Why Strong Internal Candidates Launch Searches

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<p><strong>Radnor, Pa. &mdash; March 30&nbsp;</strong><br />Although many companies prefer to promote from within, even those with the best records for promoting internally launch external searches to fill some positions, according to Salveson Stetson Group, a full-service retained executive search firm.<br /><br />&ldquo;There are several reasons why organizations launch external searches, even when they have strong internal candidates,&rdquo; said John Salveson, Salveson Stetson Group co-founder and principal.</p><p>Among these reasons are:</p><ul><li>The desire to benchmark onboarded talent against available candidates.</li><li>Potentially upgrading their talent pool.</li><li>Acquiring skills and abilities the organization is lacking.</li><li>Bringing a new perspective &mdash; often from a different industry &mdash; into the organization.</li><li>Sending a message to internal candidates that they will be competing against the best available candidates &mdash; from both inside and outside the organization.</li></ul><p> Only about one-third of internal candidates are promoted to managerial and executive positions when competing against those from outside the organization, according to search industry estimates.<br /><br />Frequently, however, current employees fail to compete as aggressively against external candidates as they need to be successful. <br /><br />&ldquo;Internal candidates shouldn&#39;t assume their colleagues know everything about their background and experience,&rdquo; said Sally Stetson, Salveson Stetson Group co-founder.&nbsp; &ldquo;Internal candidates have to sell themselves to those making the hiring selection, talk about their accomplishments and send a strong message that they are ambitious and interested in moving up.&nbsp; </p><p>&quot;Unsuccessful internal candidates should ask for feedback to help them improve and learn specifically in which areas they came up short.&rdquo;<br /><br />Companies need to be sensitive throughout the search process to current employees competing for a position.&nbsp; </p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s important that internal candidates know where they stand,&quot; Stetson said. &quot;If they are treated badly, it may encourage them to look externally for new employment.&quot; <br /><br />Companies also need to have a final wrap-up conversation with unsuccessful internal candidates if they don&rsquo;t get the job.&nbsp; </p><p>&ldquo;They should know what additional skills and experience they are lacking in order to be successful the next time they want to be considered,&rdquo; Stetson said. &ldquo;It is a good developmental opportunity for both the company and the employee.&rdquo;<br /><br />Competing for a job opening with an external candidate presents a chance for current employees to compare their skills with those of their external peers.&nbsp; </p><p>&ldquo;Internal employees get an opportunity to analyze their strengths and weaknesses from a developmental and experience standpoint,&rdquo; Salveson said.<br /><br />In addition, when internal candidates are successful after competing with external candidates, they have more credibility and respect, having contended for the position against an outside talent pool.</p><p>&ldquo;It sends the message that they didn&#39;t get the job just because they were already there, but that they truly earned it by demonstrating they were the best candidates from inside or outside the company,&quot; Salveson said. &quot;This is why inside candidates often welcome outside candidates in the search process.&quot; </p>

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