Hiring From Within: Look For Top Talent On The InsideNot all companies focus on hiring from within.

You may not need to. When a job opening comes up, you probably don’t lack applications pouring in from eager job-seekers.

The problem is, most of these potential candidates simply aren’t qualified for the open position.

Instead of wading through piles of resumes from unqualified applicants, try hiring from within.

Leah Campbell says there's “a large untapped resource of qualified candidates” already existing within your organization.

In a piece for Brazen Life, Campbell contends, “you’ll not only be able to fill positions with talent you know and can vouch for, but can also help create a sense of loyalty among employees."

Here are tactics she offers to make this strategy work for your business:

Make It Easy For Employees To Apply

You can generate interest in open positions by “circulating job openings on a weekly basis.” Send out email blasts alerting employees to these new opportunities.

Make hiring from within a smoother process by making it easy for employees to apply for these jobs by only requesting cover letters and resumes.

If you have a long application process, your already busy existing employees may not have the time to apply.

Feel Free To Play Favorites

Give your employees top priority when the time comes for job interviews and selection.

“You don’t have to hire them for jobs they aren’t qualified for,” Campbell says, “but you can play favorites by promoting employees to positions they can handle.”

Hiring from within demonstrates the value you place on employees “who already know and understand your corporate structure.”

The benefits for the company for playing favorites in this way are big.

According to The Wharton School management professor Matthew Bidwell, external hires:

... get significantly lower performance evaluations for their first two years on the job than do internal workers who are promoted into similar jobs. They also have higher exit rates, and they are paid “substantially more.” About 18 percent to 20 percent more.

Use The Buddy System

Have you ever considered grooming employees for executive-level positions?

Campbell suggests pairing up the most promising employers with your top leaders and having them work together in a leader-cultivation mentorship program.

“When the time comes to replace your current executives, you’ll quickly discover how valuable it is to have a workforce already trained and ready to take over.”

Celebrate Achievements in Hiring from Within

Hiring from within does more than make good business sense. It also sends a great message to the world about the importance you place on advancing employees’ careers.

Let people know—both inside and outside the organization—when an employee takes on a new position.

“Each week when you notify your workforce of new opportunities, make note of staff members who are already moving up,” Campbell says.

“Praise them publicly on the steps they took to advance” and remind other employees “that they have the same opportunities available."

When you create such opportunities for employees to move up, “you just might find a perfect fit you otherwise could have overlooked.”

Plus, “your workforce will make it that much easier for you to continue being picky as you seek out new talent.”

Are you pursuing a practice of hiring from within?

Image by Anna Hirsch via Flickr and Wylio