Workplace Trends

Workforce Trends

How to Build a Better Workforce by Promoting from Within

By Lee Hecht Harrison on April 2, 2015

When companies fail to look internally to fill roles, employees often feel overlooked, undervalued and discouraged by what they perceive as limited opportunities for growth. This negatively impacts retention and engagement as employees seek to satisfy their career goals by going to another company—possibly a competitor. In addition, years of employee data were analyzed and revealed that external hires cost more, perform worse and are 61% more likely to be fired than those promoted from within.

The good news: A recent LHH survey on trends in talent management revealed that 69% of employers are planning to increase their commitment to developing talent internally in the coming year. Unfortunately, in many organizations employees are unsure of how to move forward in their careers and uncertain of what’s available. Here are six steps companies can take that will help promote internal hiring:

  1. Create a culture of transparency. Make sure employees know about internal opportunities via an easily accessible source of internal postings. Also provide access to the resources and tools needed to explore those opportunities.
  2. Insist on unbiased hiring. Ensure that your talent recruiting process is consistently applied to internal and external candidates, from sourcing, screening and vetting, to evaluating via interviews and assessments.
  3. Support development. Offer career development programs that help employees evaluate their individual work styles, skills and preferences against the requirements of specific internal jobs.
  4. Initiate ongoing career conversations. Provide managers with training in conducting career discussions so that they can act as coaches for their employees—discussing career goals, possible impediments to success and appropriate development.
  5. Support internal networking. Help individuals increase visibility and build relationships by offering opportunities for internal networking through interdepartmental meetings and company-sponsored events.
  6. Promote talent mobility. Reward managers who promote internal movement of talent and look at what’s best for the organization as a whole—not just their individual departments.

Internal hiring is a key strategy to retaining your top performers, enhancing engagement and building a strong pipeline of talent, while reducing the costs—as well as the risks—associated with hiring external candidates.


LHH asked organizations what their biggest challenges and top priorities will be this year to executing their talent management strategy. Learn what’s trending.



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