It seems that all too often, organizations overlook their very best source for outstanding, top-notch talent: their own team of employees. Human resource departments can be so focused on sourcing a new hire with a specific skill set that they forget to evaluate the abilities and gifts of their current internal talent pool.
Don’t focus only on past performance
Of course, it is important to understand an employee’s past experience, skill set and capabilities, but don’t let that determine what kind of position that person might be a good fit for in the near or more distant future. Employees have hidden skill sets and also develop talents and proficiencies over time. Just because someone is a good fit for a specific job today doesn’t mean they will always be happy or effective there. Does your new hire offer strengths or traits that make them not only a good fit for your organization today, but also for years into the future? Can they adapt, learn, change and grow?
Look beyond the resume
The education, certifications, past employment and skills listed on a resume are important for gathering a general snapshot of information about a job candidate. While those things are important, they are not the only key items to consider when hiring or promoting. In addition to education and skills, it is just as important or perhaps even more important for all of your employees to possess boundless enthusiasm, emotional maturity, internal drive and a willingness to learn. These traits make for the best and more flexibly employees you will find anywhere, and these employees will stay loyal to your organization and can be great candidates for alternate future roles within your company.
Make it easy on yourself
If you source talent from within for alternate roles, those employees are already familiar with your company culture, they have been through your onboarding process and they do not need to take time to adapt to your organization’s politics. Some adaptation to a new role is to be expected, but internal hires generally get up to speed faster and are more productive more quickly than external hires. Also, promoting internal employees boosts company morale and employee engagement.
Who truly has a handle on your employee’s strengths and weaknesses, hidden talents and outstanding skill sets? Ask your managers, employee groups or teams to point out dynamic skills or outstanding performance of co-workers. You will find that encouraging this kind of “cheerleading” among employees leads to increased morale and overall improved employee satisfaction and will also help you find those top notch employees that may be the perfect fit for a role you’re trying to fill.
Many organizations have hiring practices in place that make it tricky or difficult to hire from within. In fact some corporate cultures strongly discourage it. But by not looking within when hiring, organizations may be overlooking some of the very best talent available for current opportunities. Human resources departments are tasked with attracting and retaining great talent for their organization. But it is also imperative that HR staff do a little bit of sleuthing and scout for hidden talent within their own organizations when considering filling new positions. You never know what hidden gems may be hidden among your own employees.