How To Effectively Utilize Internal Talent


Finding a talented employee who knows your company can be challenging if you are looking externally. Sometimes you need someone who knows your company well to fill a role. You may want someone who needs less foundational company training. Hiring internally is the perfect way to find that person. Today, we wanted to shed some light on how to effectively utilize internal talent so your company can find the best person for your open roles.

Find Your Silent Superstars

Often when employers are looking for internal talent, their first step is to look at their current rockstars –– the people who stand out, offer advice in every meeting, and work overtime every week. While these people deserve your attention, many people help your company function, even if they aren’t as vocal about it. It’s essential that you find your silent superstars, so you can find the right talent to utilize, develop, and promote.

Allow Your Team To Recognize Each Other’s Hard Work

One of the best ways to find your silent superstars is to let your team recognize each other’s hard work. You can use Slack plugins like Disco to acknowledge your team’s hard work. As a manager, you can see who is getting the most recognition from their team, allowing you to identify who your best people are. These results may surprise or validate you.

Have Conversations About Employee Goals Early And Often

Your employees have goals and resolutions for their careers. Your employees may want to get a promotion, learn a new skill, or find a new role in the company. Many employers wait to have these crucial conversations about employee goals, but this can prove detrimental.

The first year of a job is critical. Most turnover happens during the first year of an employee’s tenure at your company. If you wait until they’ve been working at your company for 366 days, you’ll probably find that many employees don’t make it that far, that doesn’t make them a bad employee.

Instead of waiting to have a conversation about your employee’s goals, consider starting this conversation as soon as you can. After they get settled into their new role, it’s time to assess what they want from your company and how you can help them achieve their goals.

Focus On Building Internal Learning And Development

Our team cannot know everything. We need to understand where our team falls short, so we can build knowledge and create upward mobility within our company. If mobility is essential to your employees, you have to give them the skills they need to succeed in higher roles.

Employees Are Great Assets When You Give The Ability To Learn And Advance

Many people assert that training doesn’t make your employees leave, but the truth is trickier than that. If you want to keep your internal talent, you need to follow training with advancement. If you are teaching your employees new things, but they have nowhere to go within your company, you might find them looking for other places to use their new skills. Instead of refusing to educate your employees, create a way for employees to advance their careers within your company.

Announce New Positions Internally First

Many employers think of offering management roles internally first, but they don’t consider that all roles can be offered internally before they are offered to the public. Yes, you will still need to find someone to fill the positions your internal team leaves behind, but the shifting can have some serious benefits allowing you to inject new life into all the roles you need to fill. You may find that your internal employees don’t want to take on your new positions, but giving them the option to apply helps them understand the opportunities you have within your company.

Stop Dissuading Departmental Moves

Sometimes your employees cannot move up. You may not have a higher sales role that they qualify for. Instead, you might find that your salesperson is interested in your new content marketing role, or they want to take a stab at your new HR position. Departmental moves can be an excellent way to keep your employees interested and involved at work without finding higher roles for them.

Focus On Boomerang Employees

While boomerang employees aren’t necessarily internal talent, you should have a strategy for dealing with these types of employees. In some cases, hiring a boomerang employee is more cost-effective than an entirely new hire, so they should be on your radar. Boomerang employees need to understand the current lay of the land, which may be dramatically different than when they were first employed. It’s your job to make that transition as smooth as possible so you can reap the benefits of hiring someone who knows your company better than a new hire.

Understand Your Data And Improve Your Numbers

Taking steps to utilize internal talent is only one part of the equation. You need to understand if those steps are working by analyzing your employees’ feelings and how they perceive the work you are doing. You can also look at the data. Are more current employees applying for open positions? Do you see more departmental moves or upward mobility within your company? Has the retention or turnover rate changed? Track these statistics so you can make sure that your internal talent strategies are working.


Utilizing internal talent is beneficial for everyone. Your team feels more appreciated, and you save money on hiring (especially for roles that are harder to fill.) Your HR team should find your silent superstars while letting more internal team members opt into filling roles at work. You can’t fill every position with internal talent, but it’s great to give people the option to move around the company as you grow or positions open up.

For more recruitment tips, check out our recent article on building your talent pipeline.