To Hire from Inside or Outside – That is the Question

imagesThe market during the downturn provided significant challenges for employers when hiring. Conservative decision-making became widespread, particularly in the form of narrow sector focus and an unwillingness to ‘risk’ transferable skills or experience, seeking the comfort of market expertise. Downsizing within organisations called for restructuring processes where employees had to compete with each other by interview for roles within the new business structure. How can these challenges be overcome in a recovering but ever changing market place.

Ultimately, we must respond to the changing dynamic of the market and look to exploit the opportunities that arise from it – just as hirers become less risk-averse, so do prospective candidates and this provides opportunity to attract candidates with real potential. Recognising potential is key for all companies striving to keep pace with this rapidly changing, increasingly complex world.

The argument for hiring from outside because people from different backgrounds can bring in new perspectives and opinions that will challenge the existing and sometimes stubborn organisations is strong, however promoting from within presents the argument that the inspiration it gives to other insiders helping to keep your talent pipeline strong and motivated.

When hiring from outside you’re forced to write a proper job-spec, consider a larger pool of candidates, grill them in well-structured interviews and conduct in-dept reference checks. This isn’t as easy with internal candidates who are already your colleagues and friends, who will naturally ask ‘aren’t my years of contribution and performance evidence of my qualification?” ‘don’t you know me well enough after this time?’ which in all probability is true but to make it a fair playing field everyone needs to go through the same rigorous process.

Start by defining the profile of the ideal person and consider a wide pool of both insiders and outsiders. To identify the best you need to recognise the people who have the right motives, qualities and potential to help you excel. You need to get past the polish to hire the best candidate. Using role-play for real-play workplace scenarios allows you to get to know each candidate beyond ‘canned’ answers because they’re having to react in the moment allowing you to find the right person that both fits your company culture and can refresh your business with new ideas.

There are many challenges when hiring, and anyone who strives to lead from good to great knows the importance of getting things right at the root which is the people. Focusing on hiring for insatiable curiosity and the insight to see connections, to achieve greatness in building and transforming companies that remain at the forefront of society is the key to success. Start from a fair playing field and consider the best people from both inside and outside, surround yourself with the best by seeking out potential because this is what will keep you at the forefront of this recovering but ever changing market place.

Published by Carmel O' Reilly

Carmel O’ Reilly: WorkLife Learning Practitioner & Writer Author of WorkLife Book Club, Your WorkLife Your Way and The School of WorkLife book series. Created to help you manage your WorkLife Learning. Blogger & Podcaster: Telling people’s powerful stories about WorkLife challenges & successes Founder of My guiding statement is to help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, passion, purpose and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes that are accessible to everyone.

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