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The Challenges of Internal Hiring

Newsletter • volume 1 • number 9

In his book, Control Your Own Destiny or Someone Else Will, General Electric CEO Jack Welch says, "Companies in the 90's have to find a way to engage the minds of every single employee. If you're not thinking all the time about making every person more valuable, you don't have a chance."

Management Team Consultants, Inc. has observed that in an effort to make the best use of their most valuable resources ­ current employees ­ companies are shifting their hiring focus from external to internal candidates. It is becoming clear that this shift is not without problems. Poorly handled internal interviews can frustrate and disappoint employees, resulting in disgruntled staff and even in higher turnover when frustrated people decide to seek opportunities elsewhere.

To identify specific concerns and needs, Management Team Consultants, Inc. surveyed selected clients about the most pressing issues in the internal selection and hiring process. Seventy-three percent (38 out of 52 companies) responded to our survey questionnaire. Sixty-three percent of respondents rated their overall internal selection and hiring process to be a problem. Twenty-six percent of that group consider the problem of "great concern."

The survey respondents had the following major questions:

How can managers successfully evaluate co-workers' abilities to do a new job? For instance, managers need to know how to ask for and evaluate behavioral evidence of employees' skills and to conduct objective, in-depth interviews with people they already know.

How can managers give constructive feedback to employees, and, when necessary, reject them in a positive, professional way? Employees want to know where they stand after an internal job interview. Managers must be able to provide positive, useful feedback about an employee's job readiness ­ including specific reasons why the employee is not considered right for the job.

How can employees prepare themselves for internal interviews? Employees need to know how to prepare a career development plan, appraise their skills and abilities before an internal interview, and present themselves well in the interview itself.

To help companies address the concerns identified in the survey, Management Team Consultants, Inc. is now developing and field testing a new seminar for managers and employees. If the survey implications are correct, this new program could have a significant impact on your company's ability to retain and make the most of your valuable human resources.