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Talent – internal v external recruitment

Talent – internal v external recruitment

Posted: 4th August 2021

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      Hi. I’m keen to understand people’s views/practices on inclusive recruitment and also whether you have a strategy of always advertising internally and externally for roles, including if only for a secondment or short term appointment? There’s a balance between developing, retaining, gaining trust and confidence from internal colleague v diversifying talent and the feeling that you deserve the appointment to a new role. Thanks


        Hi Victoria

        I have wrangled with this for years in several organisations.  I have discovered that it depends somewhat on the organisational culture as well as individual perceptions.  The last piece meaning that there is no one size fits all.  There needs to be flex in the policy with some overarching principles. I think you have named most of them in your question. 🙂

        I personally believe that senior roles should be advertised externally for reasons you have named.  However, sometimes that can leave external candidates feeling like they have wasted their time when you appoint the internal person you had been developing up for the role anyway.  Probably not the brand you want.

        Advertising  all positions internally can seem like an inclusive practice, but unless it is followed up with encouragement and support to apply for them, for many women and a number of ethnic minorities, then the dominant group keeps the advantage in an apparently ‘fair and transparent’ process.  We know these processes aren’t, and need some ‘disruption’ to create the change that you are aspiring to.

        Having said all of that, people love consistency and lose trust if they think you are tailoring every opportunity too much.  Keep to your principles. Consider what will work to help with your strategic goals.  Do you need more external input? Have you got enough people developing fast enough internally? Are your managers and people excellent at having conversations about development? If managers can’t do this and people aren’t willing to listen, then you lose the trust and confidence regardless.

        As for ‘short term’, these are often a good opportunity for managers to show their commitment to individual development. Make it an Expression of Interest, and not a full blown selection process, to tip out some of the bias. Be mindful that these opportunities put people in a better place to apply for permanent roles – so apply all of your ‘inclusive’ practice in the process.  Be very clear about what ‘short term’ is because your people will get annoyed if that definition keeps changing.

        Flex for some things to keep your principles and be firm on others to keep trust and confidence.

        Doh!  Long rant…..but hopefully there is something in there that is useful.

        Michelle 🙂

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