When working as an employee retention speaker and employee retention author, I hear from people all the time about how organizations regularly shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to their employee retention strategies. Recently, one of my readers called and told me how their organization posted a job internally. Smart move. Promotion from within is a key point to employee retention. Then, in the next breath the HR person said, “We are also running an ad to see if we get better candidates on the outside.”
This practice is a slap in the face to employees who work in your organization. Basically, you are telling people, “You’re ok…but we might find someone better.” Why don’t you just come out and say that they are sloppy seconds and you are hedging your bets by posting it in both places? This has the EXACT OPPOSITE effect of retaining talent. It angers employees and destroys employee loyalty.
If you don’t know if your internal people are good enough to do the job, shame on you. After all, you have had years to observe their performance and decide. They either are or aren’t qualified. Decide. Don’t play this game and play the inside employee against the outside applicant. If your existing employees are not qualified, have the guts to sit down with them and be honest as to why you are going to the outside so they can develop, grow and be ready for the next potential internal opening. They might not like it, but you’re at least showing them the respect they deserve.
I know the practice of posting internally and externally at the same time has become more common. That doesn’t mean it makes sense. In fact, it makes no sense from an employee retention strategies perspective. If I were the internal employee, I would take the job if offered and look for another job. After all, I must be better than the external competition!