The dynamic, often overlooked, secret to finding great talent

Shared: December 22, 2021

By: Kelly White

As the pool of talented candidates has become smaller, internal recruiting, always important, has become even more vital. This article outlines some of the steps companies can use to implement a successful program.

As the pool for talented employees tightens with the pandemic contributing to people reevaluating their careers and work, the need for strong internal recruiting practices, in which companies identify and develop their future leaders and talent from within, has increased sharply.

Companies spend immense time, energy and resources on finding and hiring employees from outside their companies. Yet, many tend to forget to explore and grow the talent and potential leaders they already have within their walls.

Internal recruiting, always important, is gaining prominence because of the scarcity of available talent now. It’s also simply a good business practice. Overall, recruiting talent from within lowers employee acquisition costs and increases company productivity and efficiency.

Among the benefits of internal recruiting include a faster hiring process and a faster time-to-productivity compared to external hires, as these candidates already know the company’s work environment and culture. Other benefits include: shorter onboarding times, money saved on the recruiting process, improved employee engagement, talented employees buy in with a defined career path, motivation increases, and companies have a proven way to develop and retain talent.

A key part to designing and implementing a successful internal recruiting program includes cultivating a talent abundance mindset. This is important because when an employee vacates a position, an open position exists that must be filled. Managers need to understand the overall benefit to the company of internal recruiting so they do not hoard their talent but develop them and then prepare for the next employee.  

Developing an internal recruiting plan has several overarching steps. They are:

  • Develop an organizational plan and identify future roles.
  • Develop a talent evaluation framework.
  • Identify and develop candidates
  • Evaluate and promote

Develop an organizational plan and identify future roles

This is the most critical step of the whole process.

It requires forethought, organization and discipline. Along with strategy and development that companies include in longer-range organizational plans, those that go out from three to five years, they should identify the future roles with an organizational chart the company will need and grow into.

With the organizational plan in place, that includes a detailed future organizational chart, the company outlines the needed positions, along with job descriptions and talent requirements. Along with the job descriptions, fundamental skills would be listed.

Develop a talent evaluation framework

Determine who will spearhead and advocate for internal recruiting within the organization. This could be human resources, the chief operating officer, an internal recruiter or anyone passionate about taking the lead and has the influence to help employees understand the benefits of the internal recruiting plan.

Create a structure so employees can discuss their long-term career goals with managers. This requires a transparent and open culture.

Identify and develop candidates

The best internal candidates are the employees who display drive, talent and who fit the company culture. Their specific experience matters less than these three characteristics. In the right system, they can be developed, mentored and trained to excel in any position the company has for them.

Managers can even test these internal candidates with key aspects of the future job and gently guide them in the work. This helps with long-term productivity of the organization and is a strong retention tool. Employees who see an opportunity for future growth tend to stay with the company and are more motivated in their current role.

Evaluate and promote

Treat internal candidates the same as external candidates. This means having them go through the interview process for the new position and communicating with them throughout the process. Utilize technology and tools to facilitate the process. This could include behavioral profile tools, career path software, or 360-degree assessments.


An internal recruiting plan coupled with powerful external recruiting techniques makes for a powerful combination to find and engage the best talent for your company. This can be an advantage during a competitive job market, and it ensures a way for current employees to continue to grow and thrive within the organization. If you have any questions about setting up an internal recruiting plan or have a hiring question, reach out to me, Kelly White, head of T3 Talent, at