One of the things I’ve noticed lately is the number of articles about external recruitment but not much about internal. External recruitment strategies include mobile and social, advertising, job fairs, etc. Even the employee referral program is an external sourcing strategy.
The two methods of internal sourcing that come to mind are job postings and job bidding. My definition for job bidding is when an employee lets the organization know they’re interested in an opportunity when it comes available. Some organizations have formal job bidding programs. Others handle it informally. Regardless, recruiters need to encourage employees to speak up about their career plans and goals. Managers can have conversations with employees about their development. It benefits everyone.
But the process I want to focus on today is the internal job posting. Because job postings have two functions: 1) They let employees know open positions in case they want to apply for them. 2) They let employees know open positions in case they want to refer someone for them. Organizations would be smart to look at their job postings and see if there’s a way to breathe some new life into them.
At this year’s Great Place to Work Conference, Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T, talked about how the company posts jobs. Their job postings include badges, which represent the skills that someone needs to be qualified for the job. Think of badges like scouting badges. You master a skill, then you get a badge. Same happens here – employees attend training, they receive a badge.
So, the internal job posting shows the badges you need to have in order to be qualified for the job. But there’s another layer to the job posting process, because AT&T has two types of jobs, which they label “risk and no risk”.
No risk jobs are ones where the candidate has all the skills (i.e. badges required). They can hit the ground running on day one. While I would be reluctant to say absolutely no risk, the implication is that the employee won’t fail because they can’t do the job. Granted, there could be some other reasons, but they would point toward the manager, company benefits, etc.
Risk jobs are where candidates have a majority of the skills, but not all. The organization makes the commitment to provide training so the candidate can become proficient. Since the candidate doesn’t have all of the skills, both the company and the candidate are taking some risks. The question becomes how much. Does the candidate have 7 of 10 badges (or 5 of 10)? Are the skills that are missing classified as beginner, intermediate, or advanced? How long will it take for a person to obtain the skills badges? All factors that must be considered.
I liked the skills badge concept that AT&T explained. It sounds intuitive to communicate and maintain. Employees might enjoy seeing a visual reminder of their accomplishments. It could be displayed within a learning technology solution.
Internal recruitment is just as important as external. It starts with refreshing job bidding and job posting programs. Because if employees aren’t interested in applying for the company’s open jobs, is it logical to expect that external candidates will want to?
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while wandering the streets of Boston, MA