Re: Internal postings

Subject: Re: Internal postings
From: "Doug, Data Librarian at Ext 4225" <engstromdd -at- PHIBRED -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 1994 07:56:10 -0500

I think the real issue favoring internal candidates is safety. We are all led
to believe that the "most qualified" candidate will get the job; indeed, ask
almost any hiring manager, and that is what he or she will tell you. Most
companies formal hiring guidelines say the same thing.

However, when you look at behavior you can usually see that what the hiring
manager is doing is seeking the *safest* candidate. Far more effort is
expended to eliminate the worst candidates than find the best ones. Consider
it from the manager's perspective. If the candidate is hired and does well,
that will be perceived as a function of the candidate's merit, not necessarily
the hiring manager's wisdom. If the candidate is hired and does the job
competently, the manager is perceived as just doing his or her job. If the
candidate is hired and fails (especially in a dramatic fashion) one of the
first questions asked will be "Who hired this person?" Not to mention that the
hiring manager has to make the huge investment of time and energy to replace
the failed candidate.

Internal hires go a long way toward reducing risk; a person with several year's
experience in the company is a "known quantity." Also, it's possible to get
free and private information on the candidates performance in the previous job,
something that's frequently not available if the candidate works someplace
else. For example, if I apply for a job within my company, the hiring manager
can communicate with my present manager, internal clients, etc. to find out
about my performance. If I apply for a job outside my company, the only
information the hiring manager can get on me is dates of employment and job

However, to bring in new blood, be "fair" or for other reasons, many
organizations require an external posting before a hiring decision is made.
Combined with many manager's strong reasons for preferrring an internal
candidate, this produces the "box job" (interesting term) one of the many
aggrivations job seekers must cope with on the way to employment. (I've been
on the candidate end of this, so I know just how aggrivating it is.) Not much
can be done, so regard it as a practice interview, and try to get them to take
you to a nice restaurant for lunch so you get something out of it.

ENGSTROMDD -at- phibred -dot- com

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