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Workers stay 41% longer if their boss does this

Internal hiring keeps employees around a lot longer. Image: Getty

Companies that regularly hire internally have employees stick around an average 41 per cent longer, new workplace research has found. 

That’s because the vast majority of workers won’t stay in the same job forever, instead seeking out new challenges, a better fit, or more responsibility. 

“The most widely cited benefit of internal recruiting is better retention,” the LinkedIn 2020 Global Talent Trends report found.

“In promoting or moving employees to better-matched roles, you boost morale, create a more positive experience, and entice them to stick around.”

And according to Gartner research, it’s also a way to protect the bottom line: the potential workplace savings of reduced turnover are US$49 million a year for an average-sized company.

“Internal hires also ramp up more quickly than external hires. There’s no need to train an employee from the ground up since they’re already familiar with company systems, processes, and culture,” the study found.

“Their organisational knowledge is a huge asset as well. By maximising internal hires, organisations avoid unnecessary reinventing-the-wheel costs.”

Talent professionals said hiring from within improves retention, accelerates the hiring process and boosts productivity. 

But the same report found that while the benefits of internal promotions are huge, there are few offices with dedicated pathways; internal promotions are generally sought out by the worker themselves.

Most talent professionals, however, want to boost internal recruiting.

But businesses need to have plans in place to improve internal hiring. Image: Getty

But they – and workers – face a big hurdle: managers themselves. Most managers and supervisors aren’t enthusiastic about losing their best workers to another division or team in the company. 

“The problem is that if those top performers can’t leave their team for greener pastures internally, they’re more likely to leave the company altogether.”

Microsoft’s head of recruiting Chuck Edward said at Microsoft no team gets to “own” an employee.

“If someone’s hiring an employee from your team, that’s not poaching,” he said. “That’s two managers collaborating for the win of the company.”

Formalised internal hiring pathways will help support this, according to LinkedIn, and there are six ways to do this:

  1. Proactively reach out to potential hires: 

Rather than waiting for workers to make the move, seeking out workers is a solid retention move. "It’s a pat on the back that says an employee is respected and valued.”

  1. Boost diversity: 

Internal hiring can retrench an existing lack of diversity.

“Internal recruiting should be structured and proactive rather than relying on employees finding opportunities on their own.”

  1. Work with learning and development:

If companies work to develop talent, rather than hiring external talent, companies can fill holes before they even need to consider hiring externally. 

  1. Forget about perfection: 

As LinkedIn said, it’s unusual for any hire to come with 100 per cent of the needed skills or experience. Instead, recruiters need to be prepared to train and support staff within the company to achieve the needed skills. 

  1. Convince managers:

Managers will need a reason to say goodbye to their star performers: “Use data and anecdotes to teach how it’s a win for your company and, ultimately, for them and their team.”

  1. Be polite: 

There’s nothing more frustrating than spending hours on a CV only to never hear anything back. Recruiters need to respond to each application, even if it’s a polite templated rejection. That way employees won’t be put off applying next time. 

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