Considering internal staff

Caroline Mboijana. PHOTO/FILE 

What you need to know:

  • In influencing his position, consider drawing out a process for managing internal selection so that he can appreciate your perspective.

Dear Caroline,
I work in the HR department as an HR Business Partner.
We have vacancies that need to be filled, and my manager
insists that we must have recruitment which I have no objection
to, but he insists that we must advertise and have
external applications. I am not comfortable with this, but I
need help advising my Manager that we should first allow internal staff who may be interested.

Hello Catherine, I am surprised your manager insists on
recruiting externally first rather than allowing internal
staff. You may want to sit with him and ask to appreciate
his rational thinking. Reviewing your talent sourcing
and assessment policy and your succession planning strategy,
which should include internal promotions and movement is important.

If your policy is silent on this, then there is a need to revisit
the procedure and ensure this aspect is included.
It is best practice first to allow internal staff interested in applying for the role. It also sets a good tone in the organisation’s culture that the leadership recognises the talent of existing staff.

That said, the internal team who apply should not be appointed outright; instead, there should be a mechanism for assessing their fit with the role.

In influencing his position, consider drawing out a process for
managing internal selection so that he can appreciate your perspective.

If your policy needs to be more active or clear, consider an approach that speaks to the following critical principles of managing talent.

The advantage of internal promotions is that they build trust between the organisation and staff and increase the feeling of belonging to the organisation.

You could argue that internal movement supports the staff’s career development and allows others to advance. In addition, you can raise the point that even with internal promotions, you will ensure job person fit by reviewing what roles an internal applicant has held in the organisation, assessing if it is similar to the one they are applying for and if there is a link then appointing an internal candidate reduces the learning curve and the need to train, saving time.

It also means the staff will quickly adjust to the new role and start performing. This is an important point to raise because the work still needs to get. Furthermore, you should point out that if there are more than three interested staff, they can compete, and the best candidate is appointed.

Again this sets the tone of fairness and commitment to selecting the best person for the role.
The bottom in your discussion is to influence your manager to ensure the process is fair, that the internal applicants must be assessed to determine they are the best fit, and that having these internal processes ensures the HR team demonstrates integrity and professionalism.
Good Luck

Caroline Mboijana,
Managing Director, The Leadership