He Who Truly Seeks, Also Finds: The Internal Staffing

Nicole Radtke 2/11/2022

The internal recruitment - the do-it-yourself project of a company: We show you how to do it and what to watch out for.

Table of contents
  1. What is internal personnel procurement?
  2. Internal vs. external personnel procurement
  3. These tools support you in internal personnel procurement
  4. Conclusion on internal personnel procurement

If you don't find what you're looking for, build it yourself (...or change your claim and take something similar)." This is one of the life wisdoms of our guest author Nicole Radtke. The recruiting expert explains in the guest post, how you can set up your internal personnel procurement.

What works very well for furniture and clothing seems to be much more difficult when it comes to the right personnel. Although complaints about a lack of skilled workers and applicant emergencies are growing louder and louder, many companies do not focus on the "own brand". They prefer to continue looking outside their own ranks for the "egg-laying wool milk pig". But why? Here you will get an insight into the topic of internal personnel procurement and at the end you can better assess for yourself whether it should be your means of choice against the lack of skilled workers and applicants.


What is internal personnel procurement?

Internal personnel procurement is recruitment that focuses on existing employees of the company when filling vacancies. In contrast, external personnel procurement focuses on searching for missing resources outside the company.

Internal vs. external personnel procurement

For this comparison, we look at the 3 most relevant cornerstones in recruiting: time, quality and money.

The factor time

Internal personnel procurement requires significantly less time than external procurement. Because you save yourself many factors without which the external personnel procurement would hardly be able to manage:

  • Reformulate job description in job ads: Admittedly, many companies save themselves this step and go to the external candidate market with their internal language. While this initially seems to be quicker, it will cause showstoppers in retrospect (conversion rate, candidate quality, dropout rates in the process).
  • "Post & Pray" or direct contact via social and business media: Both the passive and the active form of job advertising take time. The active one increases the feeling of self-efficacy, but you also have to wait for reaction from the candidates.
  • Getting to know each other: In external recruiting, getting to know each other begins before the first direct contact. In sales, it is said that it takes 7-20 "touch points" with a product to awaken interest in purchasing. Companies must therefore be found by candidates or "accidentally" cross their path again and again. They must awaken the "awareness" of their target group through clever campaigns, "Recruitainment", social media presence and trade fair appearances. This requires a defined employer brand, appealing marketing and brand ambassadors (your employees) who live the message and carry it outwards. When the first contact has been established, the getting to know each other continues: Multi-level interview processes, assessment centers, potential analyses. But have you really been able to win the candidates over for you? Was the effort worth it?
  • Deadlines: When the external candidate has signed the contract with you, the waiting continues. Because there are periods of notice. And there are familiarization periods. And there is a probationary period. The uncertainty as to whether you have really found the perfect match remains. Therefore, you should not only look at the optimal "Time-To-Hire", but also keep your "Quality-of-Hire" in mind.

The factor quality

In contrast to external personnel procurement, which seems to be associated with many risks, internal personnel procurement is much more transparent when it comes to the factor "Quality of Hire". Because you know the "puzzle piece", the employee, with all its edges and corners and thereby also the degree of his fit in relation to the existing gap. In addition, turnover on internally filled positions will be much lower. Because existing employees know what they are getting. You therefore risk less human and professional misplacements and instead gain loyalty, employee satisfaction, and a higher quota of employee recommendations.

However, the internal employee is not always the best choice in terms of quality. For positions that already require "finished" and practice-tested knowledge for a new area in the company or where there is no time or budget for further training, even the filling of special positions should focus on the recruitment of external personnel. Because the risk that the internal employee will not only fail but also lose confidence in his employer or his performance is high.

Those who do not want to do without challenging employees and offering them special positions for further development could, for example, include a kind of acquaintance program in the internal personnel procurement.

An example

At SoftwareONE, a "Walk-In-My-Shoes" program was introduced. This gives employees who are interested in another position the opportunity to get a taste of the job and get to know whether they trust themselves in the work environment and content. In addition, employees who change internally have a kind of 3-month transition period. This is used to determine whether it is really the right job. And if not, the employee automatically goes back to the "old" job. Only after these 3 months is it therefore possible to adjust the salary. All involved are aware of this and the change is therefore a chance and not a "hop or top".

The factor of money

An important figure in recruiting is the "Cost per Hire". This includes the entire budget that has been spent on average per job placement - from job posting to placement. But it also requires additional budget. So how much does recruiting cost and which cost factors need to be taken into account?

Direct personnel costs

An attractive salary is one of the drivers when it comes to changing jobs. An employer who does not recognize the employee's effort by a pay rise or a monetary advantage will probably not have this employee for much longer. How often have I already spoken to candidates who were only recently promoted. However, only more responsibility and more tasks came to them, but nothing else. Many then quickly turn to the external job market, because this change promises a salary increase in most cases. This is how a company loses internal competencies and then has to bring in the personnel "expensively" from the outside.

For a higher transparency of internal salary structures and a better overview of possible promotion systems, a good HR softwarecan help you. An overview of the 10 best providers for Human Ressource Management can be found here.

Other personnel costs

Both forms of personnel procurement require competent personnel. Externally, it needs creative recruiters who, with analytical skills and a knack for storytelling, not only define but also address and win the appropriate target group. Internally, it requires specialists who are active in personnel development, invest time in competence profiles and personnel diagnostics, and operate close to the employee and the specialist departments.

Travel costs, expenses, further training and commission models should not be left unmentioned in this context.

The channels/ media

In probably the rarest case, a bulletin board still has to be bought at IKEA, hung in the staff kitchen and titled "internal job board". Many companies already trust in their corporate communication on the medium e-mail or on a central SharePoint. The installation of such software costs money - but makes the whole thing more planable. On the other hand, there are expenses for job ads, exhibition stands and giveaways, which can change in the external recruiting depending on the target group, scope and duration of the search.

Competence database vs. applicant pool

Big Data is a big topic in recruiting. For efficient recruiting and personnel work, it is therefore worth having powerful software support you. There are already applicant management software solutions that enable you to make the transition from candidate to employee without data loss, such as the solution from SAP "SuccessFactors". These and other applicant management solutions are compared here.

A trustful Employer Brand, an attractive remuneration and benefit model, and convinced employee voices ensure high interest in the employee market. Regardless of whether they are their own or foreign employees. If the grass on the other side does not just seem greener, but is also demonstrably greener, the competition has little chance. So it is worth investing in effective external appearances, internal incentives and attractive facts.

Time, quality, money - the current situation

Money and time rule the recruiting world. While 3 years ago it was sufficient to place ads on Stepstone and have a Facebook and LinkedIn account, today it has to be reconsidered. Because the candidate market is becoming increasingly heterogeneous. Meanwhile, four generations with the most diverse needs are mixing in the job market. If a company does not cover the possible channels and platforms extensively - internally as well as externally, today it is likely to miss potentially suitable candidates. And this costs time, money, and ultimately quality.

More input on recruiting KPIs can be found in this article.

Checklist for internal personnel procurement

  • Perspective business and personnel planning: If I know what I have in mind, then I also know in good time which personnel I need.
  • Competence recognition - goes through tools (e.g. Codility) or databases that need to be maintained (competence pool) or also through potential analyses (e.g. HireSelect).
  • (Will to) strategy/ personnel development planning - Needs and gaps need to be identified
  • Time and money: Do I have time and money to find this competence outside, or is it overall optimal to train and promote internal personnel?
  • Clear attitude and communication - Do I want my employees to be able to develop? Within which framework?
  • Competent, objective support in selection interviews, to be able to comprehensively assess employees and also to be able to "overlay" the specialist department with its offer.
  • Give insights: Job acquainting programs help to get to know the potential new department before a change and to develop the idea of ​​whether it is really the right job.
  • Error-friendliness and double bottom: If the job change was the wrong decision, the possibility to return to the old position must exist.

These tools support you in internal personnel procurement

There are many tools on the market that can support you in HR processes. However, their functional scopes are very varied. Most tools are modular and can therefore be adapted to your requirements. According to OMR Reviews, these are the best and most popular HR tools:

Conclusion on internal personnel procurement

Although there are many advantages to internal personnel procurement, it is not self-propelled. Data make your recruiting sustainable and help you measure and control successes. A good HR software can support you. But it should match your requirements. Comparing is therefore doubly worth in this case. We have already presented some HR tools, on OMR Reviews however, you can find more alternatives and you can compare the tools based on user ratings.

Whether you choose the internal or external variant for your occupations, you should think carefully. The success of recruiting depends on several factors that not only play a role in the short term, but also in the medium and long term. However, the most important factor for success in personnel recruitment is feasibility. Recruiting is and remains a matter of attitude! And this applies to both internal and external personnel selection.

Nicole Radtke
Nicole Radtke

Mein Name ist Nicole Radtke und ich bin seit mehr als 8 Jahren im operativen und strategischen Recruiting tätig. Ich bin ein absoluter Fan von ausgewogenen Recruiting-Strategien, die sowohl alt-bewährte Methoden, als auch innovative Ansätze in sich vereinen. Seit Januar 2021 bin ich Talent Acquisition Partner bei der SoftwareONE. Und hier darf ich das Thema Recruiting in all seinen Facetten leben.

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