Is this hiring method common?

Where I work there is a very strong preference to hire someone from another part of the company. Some managers think someone from outside is a very risky hire but an internal guy is very safe.

Since the company is growing there have to be outside hires but it seems that some people really try to avoid that .

Based on this it’s very common to meet people who have worked in 3 or 4 different areas of the company. It seems like it’s almost expected for people to move around.

Yes. Make a lateral move if it is to your advantage.

Yes because you know what you are getting. You know the person’s strengths and weaknesses.

Hiring unknowns is like rolling dice. Pretty difficult to predict the outcome even with lots of preparation.

Another employer benefit to hiring from within is that they wouldn’t have to pay a recruiter or relocation expenses (assuming those are commonly paid at all for the types of jobs you are talking about).

One more advantage is that employees have a better idea of how their work and their section fits into the big picture of how the company as a whole works. Having contacts across the company can be useful, too.

A big downside is the lack of new ideas. The same old stuff just keeps getting recycled whether it’s any good or not.

As far as hiring an unknown being risky, at some point every single person in the company was “unknown” right? So if your goal is to not hire an unknown, then don’t run a business .

It totally depends on the company. As others have mentioned, with an internal hire, you typically get someone whose repuation and performance is known and who is already familiar with the company. In fact, many large companies have specific programs or otherwise encourange employees to change groups ever 6 to 24 months or so. Plus most employees want to have the opportunity to try different things or move into new roles.

That said, companies need new blood. Employees retire. They die. If nothing else, they need to find a replacement for that guy who just transfered. That means they need to hire new people. In fact many “high performance” companies have “up or out” policies where employees are often terminated if the company feels they have reached their peak.

But this strategy only transfers the need for an outside hire to the department you poached your new person from. It doesn’t reduce the overall recruitment expense at all.

That’s not necessarily the case. Do you see why?

I know why, I know why!

There are times when the person you are “poaching” was going to be out of a job otherwise: projects ending, factories reducing workload, etc. Isn’t it much better to find those people a job within the company than to cut them loose at the same time as you’re hiring people to do stuff those were qualified for and interested in doing? Total win-win.

Well that plus also if the person had decided to move on from the position they were in such that their department was going to have to recruit anyway.

Oh ok, we’ll be sure to shut down our successful business, sorry we were running it that way.

Didn’t mean to do anything wrong.

You hire the unknowns into entry level positions where they can do less damage.

Would you rather hire the unknown into a $15/hour position that can easily be filled if the person doesn’t work out, or the $50k/year position that will require months of searching and several rounds of interviews?

Often times the “known” guy is in reality the golfing buddy or fishing buddy of somebody and that’s why they get hired. Not because they are qualified for the job.

And I’ve seen plenty of things that went wrong because of people who got hired in 1985 still think it’s 1985 and they won’t update their skills, tools, etc.