Why oh why do so many organizations look externally for talent before taking a look at their existing talent? For the most part the answer lies in a sad reality—too many organizations fail to take inventory and assess their current talent, nor does the average organization have a system to do so. If an organization has no system in place for this, then sure, it is actually probably far easier to hire externally.

There are just a few massive problems with that…

Talent Will Leave if They Aren’t Advanced

Career advancement is an obvious priority for employees, so why isn’t it a priority for employers to offer it? Career advancement opportunities have steadily been climbing to the top of the list of retention motivators for employees. If they’re not moving up, they’re moving out.

“In her Forbes article ‘What Employers Need To Know About The Class of 2012,’ Jacquelyn Smith cites a recent study that shows that the majority of graduating students are looking for career advancement over anything else. This is certainly not a new concept, but a big disconnect from today’s burn and churn, transient employment market.” – Louis Efron (@LouisEfron)

Complete talent alignment not only makes offering career advancement possible, it actually makes it incredibly easy. When it is easier to hire externally, that’s what is going to happen. Make hiring internally the easier choice with talent alignment, and that’s what will happen instead. 

Always Hiring Externally Damages the Employer Brand

Many recent studies have offered results similar to those of a HireRight study in which

52% of respondents stated that their top business challenge was hiring and retaining talent. We’ve already established that career advancement is an extremely effective retention tool, but it is also talent acquisitions’ dream. Job seekers are attracted to an employer brand associated with long tenured, valued employees. Finding a job is hard enough, job seekers have no interest in being back on the market in two years.

Think about it, if you establish a reputation as an employer who does little internal hiring, what type of candidates do you think you’re attracting? A CareerBuilder study revealed that 46% of workers said a company’s employment brand plays a very big role in their decision to apply for a job within the organization; another 45% say it plays somewhat of a role.

“Every organization has an employer brand, whether consciously established, diligently nurtured or the product of benign neglect. With the transparency of social media offering a view beyond your window shades—with or without your okay—your employer brand serves as a billboard for your organization.”- Ranstad USA, Does Your Employer Brand Deliver on Its Promise?

What does your billboard say?

It Just Doesn’t Make Sense to Look Externally First

A very comprehensive survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) revealed that nearly 50% of hires at a senior level from outside an organization leave within 18 months. How’s that for an expensive statistic? The reality is that your average organization isn’t tracking specific turnover metrics like this. That means that they have no idea exactly how much their lack of talent alignment is truly costing them.

Employees who move up the ladder to executive positions have already established their credibility, forged vital professional relationships within the organization, they have a true understanding of the unified vision and they are already a part of the company culture. Additionally, you can cross-train this existing talent for a smoother transition, with little to no productivity lost in the process. Whenever possible, advancing existing talent simply makes more sense, from every angle.

Talent alignment makes internal hiring the easy and simple choice. The retention of great talent, the attraction of quality talent and the facilitation of a positive employer brand depend on it. Talent alignment tools like psychometric testing can make the change as painless as possible. The path of least resistance is almost always the one we choose to take, so clear the path of talent alignment for your organization.

Want to know more about how psychometric testing can help you clear the path and make talent alignment part of your strategic vision? Find out how this whole thing works right now.

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