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www.expresscomputeronline.com WEEKLY INSIGHT FOR TECHNOLOGY PROFESSIONALS
23 October 2006  
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Home - Technology Life - Article

Feature

The benefits of hiring from within

Internal recruitment helps promote greater opportunities within an organisation for employees’ career growth and increases their engagement levels, writes Vinita Gupta.

Companies have two major assets that are fundamental to their success. Firstly, it is a product or service that meets the needs of customers in a way that competitors find it very hard to match and secondly, it is the highly committed and customer-focussed staff.


"Internal recruitment gives consideration to qualified and interested employees who are able to meet the basic performance
standards of the open position"

- Prashanth L J
Global Marketing Head
Infinite Computer Solutions

The second asset can be achieved by recruiting, selecting and retaining talented staff. Organisations have two options for recruiting their staff and both has its own advantages and disadvantages. The first option is internal recruitment; it refers to the filling of job vacancies from within the company—where existing employees are selected rather than employing someone from outside. External recruitment is when the company looks to fill the vacancy from any suitable applicant outside the organisation. Internal recruitment happens when an organisation decides that it already has the right people with the right skills to do the job.

Advantages of internal recruitment


"The trend of internal recruitment is gaining
significance now as it
is a means of providing meaningful growth
opportunities to the employee"

- Shantanu Dhar
Deputy GM, HR
HCL Technologies

Internal recruitment helps promote greater opportunities within for employees’ career advancement and promotion which leads to increased morale and higher levels of employee engagement by retaining and growing talented employees who might otherwise leave the organisation.

Prashanth L J, Global Marketing Head, Infinite Computer Solutions says, “Internal recruitment is a system which gives consideration to qualified and interested employees who are able to meet the basic performance standards of the open position.” According to him the advantages of internal recruitment is lower costs and time in locating the staff as it does not require longer orientation programmes to make the employee fit into the organisation culture. It also helps in retaining and growing talented staff by giving them opportunities at higher levels.

“The trend of internal recruitment is gaining significance now as it’s a means of providing meaningful growth opportunities to the employee, both at a vertical and horizontal level, within the organisation,” says Shantanu Dhar, Deputy General Manager, HR, HCL Technologies. He further adds that internal recruitment reduces the risk of employing an inappropriate candidate from outside as the employer knows more about the internal candidate’s abilities.


"Internal recruitment has always been the first option in Sasken as in this kind of hiring there is a greater understanding between the employer and the employee"

- Srinivasa Rao Kandula
Director, HR
Sasken

Srinivasa Rao Kandula, Director, HR, Sasken states, “Internal recruitment has always been the first option in Sasken as in this kind of hiring there is a greater understanding between the employer and the employee as he knows his existing employee very well. This in turn also leads to employee satisfaction as he can apply for the job of his interest keeping in mind the requirement of the position.”

Ganesh Apte, Executive Vice-president, IT & Technology Services Division, Larsen & Toubro (L & T) further adds, “Internal recruitment also helps the existing employer as he would know more about his internal candidates’ competencies.”

The flip side

There are a few drawbacks of the isidenternal recruitment process. It limits the number of potential applicants for a job as external candidates might be better suited/qualified for a position and hence the company may become resistant to change, but in turn by recruiting from outside, new perspectives and attitudes can be brought in.

As mentioned earlier internal recruitment refers to the filling of job vacancies from within the company—that means the internal employee applying for the job would be handling a particular job in the organisation and if he is recruited for some other job then it would lead to a vacancy at his previous position that needs to be filled up.

There are even chances that the existing staff may feel they have the automatic right to be promoted, whether or not they are competent and also internal recruitment may cause resentment amongst candidates not appointed.

Employee’s eligibility

To apply for internal recruitment there are certain eligibility requirements for the employees. This requirement can vary from company to company.

The basic eligibility requirements for a person to apply for internal recruitment are:

  • He/She needs to be a current, regular full- or part-time (your company) employee.
  • He has to be in his current position for at least six months. (Exceptions to this six-month requirement can be made by your current supervisor and should be consistent with company business needs.)
  • His performance should meet the performance development plan (PDP) standards or established work standards in his current position.
  • He should meet the qualifications listed for the position on the job posting.

Infinite Computer Solutions have a well-defined policy framework in place for cross-functional movement and internal recruitment. Prashanth L J says, “According to our HR policy all the employees need to declare their career aspiration and growth plans. Depending on their desire and career aspiration they are provided with required set of boot camps and trainings to make them skilled and competent in line with their career plan.” He further adds that the employee should also have to complete his annual appraisal process to be selected for the internal job opening/cross-functional movement.

“Employees who have been with the organisation for minimum two years are eligible to apply for such job postings,” says Apte.

Dhar adds, “At HCL broadly there are four areas we focus on, the areas are performance, required skill sets, extent of existing gaps in skills and transferability of the employee.”

In-house recruitment process

Internal vacancies are usually advertised internally via a variety of media like staff notice boards, intranets, in-house magazines/newsletters and staff meetings. The interested and eligible candidate has to fill the internal job application form; the form would be later approved by the employees’ supervisor and at the end would be submitted to the HR department followed by an interview.

Prashanth L J says, “All the vacancies within Infinite Computer Solutions are published in the intranet portal which is accessible by all employees. The employee should sign off his career progression path with his manager in line with our HR policy, based on which he is given a cross-functional change when the opportunity arises. We maintain a thorough process of identifying a diverse poll of qualified candidates within the organisation for anticipated job openings.”

In L & T Infotech there is a mechanism named ‘the common talent pool’ for junior levels by which a group of people are transferred internally, depending upon the business needs. It also serves the purpose of exposing the associates to different technologies and domains. Apte says, “In addition to the common talent pool we have an internal helpdesk through which we flash all our internal job postings. We also have career workshops, wherein the business plans and the growth plans of each SBU are shared with the employees. This helps create an awareness of the future requirements of the business units.”

At HCL they have a Central Resource Allocation team that looks after all the openings across various levels. This team analyses the knowledge and skill sets of existing and potential employees and attempts to bridge the gap between the position description and the candidate’s skills. Once an employee is selected they are individually contacted by the Centre of Excellence (COE) and the remaining processes are ironed out.

Role of training

Internal recruitments would also mean having a strong training focus as the employees promoted from within may not have all the requisite skills required for the job. In such cases, employees have to be trained for their new jobs.

“It is very important to understand an employee’s interests and career development plans. Once the employee fills his aspirations and his career development plan and shows his intent towards a cross-functional activity, he has to complete the identified boot camps and trainings to fit into the desired job so that he can be moved into the requested function when the opportunity arises,” says Prashanth L J.

According to Dhar, training is absolutely mandatory and is the final responsibility of the HR/Talent & Transformation team. He says, “Training gains significance as it helps to bridge the skills and knowledge gap of the employees and also helps to comprehend the complexity of the scope of work in their job profile at any given level.”

Analysing the advantages and disadvantages
Benefits Drawbacks
Gives existing employees greater opportunity to advance their careers Limits the number of potential applicants for a job
Help to retain staff who might otherwise leave Another vacancy will be created that has to be filled
Requires a short induction training period Existing staff may feel they have the automatic right to be promoted, whether or not they are competent
Reduced risk of selecting an inappropriate candidate Business may become resistant to change; by recruiting from outside, new perspectives and attitudes are brought in
Usually quicker and less expensive than recruiting from outside May cause resentment amongst candidates not appointed

Cross-functional transfers

The toughest are cross-functional transfers, which not all companies encourage considering the problems associated with training an employee to come up to the productivity level.

In a rare case, where an employee may have made a wrong choice, the companies’ set a new career objective for him which may more suit him. “Many a times an employee quits when his professional expectations are not adequately met with. This kind of a challenge can be proactively monitored and managed by the immediate line managers of the employees in the organisation through internal recruitment. By giving an employee ample growth opportunities within the organisation, a company can retain them for a longer period of time,” says Dhar.

Nirupama V G, Associate Director, TeamLease, states, “Cultural fitment of candidates and cross-functional recruitment helps employees explore other avenues/job roles within which suit them.”

“In IT companies their would be only about five percentage of people going for cross-functional transfers as it takes time to understand a particular technology and hence people usually don’t go for it,” says Kandula.

Percentage, preference and levels of recruitment

At Infinite Computer Solutions, vacancies arising in the middle and lower level functions are filled through internal recruitment depending on an employee’s aspiration and his career movement plans.

Prashanth L J informs that nearly 10 percent of the middle and lower level jobs in the support functions are filled through internal recruitment. Dhar adds, “The preference would typically depend on the required skill sets of the job posting. If we sense the need to hire an internal candidate, we do go about it.”

Kandula from Sasken points out that if the desired skills for the vacant position is available within the organisation and if it fits the employee’s career development plan then he is given the first preference to fill the position. Other wise the vacancy is filled externally.

Whatever would be the way of recruiting employees, ultimately the aim of any company is to employ talented and highly committed employees.

ec@expresscomputonline.com

 


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