Pursuing internal recruiting with the advantages mentioned earlier means focusing on current employees and others with previous contact with an employing organization. Friends of present employees, former employees, and
previous applicants may be sources. Promotions, demotions, and transfers also
can provide additional people for an organizational unit, if not for the entire organization.
Among the ways in which internal recruiting sources have an advantage over external sources is that they allow management to observe the candidate for promotion (or transfer) over a period of time and to evaluate that person’s potential and specific job performance. Further, an organization that promotes its own employees to fill job openings may give those employees added motivation to do a good job. Employees may see little reason to do more than just what the current job requires if management’s policy is usually to hire externally. This concern is indeed the main reason why an organization generally considers internal sources of qualified applicants first.
Job Posting and Bidding
The major means for recruiting employees for other jobs within the organization is a job posting system. Job posting and bidding is a system in which the employer provides notices of job openings and employees respond by applying for specific openings. The organization can notify employees of all job vacancies by posting notices, circulating publications, or in some other way inviting employees to apply for jobs. In a unionized organization, job posting and bidding can be quite formal; the procedure often is spelled out in the labor agreement.
Seniority lists may be used by organizations that make promotions based strictly on seniority, so candidates are considered for promotions in the order of seniority.
Answers to many potential questions must be anticipated: What happens if there are no qualified candidates on the payroll to fill new openings? Is it necessary for employees to inform their supervisors that they are bidding for another job? How much notice should an employee be required to give before transferring to a new department? When should job notices not be posted?
A job posting system gives each employee an opportunity to move to a better
job within the organization. Without some sort of job posting and bidding, it is
difficult to find out what jobs are open elsewhere in the organization. The most common method employers use to notify current employees of openings is to post notices on bulletin boards in locations such as employee lounges, cafeterias, and near elevators. Computer software is now available to handle posting and bidding on PCs and intranets.
Job posting and bidding systems can be ineffective if handled improperly. Jobs
generally are posted before any external recruiting is done. The organization must allow a reasonable period of time for present employees to check notices of available jobs before it considers external applicants. When employees’ bids are turned down, they should have discussions with their supervisors or someone in the HR area regarding the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) they need in order to improve their opportunities in the future.
Promotion and Transfer
Many organizations choose to fill vacancies through promotions or transfers from within whenever possible. Although most often successful, promotions from within have some drawbacks as well.16 The person’s performance on one job may not be a good predictor of performance on another, because different skills may be required on the new job. For example, not every good worker makes a good supervisor. In most supervisory jobs, an ability to accomplish the work through others requires skills in influencing and dealing with people that may not have been a factor in nonsupervisory jobs.
It is clear that people in organizations with fewer levels may have less frequent
chances for promotion. Also, in most organizations, promotions may not be an
effective way to speed the movement of protected-class individuals up through
the organization if that is an organizational concern.
Current Employee Referrals
A reliable source of people to fill vacancies is composed of friends and/or family members of current employees. Employees can acquaint potential applicants with the advantages of a job with the company, furnish letters of introduction, and encourage them to apply. These are external applicants recruited using an internal information source.
Utilizing this source is usually one of the most effective methods of recruiting
because many qualified people can be reached at a low cost. In an organization
with numerous employees, this approach can develop quite a large pool of potential employees. Some research studies have found that new workers recruited through current employee referral had longer tenure with organizations than those from other recruiting sources.
Some employers pay employees incentives for referring individuals with specialized skills that are difficult to recruit through normal means. One computer firm in the
Midwest pays $3,000 to any employee referring a specialized systems analyst after an analyst has worked in the company for six months.
However, as pointed out earlier in the chapter, using only word-of-mouth referrals can violate equal employment regulations if protected-class individuals are underrepresented in the organizational workforce. Therefore, some external recruiting might be necessary to avoid legal problems in this area.
Recruiting Former Employees and Applicants
Former employees and former applicants are also good internal sources for recruitment.
In both cases, there is a time-saving advantage, because something is already known about the potential employee.
Former employees are considered an internal source in the sense that they have ties to the company. Some retired employees may be willing to come back to work on a part-time basis or may recommend someone who would be interested in working for the company. Sometimes people who have left the company to raise a family or complete a college education are willing to come back to work after accomplishing those personal goals. Individuals who left for other jobs might be willing to return for a higher rate of pay. Job sharing and
lextime programs may be useful in luring back retirees or others who previously
worked for the organization. The main advantage in hiring former employees is
that their performance is known.
Some managers are not willing to take back a former employee. However, these managers may change their attitudes toward high-performing former employees as the employment market becomes more competitive. In any case, the decision should depend on the reasons the employee left in the first place. If there were problems with the supervisor or company, it is unlikely that matters have improved in the employee’s absence. Concerns that employers have in rehiring former employees include vindictiveness or fear of morale problems among those who stayed.
FORMER APPLICANTS AND PREVIOUS “WALK-INS”
Another potential source of applicants can be found in the organizational files. Although not entirely an internal source, those who have previously applied for jobs can be recontacted by mail, a quick and inexpensive way to fill an unexpected opening.
Applicants who have just “walked in” and applied may be considered also. These previous walk-ins are likely to be more suitable for filling unskilled and
semiskilled jobs, but some professional openings can be filled by turning to such applications. One firm that needed two cost accountants immediately contacted qualified previous applicants and was able to hire two individuals who were disenchanted with their current jobs at other companies.
Internal Recruiting Database
Computerized internal talent banks, or applicant tracking systems, are used to
furnish a listing of the KSAs available for organizations. Employers that must deal with a large number of applicants and job openings have found it beneficial to use such software as part of a human resource information system (HRIS). Software of this type allows employers to enter resumes and then sort the resumes by occupational fields, skills, areas of interests, and previous work histories.
For instance, if a firm has an opening for someone with an MBA and marketing experience, the key words MBA and marketing can be entered in a search field, and the program displays a list of all resumes containing these two items. The advantage of these computerized databases is that they allow recruiters to identify potential candidates more quickly than they could by manually sorting numerous stacks and files of resumes. Employers who have used internal computer databases have found that they reduce recruiting costs associated with advertising expenditures, search-firm fees, and internal processing and record retention expenses.