We’ve talked many times about responding to job advertisements. But what happens if you’re an employee who is applying for a job within the company? That’s what today’s reader note is all about – internal job postings.
Hello. I found my dream job however, the posting was made about a month ago which makes me worry that they already have a candidate in mind and/or are not actively seeking a candidate.
Most HR articles address job postings that have been posted more than once. I cannot find any information on how to interpret a job posting that has been open for more than a month without a deadline. In addition, there’s no indication that it is “open until filled”. Thanks for your insight.
Let’s start with a quick clarification. Employees usually apply for jobs within a company one of two ways. The first is called job bidding. That’s when an employee expresses an interest in a job that doesn’t have any openings at the present moment. This can be really helpful in situations where the employee could fill-in or pick up extra work in their department of interest.
The second way is a job posting. The company has an open position and they post it internally. Companies do this to give employees the chance to gain experience or additional responsibilities. It’s a way to allow employees control over their careers – by allowing them to pursue other opportunities.
Our reader note mentions a concern that the organization “already has a candidate in mind”. I assume the employee is thinking that the job posting process is bogus and they are only posting to meet some sort of company requirement.
As a HR pro, I know that’s not true but to give you a second opinion on the subject, I reached out to Jay Kuhns, SPHR. He’s vice president of human resources for All Children’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida and author of the blog No Excuses HR. Jay said his organization receives thousands of applications each month. “In order for applications to be reviewed properly, it takes time. Don’t let a few weeks fool you into believing the job search isn’t real. Recruiters need time to do good work, not just fast work.”
Another frustration I hear from employees about job postings is when the opening is published internally and externally at the same time. I asked Jay to share his thoughts. “Many organizations believe that their employees deserve the ‘first crack’ at a job that opens up. We believe that too. However, that doesn’t mean internal employees automatically get that opportunity.”
On the surface, this might seem contrary to the notion of giving employees new opportunities. But giving employees a new position comes with responsibility. Jay explains the logic. “Most organizations are committed to hiring the best people possible. Simply because an internal applicant is aware of a job first, or even interviews first, that has nothing to do with who eventually ends up in that job. The best people are typically the ones hired, whether or not they are internal or external candidates.”
Sometimes what is best for the company is to hire someone from the outside. Even when an internal posting process exists. Organizations might need a fresh set of eyes on the company and its processes. They may need a person without existing relationships within the department.
Companies have internal posting processes for a reason. It’s not to trick employees. It’s to do what’s best for everyone.1