Why You Can’t Skip Employee Onboarding for Internal Hires

2 min read
Dec 21, 2016

onboarding internal hires

When you make hire someone new, you hope they excel at their job and move up in the company. You’ve invested in their future with the business. But when an employee eventually makes that move, many times they don’t receive any training.

Dont assume that just because theyve been working in the organization that they know their new job. In fact, according to Harvard Business Review, leaders making moves within their companies rated the difficulty of the transition as 70% as hard as joining a new company. And only 27% of leadership internal hires reported that their companies provided adequate support. Offering training still plays a role, especially for employees switching departments or roles.


Internal vs. External

Making internal hires is often a successful strategy in the long-term. Internal hires are more cost-efficient, are less likely to be laid off or fired, and receive higher scores on performance reviews than external hires, according to the Wall Street Journal.  

But it turns out that training for internal hires is just as essential as for external hires. 

internal employee onboarding 

Helping Internal Hires Succeed

While the promoted employee will not need all of the same onboarding as they did when they started (such as reviewing company policy), internal hires do need to become intimately acquainted with their new job. One way to accomplish this is through a mentoring program, in which the internal hire gets a closer look at how the job is done. If they’re moving to a new department, this allows them to slowly integrate into the new culture. This socialization aspect is key for cross-departmental hires.

Assessing the risk in the transition is also important. The larger the leap, the more support the company will need to provide. If they’re moving departments and changing roles, this could be particularly difficult. The employee is likely talented — that’s why they got promoted in the first place — but they’ll need to develop the skills necessary to be competent in their new position.

Once the internal hire has been doing their new job for a while, be sure that they receive feedback. Just like for external hires, the biggest challenge is starting the job. Show them that you’re there to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

When you make an internal hire, the stakes are high: If it doesn’t work out, morale may go down across the workplace. But if an internal hire succeeds, it shows other employees that the company values their work and is interested in promoting from within.



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