide proper follow through on any and all inquiries into internal growth opportunities and take the time to personally engage with internal candidates.
• The Courtship – The engagement process to recruit a candidate must go well beyond mere “follow through”. Recruiters need to downright sell and flatter the applicant. They do this by providing frequent touch points and complimentary communication that reinforces their level of appreciation for their interest. Internal candidates need to be sold as well. Since they work there already, the assumption may be that there’s no point in selling the work culture and company benefits. But, recruiters still need to remind candidates of the specific value of working for this company or department. In some instances, there may actually be a point of distinction to be made between departments, and that sell is necessary. Even if there is existing knowledge of the value, hearing it again is always a great reminder and will reflect well on the company.
Simply put, internal candidates should never be taken for granted and given any less of an approach than what you would do for an external candidate. Talent Acquisition and Talent Development should continue to look for ways to share their unique strengths with one another to create ideal continuity for the candidate/employee community.
What other lessons can talent acquisition and talent development learn from each other?