Question from the mailbag: "Why do companies post openings when they know they are going to hire someone internally? I have lost out to many positions because the company already had an internal candidate in mind. The companies I have applied to are big and small, public and private. I have started to ask if there are any internal candidates applying for this role and the answer is usually yes."
I love this question, because it addresses a widespread frustration among job seekers. Remarkably, there are several reasons why a company may post a job opening to the outside world while they have an internal applicant in the wings:
- Company policy requires them to post every job. Every. Single. One. The bad news is, this frustrates external candidates to no end. The good news is that the company values internal movement and promotion of employees over external applicants, and gives internal applicant a chance at mobility. Should you get the job, at least you know you hit a high bar and you'll get the same consideration for future opportunities.
- Union rules. Some collective bargaining agreements have it written into their contracts with companies that all jobs be posted for internal employees.
- The company wants to see who else is out there. Maybe the internal employee is good - but not thatgood. Often the posting rules indicate that, all qualifications being equal, the internal employee receives the nod. But if the external applicant holds better qualifications, the outsider gets the job.
- The hiring manager hopes a specific internal employee will apply. Sometimes the internal employee may be asked to apply, but ultimately decides she's happy in her current role. It happens. And if the company hadn't advertised outside, they wouldn't have any candidates in the pipeline.
Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. He is a Human Resources professional and staffing expert with almost two decades of in-house corporate HR and staffing firm experience, and is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC).
Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, and career coaching services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the website, www.insidercs.com.