How Recruiting Internally Makes Employees Feel Unvalued

Posted by Eric Putkonen on 02/18/2016 in Recruiting articles |
Thank you to Thomas Leth-Olsen (CC BY 2.0)

Thank you to Thomas Leth-Olsen (CC BY 2.0)

I am a major supporter of promoting from within and careers tracks and such.  I think it is a great thing when people grow within the company and stay for years working their way up the chain.

But we are also likely disenfranchising other employees and making them feel unvalued and without hope of a future with the company.  This all happens through our job requirements and follow up (or lack thereof).  As recruiters, we need to be aware of how the requirements might exclude and coach hiring managers about this.

I will refer to my own experience for an example story.  I am a recruiter with about 15 years experience and I have managed people within my own side business (hire, fire, mentor, performance assessment, etc.).  I watch for Recruiting Manager opportunities within the company I work for, but every position I have seen the last year or so (3 or 4 openings) requires 2 or 3+ years of prior recruitment management experience.

I don’t have prior “recruitment management” experience and when I spoke about this with managers and executives I was simply told there were others internally that do have that experience…and my day will come (someday).  We have been hiring many new recruiters and some of them have prior recruitment management experience.

QuestionSo riddle me this, if newly hired recruiters continue to regularly have that experience and you have long time veteran recruiters on staff that don’t…how will the veterans (I am not the only one) ever be considered if the minimum requirement is always to have 2 or 3+ years of prior recruitment management experience?

Eventually, you will see the more recently hired recruiters getting promoted over the veteran recruiters who have been with the company for years.  How do you think the veterans will feel?  How long before the veterans lose hope of having a future with the company beyond the role they are in?

This experience has made me feel for all the internal employees who are trying to get promoted.  This experience has made me question the requirements presented by hiring managers and push back on my hiring managers when they tell me they want to promote from within and ideally would like an internal applicant.

As recruiters, we need to make sure it gives internals who have been there for years a shot at the promotion.  Otherwise, we are hurting the relationship we have with our longest-term employees.

If the requirements always screen out the same veteran employees, you must have a proper system of follow up and mentoring to help them gain that experience so they might be considered in the future.  Otherwise, there is no option to those employees but to leave the company if they want to get that experience.  This is a huge loss to the company if they are good employees.

We should even perhaps ask the internal applicants (during our conversations with them) how often they look for jobs internally and typically what requirements they are typically missing.  We should be thinking of ways to help them qualify for more jobs within the company.

Hiring managers may not even be aware that their own requirements are excluding the internal employees they would like to promote.  Many times I have talked hiring managers out of requiring a Bachelors degree…only to find the internal applicant (or even external applicant) they wanted to hire in the end did not have a  Bachelors degree.

Thank you to Tim Green (CC BY 2.0)

Thank you to Tim Green (CC BY 2.0)

How would they know without the recruiters – who are supposed to understand and know the talent pool – letting them know and coaching them on what to do?  Likewise, as recruiters, we need to gain a better understanding of the internal talent pool.  We need to be able to speak knowledgeably about how certain requirements may exclude certain long-time employees who could be a good fit and really want the opportunity.

We need to look for ways to create career paths / career tracks that would include (at times) the people normally excluded.  Without options, long-time employees may just move on in order to gain the experience they are lacking or move to another company willing to take the chance on hiring them for a similar position without that one requirement.

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  • Hi,This is really a great blog post.We,also think that the question if a company should recruit internally or no is very problematic.

    • Eric Putkonen says:

      Thank you for the comment.

      I think companies should recruit internally, but when doing so you need a mechanism in place to work with the people who may be repeatedly screened out. You need to make systems where they can be considered as well…or at least get the necessarily skills and training through work so they can be considered in the future.

      I am asking for a more holistic view and saying as recruiters we should know who is not being considered and why…and letting hiring managers know about it. Hopefully, looking for ways for these internals to be considered in the future.

      I was just questioning the practice of companies who may proudly state that they recruit from within and promote when possible…while perhaps at the same time rejecting very good internal candidates repeatedly without giving them options to be promoted.

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