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Internal vs. external hiring: The good, the bad, the ugly

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Should firms fill vacancies by promoting staff from within or should they recruit an external candidate? And what are the challenges of each?

Those were the questions senior recruitment experts set to resolve while on a panel at Human Resources’ Recruitment Interactive 2015, Hong Kong.

Franziska Huggenberger, head of regional recruitment Asia Pacific, BASF explained her firm takes into account the seniority of the desired candidate when choosing which mode of recruitment to adopt.

“The general approach we have adopted is that the higher the level, the more likely the position is to be filled by internal people.”

She explained that the company prefers recruiting external candidates for more junior positions as they require a lower budget.

Such a strategy is, however, not without its challenges.

“We are getting some senior candidates with very high salaries, but they don’t fit our needs in terms of how strategic their thinking is. Instead, they work more on the operative level,” she said.

“So this is very hard for us to get, as not many local companies can bring to the market.”

Andre Young Dipo Presma, head of talent management, East Asia at Schneider Electric explained the presence of such challenges is precisely why firms need to have a robust candidate assessment system in place.

“When you assess a talent, business leaders and HR heads talk in a different way. Leaders want a particular type of candidate, while HR wants another type of candidate. so you need to develop the candidate’s success profile.”

“They need to talk in the same language –  the experience critical to the role in question, knowledge, traits, and the drivers the candidate must possess.”

He explained understanding the profile of candidates is the most critical part in deciding when to hire internally or externally.

Echoing this, Ricky Long, senior director of human resources at Atmel stated collaboration with leaders is key if the right recruiting process has to be made.

“With regards to the talent pipeline, we also have to tighten our management on how many candidates we need to have for each job.”

“My philosophy for my talent acquisition team, is that along with establishing that pipeline, we need to make it timely. Change is everywhere.”

 

 



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