Most organisations have an internal recruitment system in place. The job posting policy however is generally passive and doesn’t always attract the best candidate. It often fails because it relies on employee initiative alone. Intraplacement on the other hand involves the entire company identifying job growth opportunities for employees. In a time where retention is at the forefront of all organisations employment strategies, a self-actuating internal recruitment method may be the answer to curbing the loss of your best talent to your competitors.

One of the key reasons a person leaves their job to work elsewhere is because they are seeking a new challenge. The goal of intraplacement is to increase the number and quality of growth opportunities to current employees. It achieves this by actively engaging managers to develop employees in preparation for their next assignment or step up the corporate ladder. Proactively shifting employees internally into areas where they can have a greater impact on corporate results will see them more excited and more motivated about their job role. And when an employee feels as though they are making a positive difference, productivity and innovation increase.

To be able to strategically redeploy an employee within your organisation is beneficial in times when the company experiences a retirement, resignation, downturn or opportunity. Traditional recruitment methods can see weeks pass as you search for the right candidate. If the right candidate is under your nose, then you can dispatch the employee, who you have already equipped with the right skills, to immediately step into the role until such time you find a more permanent solution or the market shifts and so does the organisation’s focus. This is particularly advantageous if the role is critical to several other business processes.

The power of intraplacement lies in its ability to actively engage managers to develop employees. One of the prime issues with many internal recruitment systems is that they rely solely on an employee to grow their own career. If the employee does not have the confidence to apply for internal roles, you may never reap the benefits of their full potential. They may also sense they are being viewed as disloyal for considering a new job role within and therefore deny themselves an opportunity as they don’t want the stigma of being unfaithful to their team. Likewise a manager may hold back a candidate to protect their own self-interests. Your internal recruiting network needs to be committed to identifying employees for growth opportunities for intraplacement to prosper. Incentivising managers with a reward scheme will prevent employee hoarding and incite a culture of progress.

Your top performers are likely to move from job role to job role more frequently than your average performing workers. This should not be looked down upon, and nor should you apply a minimum length of time to a position when the employee is clearly worthy of a promotion. The goal is not to penalise the individual for working hard, but rather generate success for the company together. Research reveals that job rotations and other forms of internal movement are some of the most effective development and retention tools an organisation can have in their kit.

It doesn’t hurt either that your organisation’s image gains a boost in the public arena. People want to enjoy their job and for many of us to achieve that, we need to know and feel that we are being challenged to realise our full abilities. An effective intraplacement system will attract new workers to your business as it will be impressed upon them that their manager is interested and involved in the development of their knowledge and skills, hence they will feel that they are important and belong.

Intraplacement does need to be customised to the culture of the company. There are many common steps that you can go through in implementing the program. Dr John Sullivan, a HR thought leader, identifies many including the following:

  1. Plot your key employees “history” of job jumping/movement to see if there is a predictable pattern and proactively try to Intraplace them months before they get frustrated
  2. Plot what “phase” key employees are at in their career/ lifecycle. Often you can identify points in an employee’s career where the need for job growth/movement is a driving issue.
  3. Develop a system for continuously identifying growth and learning opportunities. Build rapport with managers and counsel them on how they can help develop and grow their employees
  4. Work with managers to identify growth opportunities including temporary assignments, transfers and projects
  5. Don’t fall into the trap of treating all employees/positions equally. Identify superstar performers, hard-to-hire jobs and key competencies. Develop a list that identifies who should get priority
  6. Consider “pre-qualifying” candidates before openings/ opportunities occur. This can help retain employees because they know in advance they are qualified and it tells less qualified ones what they need to do to move forward
  7. Do a periodic skills and “interest” inventory of all key employees. Find out where “they” want to go and get their managers (and the training dept.) to help to get them qualified
  8. Have a searchable database for managers to use to “find” internal candidates by interest, competencies, performance level, and position
  9. Have a quarterly “Human Asset” review among senior managers to make sure that they have retained, grown, and moved all employees that were targeted.

Great talent is hard to find and even harder to attract. If you can build from within, you will give your employees and your organisation a greater scope to develop at a faster rate, thus move forward in the broader market in a more innovative and productive manner.

We all need a little push sometimes. Don’t wait and allow it to be your competitors that propels you forward. Motivate your workforce and drive momentum from within.

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