News and Insights

Advice, news and thought leadership from our experts.

Why Aren’t Employees Applying For Internal Roles?

Looking to fill a key role in your organization? The perfect candidates are often already on your extended team. You just need to locate them — and convince them to take the job.

This second part can be a problem. There is a fair share of opening that are filled by internal candidates, indicating that companies see their current staff as an excellent source of higher-level talent.

Conversely, there’s another side to this story. There are just a fraction of job candidates that look within their previous employer upon their departure.

That suggests that many workers overlook (or don’t know about) opportunities around them. To build the best overall team, you need to do everything possible to engage these team members before they start looking elsewhere.

With this goal in mind, here are some questions to ask yourself to determine why more of your employees aren’t applying for internal roles:

Are you making your employees aware of available internal roles?

The issue might be one of communication. If your top employees don’t know when roles become open, they won’t know to apply. As such, it’s up to you to publicize opportunities when they arise.

You can improve awareness of internal job openings through initiatives like:

  • Posting jobs on multiple internal platforms
  • Reminding employees about open positions and due dates for applications
  • Encouraging all qualified employees to apply
  • Talking to individual employees about roles they might be suited for

Is the application process transparent?

Step One: Make sure your best employees know about potential advancement opportunities. Step Two: Make sure they can easily apply for the position.

A complex or confusing application process can discourage employees. This happens when companies try to automate procedures or become over-reliant on online forms. Frustration can lead employees to give up.

If you’re receiving lackluster interest, review the logistics of these interfaces. Promising prospects might be running into technical snags.

Are you doing anything to discourage applications?

Beyond technical issues, look at the general culture around internal opportunities. Are you discouraging people (maybe even subtlety and unknowingly) from applying? If so, find ways to remove these psychological barriers.

After all, you’d rather have a few unqualified candidates take a chance than not get enough promising applicants. An encouraging and supportive culture will open up your organization and let you get the most out of everyone.

Are managers doing everything they can to support their team members when internal opportunities become available?

Supervisors can get defensive about losing the best members of their teams. This is only natural. However, this understandable self-preservation can become a barrier (either consciously or unconsciously) to nurturing talent over the long term. A narrow focus from individual managers can become a barrier for high-value employees to apply for opportunities elsewhere in the organization.

Have you sufficiently incentivized employees to pursue new internal opportunities?

When employees apply for internal opportunities, they are looking to push their careers forward. It doesn’t make sense for them to jump into a new role unless it makes their lives better. They want more money, a better job, the chance to develop new skills — some additional value to compensate for the hassle of moving to something new.

Make sure the upside outweighs the cost. Look at your internal postings. Have you communicated the upsides to the new position? Underline the value your current team members can get from pursuing the job.

Looking to bring in the best talent for your team?

Looking for great internal candidates is one part of a strong team-building process. At the same time, you also need to attract high-value outside talent. A top recruiter, like Elby Professional Services, can bring you the best team members available.

Contact Elby today to maximize your staff.

This is 14