Chief Executive Officer Thomas International
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Bridging the gap: internal vs external hiring

27th Sep 2021
Chief Executive Officer Thomas International
Blogger
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Recruiting is difficult. Especially in today’s environment where we have a seeming paradox - the number of vacant job roles has reached record levels, yet we still have a high unemployment rate. 

When it comes down to it, the end-goal for any hiring manager is to place the best-fit candidates in open roles to positively impact teams. But despite having the same outcome, recruiting and hiring from an internal talent pool, as opposed to hiring externally, are often approached in completely different ways. 

In most cases, hiring internally proves a smoother process, with a few obvious candidates usually coming to the fore, whereas hiring externally can be disjointed and inefficient. And in many cases, recruiters and HR professionals end up missing out on the best hires. 

Every candidate has to be given an equal chance when it comes to recruitment. So, to bridge the hiring efficiency gap, remove bias in the process, and hire effectively, hiring managers and recruiters need to approach hiring externally as they would internally. But how can they do this? 

The CV difference

There is one clear and obvious difference between internal and external recruitment. Looking outside the business to an external pool of talent means that while businesses aren't restricted to a select few, they can miss out on understanding their new colleague on a more personal level. As when hiring internally, HR teams and managers are already familiar with the personalities, skills, strengths and weaknesses of candidates. Insight that’s more often than not lacking when recruiting externally.

This jarring difference is best represented by external hiring’s over-reliance on the CV. This acts as a somewhat “legal” document stating all past experiences and education. Hiring from the insights found on a CV often means recruiters recruit based on impact and instinct, rather than ability or personality. While CVs provide hiring managers with past experiences, hobbies and education, they don't show how effectively candidates deal with real-life circumstances, such as pressure or confrontation. 

So, it’s not surprising hiring internally is easier - HR teams aren't clouded by the ambiguities of sometimes complex and misleading CVs as they already have a deeper understanding of candidates. And in most cases, hiring internally is based on skills and progression within a current role. 

When tackling external hiring, it’s time to end HRs’ over-reliance on the CV. With the CV consigned to the history books, recruiters will be able to treat both types of hiring equally, giving all candidates an equal chance. But in looking beyond the CV, hiring managers must place their focus on other, more effective tools. 

Look beyond the CV 

Utilising psychometric assessment tools when it comes to hiring externally, such as personality tests, provide hiring managers with a deeper insight into the traits that indicate the way candidates work. This level of understanding is similar to the level of insight HR managers already have when considering internal candidates.

Such assessments provide hiring managers with an overview of factors such as goal setting, coping with stress, handling change, creativity, risk and competition, which helps triangulate the best-fit between candidates, role and company culture. Moving away from over-relying on the CV also prevents wasting valuable time on job interviews with candidates that are not the right match. And it increases the chances of hiring right the first time round. 

From a candidate viewpoint, they can gain a clearer understanding of the business they are looking to join - which helps them decide whether or not they will fit into the company’s culture. 

Understand your candidates

Recruiting the best talent is never easy - there are so many things to consider when selecting the best person for a job. And it’s no surprise that many organisations would prefer hiring from an internal talent pool for ease of transition. But it does not and should not have to be this way. External hiring can be effective if the correct tools are utilised. 

Any hire is highly less likely to be successful if they are solely appointed based on the insights of a CV. By harnessing psychometric tools, hiring managers can gain similar, deeper insights into a candidate that they would already have when recruiting internally. For too long has the CV blocked potential opportunities for new candidates seeking roles - organisations should move past it and start to bridge the gap. 

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