Engaging and retaining internal applicants during a selection process

The selection process can be daunting, stressful, and full of uncertainty for candidates at the best of times. But for internal candidates, there is more at stake. Much of what they will experience is linked to emotion i.e. sense of worth, risk, how peers will feel, what if they fail etc.

If unsuccessful, research shows, internal applicants will leave the company within 3 months.

This will be a big loss – internal applicants are often culturally sound high performers who have demonstrated potential. The subsequent cost of replacement is often high, time consuming, and not without risk.

The main reason for not succeeding is the perceived gap between what is required and what exists. This perception (which will influence any final decision) is held by line managers who will often look at the individual concerned through the lens of the role the applicant is in, rather than the future role.

There is a simple solution to help make the best, fact-based decision whilst keeping the applicant engaged and ultimately retained. This is achieved by applying some science to the selection process. By building in assessment, three big benefits are delivered:

  • The first benefit is to the hiring manager who is provided with a set of insights into each applicant. These could include strengths, gaps, deraillers, cultural fit, development areas etc. to help them make objective fact-based decisions.
  • The second benefit is that the candidate will have a ready made on-boarding plan. This should set them up for success and provide additional support (mentoring or coaching for example) to speed up transition into the new role/new culture.
  • The third benefit (and most critical from an internal applicants perspective) is that (a) they can be confident the decision is fact based and not influenced by personal drivers such as favouritism, network etc, and (b) they have a detailed insights report that can form the basis of a development plan and targeted investment to accelerate their development and create new learning opportunities.

Studies and common sense tell us that where assessment is applied openly as part of a selection and development programme, there is a greater sense of belief in the decision-making process. This results in better engagement and a greater retention rate amongst high-potential internal applicants.

If you would like to confidentially discuss how The Norman Broadbent Group could help you overcome your business or people challenges, please contact Tim Drake, on 07912 465162 or via tim.drake@normanbroadbent.com