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Navigating disappointment during internal recruitment.

Recruiting from within can be a strategic and often efficient process for any organisation. Not only are you able to engage a candidate with existing knowledge of your workplace, products and/or services,  but they are also often a relatively known commodity. In addition, knowing that there are opportunities for internal movement and advancement can help provide a strong incentive for employees to remain with your company as they can see potential to progress. 

However internal recruitment processes can at times be somewhat difficult and must be undertaken with care so as to minimise the potential for a negative fallout from unsuccessful applicants. Where multiple internal applicants apply for an advertised position, there is likely to be at least some disappointed parties who may disagree with the hiring decision. Such feelings can run the risk of tension and/or jealousy arising, and employees may feel disheartened that they were not selected.

So as to assist in navigating what can at times be a challenging process, we have outlined below some steps that can be taken to help minimise the potential risks that can occur.

  • Undertake fair and consistent recruitment processes.

Ensure that your organisation has a formalised recruitment process in place so as to ensure that all candidates are managed consistently.

Ensure that your recruitment process for both internal and external recruitment activities mirror each other, with all candidates moving through the same selection process.

It is essential that the selection criteria for all advertised position is clearly set out and communicated. All applicants should be clear on what capabilities the successful candidate will need to possess for the role. 

  • Managing candidate rejection.

When advising an internal applicant that they have been unsuccessful, it is recommended that you have a face-to-face conversation with the applicant rather than providing them with notification of their application status via email.

Have a plan of what it is you would like to say to the employee. Doing so can assist you in not getting caught up in the emotions of the conversation. Make sure that you have allocated sufficient time to talk through the feedback with them.

Unsuccessful candidates may be sad and disappointed with the outcome of the recruitment process and may feel rejected. It is important to reassure them that they are a valued and appreciated employee despite not being the right fit for that particular opportunity.

  • Support your employees.

It is essential that your unsuccessful candidates continue to feel valued and supported so that they do not feel inclined to leave your business.

It is recommended that you work with each candidate to develop a plan or strategy that will help support them to continue to develop and achieve their career ambitions, where practicable. This is a good opportunity to work with the employee to review the strengths that they currently bring to your organisation and to identify any development and capability needs.

If you require assistance with managing such matters, or if you require HR Advice, please contact the team at HR Advice Online on 1300 720 004.

Information in HR Advice Online guides and blog posts is meant purely for educational discussion of human resources issues. It contains only general information about human resources matters and due to factors such as government legislation changes, may not be up-to-date at the time of reading. It is not legal advice and should not be treated as such.

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