Internal candidates get 51% of all open positions

February 23rd, 2010 by lewis

According to the Wall Street Journal, internal candidates get 51% of all open positions. This finding comes from CareerXroads, who surveyed 41 companies that employ 1.8 million people collectively.

Why do companies prefer internal candidates? Hiring managers like candidates who can make an immediate impact. Internal candidates are more likely to do so because they:
  • Understand the processes
  • Know the people
  • Fit with the culture
Most importantly, they’ve already proven themselves on-the-job. Typically, external candidates only have a resume, the interview, and a few references to demonstrate who they are and what they can do. To summarize, there’s more risk hiring an external vs. internal candidate.
As an external candidate, you must close the gap between you and the internal candidate. Invest the time to review the company website and talk to employees. Create your own “on-the-job” opportunities. For example, if you’re applying for a marketing or sales job, try the following:
  • Create a business plan for a new product idea
  • Develop a new sales deck for an existing product
Make your own opportunities and convince the employer that you’re just as strong as (if not stronger than) the internal candidate.

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2 Responses to “Internal candidates get 51% of all open positions”

  1. February 24, 2010 at 3:48 am, DC Jobs said:

    I think that one of the biggest advantages, from a hiring manager's point of view, in regards to internal candidates is the mitigation of risk.

    There is know way to compare the kind of intimate knowledge you get from working with someone for six months as opposed to the comparatively little you can deduce from a resume and 3 rounds of interviews.

  2. February 25, 2010 at 11:25 pm, Carlos said:

    On the other hand, hiring internal candidates may prevents the generation of new/better ideas and fresh approach to make things better for a company. A good interview process can determine if an applicant has the right competencies for a job.