Q: My employer routinely recruits from the outside of the company, without giving internal employees the opportunity to apply for available positions. I am tired of it. I would like to know about internal opportunities before others find out about it. What’s your opinion?
A: In most cases, it is a good practice to encourage internal employees the opportunity to explore available positions within a company. After all, most company leaders would prefer to retain talent within the company structure rather than have that talent look outside the company. There are times when it might make sense to recruit for new hires outside the company though. Some reasons may be:
1. The employer wants to bring in a fresh perspective, perhaps even from a competitor.
2. The company feels like no one internally is qualified. This is often easier to assess for a smaller company.
3. The company is looking for a specific expertise (e.g., a certain level of competence in a new software program or a specialized clinical expertise which is not available internally).
4. The position may be an entry-level role.
I can understand your frustration however. Especially after a period of economic distress and limiting hiring activity, many employees are eager to see new opportunities posted internally. Posting a position internally sends several messages to the employees, including:
1. We are hiring. We are alive. We are doing ok.
2. The career growth of our employees is important to us.
3. We want to retain talent.
4. Even if no one is qualified internally, perhaps an employee may know of candidates outside the company that may be suitable.
As a general rule, I fully support the posting of internal positions. However, there may be times when there are business reasons that support considering external talent. Lastly, there also may be instances where an internal candidate is qualified and could be promoted into an available role.
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Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.
Cindy Atoji Keene is a freelance journalist with more than 25 years experience. E-mail her directly here.
Peter Post is the author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business." Email questions about business etiquette to him directly here.
Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.
Tracy Cashman is a partner and the general manager of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.
Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.