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The Right Way to Recruit an Internal Hire

By Maurie Backman - Nov 15, 2018 at 9:19AM

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Hiring internally can be tricky, so don't blow it.

Identifying and attracting talent is easier said than done, so if you're in the process of trying to grow your team, you might face some challenges in that arena. If you're not having much luck finding outside candidates to fill your open positions, another option is to seek out folks from within your company.

There are certainly benefits to hiring internally. After all, the people who join your team will already be familiar with the way the business works, thereby limiting the time and resources you, as a manager, will need to sink into the training process. That said, recruiting from another team within your company can be tricky, so here's how to go about it the right way.

Two men in professional attire having a discussion.


1. Talk to that person's manager first

The last thing you want to do is poach an employee from another team without giving their manager the courtesy of a discussion beforehand. If you have your eyes set on a particular worker who you're convinced would be a good addition to your team, talk to that person's manager prior to taking action, and see what they have to say about it. Maybe that manager will agree that the move you're proposing is good for the employee involved, or maybe that manager will ask you to back off. Either way, you must have that conversation first to avoid damaging your relationship with that manager -- and your reputation, at that.

2. Make sure the role is really a good fit

If you're going to pull someone at your company away from their team and onto yours, you'll really need to first make sure that the position in question is a good fit, and that the employee in question really has the skills needed to excel in it. Otherwise, you could wind up in an awkward position and that employee could wind up miserable. Therefore, take the time to understand what that employee is capable of before putting a true offer on the table. That could involve having an introductory discussion with the employee in question, or getting some intel from their manager and peers.

3. Talk up the role, but don't pressure that person to take it

Maybe you're convinced that a valued employee on the data team would be a great addition to your marketing crew. But as excited as you might be about the prospect of onboarding that person, it doesn't mean they will want to switch roles. It could very well be the case that that employee is happy at present and isn't looking to rock the boat, so while it's OK to talk up the role you're looking to fill, be prepared to have your offer rejected, and get ready to accept that decision graciously. You shouldn't pressure someone to come work for you, because if you do, that employee might quickly come to harbor feelings of resentment.

Hiring internally is a move that can work out well, provided you go about it the right way. Be respectful of everyone's feelings throughout the process, and with any luck, things will work out well for all involved.

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