Fight like an insider

Fact of the job search life, insiders have a much better chance of being hired than an external candidate. When you lose the interview you have two clear choices, lie there, whine and complain, tell yourself that life isn’t fair and cry like a baby or alternatively you can get up and move on.

I am working with a client who has been ‘Best Man’ but not the ‘Groom’ on a number of occasions recently and on each occurrence the position has been offered to an internal candidate.
From what I see and read it appears that internal candidates are 5 times more likely to be offered a non management position as an outsider and 3 times more likely for more senior positions and this seems to hold even when the insider is less qualified. So if this is the case you have to take the fight to the trenches, build relationships and try to be as much of an insider as possible.

Why do companies hire from within?

  1. There already know the strengths and weaknesses of the applicant.
  2. Promoting from within sends a great message internally.
  3. Less time is required to get them up and running
  4. They are familiar with the culture and business practices.

What steps can you take to fight this battle with the goal of minimizing the odds against you?

  1. Recognize that you have a tough fight ahead and use every possible tactic to be there at the end.
  2. Find, by hook or by crook an internal contact. You need to have someone on the inside singing your praises in the same way that an internal candidate is making sure that they are front and center in the hiring manager’s mind.
  3. Create a resume that is very closely matched to the position; remember that the internal candidate knows the truth about the job so can present a resume that is very close to the mark.
  4. Practice interviewing, most internal candidates will have been in their posts for a while and will probably not be treating this as seriously as you will. A great impression during the interview can be a huge advantage when decision time comes around.
  5. Talent and skills will win many times over internal candidate. Research and prepare. Ability to bring a new perspective to an organization can be seen as a positive action. During the interview make sure you explain your capabilities and vision.

Don’t give up, good hunting


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