The Hiring Strategy That’s Not About Hiring: How to Nurture Internal Talent and Shrink Turnover

Turnover can hurt your company’s growth and bottom line. It leaves you in the difficult position of having to find a new employee in a shortened amount of time. Turnover can also hurt productivity, drain resources, create additional costs, and cause you to lose valuable time that could be spent on other projects instead of hours spent interviewing, recruiting, and debating which candidate to hire.

So how can you reduce turnover? One way is to increase internal recruiting. Developing your employees and hiring from within is an important way to boost morale among your employees and help them see that they have a future of upward mobility with your organization. And when a company fosters a culture of internal advancement, employees are more productive, innovative, loyal, and dedicated. It can also increase your brand awareness, because people want to work for a company that values development.

Here are a few ways to help your current employees grow to avoid turnover and create a collaborative, creative environment that nurtures internal talent:

Create avenues for career development.

  • Invest in training programs and career development opportunities to grow and advance internal employees. These can be free online courses, company-led workshops, expert-led breakout sessions, or other training methods – as long as you have a clear strategy for employees to learn new skills. Whatever your strategy, be sure to budget for training and development, and encourage your employees to participate in the opportunities offered.
  • Outline detailed development plans with clear objectives and milestones for each employee that are frequently examined and adjusted (if necessary) on a regular basis by mentors and supervisors. Formally evaluate not only employees’ current capabilities but also their potential for growth.
  • Assign stretch projects. Assigning new responsibilities or an entirely new project is a good way of assessing talent and pushing an employee’s competence boundaries into new arenas. A stretch assignment can often help to demonstrate hidden talent and an individual’s capacity to shoulder new levels of responsibility.

Set up mentorship programs.

  • Develop mentorship programs where senior members of the company mentor and coach entry-level employees. Make sure mentors are empowered to monitor their mentees’ needs and to provide resources and support to help them develop.
  • Try shadowing. Let employees shadow another member of the organization to learn more about their role and see if they are interested in succeeding that person one day. Setting up succession plans in advance is key. And be prepared to follow through with the succession plan when the time comes.
  • Provide cross-functional experiences. Allow employees to work on projects with other team members or outside their usual task responsibilities. This enables them to see whether they might want to create a different career path within your organization.

Foster a collaborative, creative environment.

  • Encourage employee feedback and clear and open communication. Get ideas from employees on new career development ideas and opportunities they are interested in. Make sure employees know it’s a company priority to see them grow professionally.
  • Ask employees frequently what you can do more of to help them grow and succeed. Have regular communication with them (both formally and informally) so you know how engaged they are in their jobs.
  • Make your employees feel like their voice matters and create an open, transparent environment where feedback and honesty are celebrated. Being honest builds trust and connection with your staff and encourages your team to reciprocate.

Hire from within.

If you take the time to make internal employees feel valued, grow their talents, and spark their ambition – you can create a strong and vibrant internal pool of talent that will serve your organization for years to come.

Hire employees with potential and who are teachable. Look beyond the job you are hiring them for and consider positions they might be well-suited for after you develop them.