How to encourage employees to apply for internal jobs

March 29th, 2023
HireVue Team
Gen Z,

Is your company starting to focus on internal mobility for employees?? This includes:

  • Paying attention to the career path of your employees and providing opportunities for lateral moves or promotions
  • Creating identifiable paths to long-term success within your organization
  • Giving raises and promotions to your current employees

These are important tactics that can help you save money, boost employee morale, and retain top talent. But how do you encourage your existing workforce to apply to your company’s open positions? Below are tips and benefits to help encourage employees to apply to internal jobs as well as some helpful email templates you can use for outreach.

Tips on promoting internal jobs to employees

Promoting internal jobs to employees can be a valuable way to encourage career advancement and retain top talent within your organization. It can also help you foster employee loyalty and build a motivated and innovative workforce that can help your company stay ahead of the competition.

1. Communicate open positions

The first step to encouraging employees to apply to your open positions involves communicating that the positions are open. Use multiple channels, like email, company intranet or a company-wide announcement to inform your employees about new positions. You can also have managers speak with employees who might be good fits for the available jobs and inspire these employees to apply.

2. Foster a positive work environment and company culture

If you find that you’re having trouble making your open position attractive to your current employees, examine your company culture and work environment. Employees are more willing to accept greater responsibility when the company has a positive workplace culture that emphasizes teamwork, collaboration, open communication, and recognizes and rewards good work.

Furthermore, communicating open positions is just the first step. It’s up to your hiring managers to facilitate internal mobility, which can be key in getting current employees to apply to internal jobs. Consider implementing the following:

  • Highlight employees who have advanced successfully within the company
  • Make career advancement opportunities transparent
  • Provide employees with a complete view of their career path
  • List the skills and education necessary to internally advance

Providing clear paths to career advancement gives your employees a sense of direction, shows them that you care about their professional growth, and helps you retain top talent for the long term.

All of this helps employees feel valued by the company, trust the leadership, and feel empowered to do their best work possible. By improving your company culture, your employees will feel more connected to your company, and in turn, they’ll be more willing to take on new challenges and pursue new opportunities within the company.

3. Provide competitive compensation and benefits

When was the last time you compared your compensation packages with those of your competitors? If it’s been a while, it may be time to do some research and adjust your pay and benefits packages in order to be more competitive in the market and ensure you retain the best talent. The cost of looking for a new hire is X – so it may be more cost effective to increase the pay of your current employees. 

4. Highlight the benefits

When encouraging employees to apply for internal positions, including promotions, make sure to let employees know about all the benefits of internal career advancement, including opportunities for growth and development, improved job security, increased company benefits, and higher pay. Some employees may just be looking for a new challenge and a different role within the company that leverages their skill set may be the answer. 

A common, yet potentially destructive, tactic is for an employee to negotiate a pay raise and/or promotion with an offer in hand from another company. This has fostered a workforce that’s more willing to job-hop, which can be hurtful to the company but also for the long-term job opportunities for the employee. There are much better negotiation tactics an employee might use, which your managers should be prepared for.  

In order to prevent employees from wanting to leave your company and instead “apply within”, you’ll need to provide the positive work environment mentioned earlier that includes engaged managers, respectful colleagues, fair (or above market value) compensation and a decent work-life balance. Then, highlight how all these benefits will improve when your employees accept greater responsibility through promotions and career advancement via open jobs within the company.

5. Offer support for those who wish to apply to internal positions

If an employee expresses interest in going after an internal job opportunity, offer them advice on how to prepare their application and provide feedback on their resume and interview skills. Remember to encourage them to continue to develop the necessary skills they’ll need in order to advance and succeed in any new roles they may receive at your company.

6. Provide training and development to those who wish to advance

When you find employees who are eager to learn and advance, offer training and development directly to those employees. This can be done in a variety of ways, including:

  • Provide tuition assistance for college courses or new degrees
  • Send them to appropriate professional conferences 
  • Bring in professionals to host training sessions on pertinent topics 

In addition to providing career-minded employees developmental opportunities, remember to offer skills training and educational courses to all your employees. Even if they’re not interested in new roles and promotions at the moment, they might be interested in these opportunities in the future. Make sure to let your entire workforce know about any job training programs, mentorships, or tuition reimbursement programs that your company offers.

Eager employees need to be nurtured, so be ready to give them what they need and let them know their enthusiasm is appreciated. 

7. Consider offering a better work-life balance

How flexible is your work environment? A McKinsey report from June of 2022 indicates that an astonishing 58% or respondents said they have the opportunity to work from home one day a week. And 87% said they wanted the same opportunity. 

After pay and benefits, most employees value work-life balance, which is the ability to work to their full potential while still having enough personal time. Companies that offer a meaningful work-life balance often see an increase in retention and a decrease in employee turnover. Consider offering employees:

  • Flexible work arrangements that include telecommuting, flexible scheduling and/or compressed workweeks
  • Extended parental leave
  • Wellness programs
  • Free gym memberships
  • More holidays, personal days and/or sick days
  • Sabbaticals 

A positive, powerful work-life offering can do wonders for your employees, which means increased output, higher retention, and an increased ability to hire from within.  

8. Recognize and reward internally promoted employees

Recognize and reward employees who apply and are successful in obtaining internal positions. By showing the success of other employees in advancing within the company, you can encourage additional employees to apply for new positions.

9. Encourage feedback

If you want to successfully promote from within, you need to know that your process is working and not overly cumbersome. Encourage employees to provide feedback about their experience in applying for internal positions. Remember to use open-ended questions to encourage detailed responses. Some questions you might ask include:

  • What prompted you to apply for your new position?
  • What challenges have you encountered in your new role and how can we help you overcome them?
  • Do you feel like you were adequately prepared for your new position by your old position and our training initiatives? Please explain.
  • Are there any training or development opportunities that you would like to see offered within the company?
  • How can we better recognize and appreciate your contributions to the company?
  • Do you have any feedback or suggestions for how we can improve our employee retention and engagement and help encourage employees to apply for internal positions?

Remember to take all feedback seriously and use the feedback provided to improve your internal hiring processes and make it more transparent and fair.

10. Offer employee referral programs

If you’re still having difficulty promoting from within, ask for employee recommendations via a referral program. Your company’s referral program could offer bonuses, extra benefits or cash incentives when an employee’s new hire recommendation is hired and remains with the company for a certain amount of time. While this type of hiring isn’t purely internal, it can widen your pool of candidates by encouraging employees to recommend jobs to family members, friends and professional contacts.

What are the benefits of internal hiring?

When your internal hiring process is working as intended, your company will experience many benefits, including an improved workplace culture, better employee retention and a more productive workforce that’s ready to solve future challenges.

You’ll have increased employee retention.

By offering opportunities for career advancement and professional development, internal hiring can help to retain top talent within your organization. This is because employees are more likely to stay with a company if they feel that there are opportunities for professional growth.

Internal hiring is cost-effective for businesses.

Internal hiring can save your company money, both directly and indirectly

  • Eliminates the need to advertise and recruit externally
  • Shortens the hiring process
  • Requires less training and onboarding, leading to quicker optimal productivity
  • Potentially eliminates relocation costs

However, it should be noted that if an existing employee takes another position within the company, you’ll have to deal with the open position they just left. All the more reason to have a solid hiring process in place, so you’ll be able to fill that position in no time with another qualified employee!

Your company will experience improved morale.

When employees see that there are opportunities for advancement within the organization, they may feel more motivated and engaged in their work. Additionally, when internal candidates are selected for open positions, it can boost morale and demonstrate that the company values and invests in its workforce.

But hiring from within does have some drawbacks to be aware of and potentially avoid. What if you have several internal employees who all want the same position? You may have to manage the hurt feelings, infighting, and maybe a drop in morale. The key here is to be open and transparent. Listen to everyone. Reinforce the company’s benefits, point out  future opportunities, reward good work, and stay engaged with employees who may feel overlooked. 

You’ll have a faster onboarding experience.

Internal hires will already be familiar with your company culture, policies and procedures. This means that they may only need a refresher course on these topics and how they apply to their new position. Additionally, you’ll only have to send them the training modules for their new work tasks, rather than all the training modules you would normally send to a new hire. This can decrease the time it takes to onboard and acclimate the employee to their new position.

Your company will experience a dramatic productivity increase.

Internal hires are more likely to hit their productivity goals faster, as they already have a strong understanding of your company and its operations. This can help to reduce the learning curve and ensure that the employee is able to seamlessly move into their new position and make a difference.

Email template examples for posting internal jobs

When it comes to attracting internal candidates to your company’s open positions, a good email can make the difference between attracting interest and having the email ignored. Here are a few email templates that your company can adjust for its own internal hiring needs and company “voice.”

Internal job posting template 1: general internal job posting

Subject: Exciting New Opportunity – [Job Title] Position Now Open

Dear [Employee’s Name],

We are excited to announce an internal opportunity for the role of [Job Title]. The position will report to [Manager’s Name] and will be responsible for [brief description of the role].

We are looking for an exceptional employee who has [list qualifications and experience needed for the role]. If you are interested in applying, please submit your resume and cover letter to [HR Manager’s Name] at [HR Manager’s Email] by [Deadline to Submit Application].

We are committed to hiring  from within, and we believe that our employees are our greatest asset. We encourage all eligible employees to apply for this exciting new opportunity. If you have any questions about this position and if your qualifications would be a good fit, you can email [HR Manager’s Name] at [HR Manager’s Email] for further clarification.

We wish you a great day.

[Contact Information]

Internal job posting template 2: employee referral for internal job

Subject: Internal Job Posting – [Job Title] – Employee Referral

Dear [Employee’s Name],

We are seeking an exceptional employee to join our team as a [Job Title] under [Manager’s Name]. The successful candidate will be responsible for [brief description of the role]. We estimate the salary at {Salary Range], and the position will include [Additional Benefits].

We believe that our employees are our greatest asset, and we are committed to promoting from within whenever possible. Today, we are reaching out to our valued employees for employee referrals. If you know anyone who may be interested in this position and meets the qualifications, please forward them this email and encourage them to apply. We look forward to reading their resumes and cover letters.

If you are interested in applying for the position, please submit your resume and cover letter to [HR Manager’s Name] at [HR Manager’s Email] by [Deadline to Submit Application].

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to our organization, and have a great day.

[Contact Information]

Internal job posting template 3: urgent internal job posting

Subject: Urgent Internal Job Posting – [Job Title]

Dear [Employee’s Name],

We have an urgent internal job posting for the role of [Job Title] that directly reports to [Manager’s Name]. The successful candidate will be responsible for [brief description of the role].

We are looking for a highly motivated and skilled employee who can fill this position by [Date]. If you have the necessary qualifications and experience and are interested in applying, please submit your resume and cover letter to [HR Manager’s Name] at [HR Manager’s Email] by [Deadline to Submit Application].

We encourage all eligible employees to apply for this exciting opportunity, and we look forward to reading your resume and reviewing your qualifications.

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and we wish you good luck in applying for this opportunity.

[Contact Information]

Promoting internal jobs to employees is a valuable strategy that organizations can use to build a strong, adaptive, agile, and motivated workforce. By highlighting the benefits of internal hiring, providing opportunities for career advancement and encouraging feedback, companies can create a culture of internal mobility and career progression that benefits both employees and the organization as a whole.

The utilization of hiring tools can enhance both your internal and external hiring processes. HireVue offers a range of automated  interviewing technology, candidate management tools, and assessments that can help you hire the best candidates possible, even from within your own company!


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