June 16, 2017
A key employee has given his/her resignation notice. It's an important position that cannot be filled by just anyone. You had a difficult time finding this employee and want to ensure that the momentum that was started continues.
You have a few employees who might have the necessary requirements to step into this soon-to-be open position, but you want to interview outside candidates, as well. Advertising for the position is no problem. You have the typical online avenues available to you in addition to word-of-mouth from other employees within their individual networks.
You now have the situation of how to deal with the few in-house candidates that come to you saying they want to apply for this newly opened position. What do you do? It certainly behooves you to give serious consideration to employees already on board if they are qualified. On the other hand, they might not be qualified. With either scenario, what do you do?
Straightforward communication is a key in any situation when in-house candidates apply for an open position. They should be interviewed, as any candidate would be, but additional time should be taken to explain all of the qualifications the company is looking for when selecting the next person to fill the position. You should be very frank with in-house candidates explaining what qualifications they have and where they might be lacking. Explain that the company must fill the position with the very best individual for the job...whether from inside or outside of the company.
Jubilation or Disappointment
There will be jubilation, of course, from an in-house candidate if he/she gets promoted to the new position. What happens, however, when an outside candidate is hired? There will obviously be a certain amount of disappointment. This is a critical time in the employee's life both personally and professionally, and a critical time when continued communication is of paramount importance. You must discuss with the in-house candidate why he/she was not promoted into the open position and what might be done to prepare for future openings...additional experience, more specialized training, etc. It is critically important at this time to keep the in-house employee motivated. This can only be accomplished with open communication ensuring the in-house candidate is kept informed during the entire interviewing process and personally notified that someone else was selected for the position. Hearing the news "through the grapevine" that another person was selected has a detrimental effect on the in-house employee's attitude.
The goal of any job position search is to find the right candidate for the right job. When an in-house candidate applies and is not the one selected, a company objective should be to keep the employee motivated and positive toward the company. This can be accomplished with open and honest communication...have a star new employee and a star loyal employee at the same time.
Association of Accredited Small Business Consultants