Leveraging Internal Talent

Julie Shenkman
Posted by

How do companies fill job vacancies in a highly competitive job market? Increasingly, the answer lies with internal talent. Even though more employers turn inward to find the best workers for open positions, human resources departments still face challenges when it comes to the most efficient strategy to make this happen.


Two surveys from 2015 illustrate the need for a comprehensive internal talent strategy. ManpowerGroup determined 38 percent of companies have talent shortages. Meanwhile, the CareerXroads Source of Hire survey indicated 37.1 percent of total hires came from internal promotions. A survey from Talent Board reported that 50 percent of job applicants companies hire already have an established relationship with the company. Yet, nearly one quarter of employers may not truly understand what it takes to find the best talent from someone already within the organization. That's where a talent mobility strategy comes into play.

Start With Assessments

Most strategies begin with assessing how to move forward, and that's very true with internal talent and talent mobility. Talent mobility refers to the placing a company's employees in the best possible positions to optimize an employer's human capital. Firms start assessing talent by distributing surveys for everyone to complete. Employees list their own strengths and weaknesses, and then firms develop questionnaires to assess the personality types and personal goals of each worker. These surveys give employers a concrete basis for getting to know staffers' competencies, skills, qualifications and areas of improvement within a company.

Find Peer Recommendations

Peer recommendations can identify internal talent when supervisors, colleagues and co-workers give unbiased opinions of which internal candidates might perform well in open positions. Team meetings and panel interviews with a candidate's peers help create honest, comprehensive assessments of someone's soft skills, ability to get along with others and what's best for a department as a whole. These conversations also help identify employees who might benefit from training.

Train the Right Employees

Some internal talent may not be ready for an immediate promotion. However, employees eager to learn new skills represent a valuable asset to a company. Rather than spending thousands of dollars in lost man-hours trying to hire someone new as a replacement, companies can offer training to help retain top talent already within the firm. Professional development training, formal classes, seminars and mentorships all comprise viable options for employers who wish to create satisfied workers happy with their jobs.

The trick to this part of the strategy is for firms to give employees incentives for going through training. Tuition reimbursement, additional pay, promotion possibilities and more paid time off are just some of the incentives workers might find valuable.

Internal talent is one of the most important resources employers have in a highly competitive job market. Firms with a formal retention and promotion strategy can lower costs, create happier employees and get an edge on rivals in the quest for higher market share.

Photo courtesy of Chilll_Selectionn at Flickr.com


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch