Increase Employee Retention – Create an Internal Career Advisor!

Perhaps one of the downfalls of companies’ recruiting strategy is this elusive idea that external talent is “sexier” than the talent already in the company. Recently, there has been a lot of focus on the need to grow your own talent as a way to increase engagement and keep hiring costs in check. There are three reasons why investing in an Internal Career Counselor is the future of recruiting.


The 32% growth mark is higher than last year’s rate of 19%, Cognizant said. Among job categories, work culture had the highest year-over-year growth; career counselors, a component of the work culture group, accounted for a “seven-fold” jump in job postings, suggesting a “growing need for work culture specialists within businesses to help their employees adapt to digital change and acquire the skills needed to succeed in the future,” Cognizant said. HRDive.com

The Internal Career Counselor saves the company money

Photo by Ibrahim Rifath on Unsplash

Although I hate the cliche “War for Talent”, it is pretty accurate, especially in the tech industry. Candidates with the skills in the highest demand can just about name their price in any market. Unfortunately, this usually leaves the recruiter and manager hiring entry level talent at higher compensation levels than current employees. The level of production this entry level talent can provide, relative to the pay they require, does not make good business sense.

This strategy also creates an issue with retention of current employees who determine they are no longer valued. As these employees leave, companies not only lose on the employee’s precedental knowledge but also lose the amount of time and money invested in them.

Increase employee engagement

The amount of time and money invested in employee engagement is staggering. Companies are finding innovative ways to maintain high morale as more and more studies show this increases productivity.

Internal Career Counselors can boost engagement by taking the normal external recruiting strategy and turning it inward. They serve as not only an internal sourcing agent but also an advocate for the employee. We’ve only been testing our pilot Internal Career Counselor program for a month but have already received numerous Thank You notes from employees who valued someone taking the time to give them a fighting chance for the job.

Rather than simply receiving the “Thanks but No Thanks” declination email, the employees who have an internal career counselor receive valuable feedback on how to prepare themselves for their next role. This especially helps when they do not receive the job! Employees who are given a plan to succeed that they can drive will feel more valued by their company and thus, become even more engaged.

The Internal Career Counselor will help employee retention

It sounds cheesy but Internal Career Counselors help employees feel the love and serve as another entry point into the employee’s state of mind. Think of how many times employees leave and it’s a complete surprise to their managers and HR team.

Another point of contact for employees is always a good thing, especially when they feel as though the person is genuinely interested in the advancement of their career. It always amazes me how more open employees were with internal career counselors. They share not only their desires for better, more fulfilling careers but also any concerns they have about staying with their current company. This is a valuable insight companies can gain by adding an internal career counselor to their recruiting strategy.


Our Sprint Recruiting methodology has recently changed to include the discussion regarding internal talent early in the sprint. We identify potential roles those in our internal portfolio can fill. It’s a win/win for us because we get to retain talent in the organization and in most cases, fill a critical job rather quickly.

If you are intrigued by this idea, try dedicating half of your time or someone on your team’s time to developing internal talent. Create a pipeline of internal talent just as you would external targets. You’ll be amazed the benefits you’ll begin seeing early in the process of adopting the internal career counselor as part of your recruiting strategy.

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Published by Trent Cotton

I joined the HR industry in 2004 after working as a sales leader in the Financial Services Industry for eight years. After spending his first couple of years in HR trying to fit in, I found my voice. Now I leverage all of the things I once hated about HR to become a consultant and invaluable partner to the businesses I support. My passion to lead, innovate and engage the HR industry. I use my blog at NakedHR.me to reach thousands of readers and provides unique insights into a range of HR and business topics. I currently write for NakedHR.me and SprintRecruiting.com. I contribute to the HRGazzette and to DataDrivenInvestor on Medium. WARNING: my writing style is raw and in your face, not what you would expect from an HR executive. Connect with me on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/trentcotton or on Twitter @TrentCotton.

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