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BLUF = Should I have answered truthfully that, "Yes, I am interviewing externally ?"

This may seem like a "no-brainer" but hear me out.

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I applied for an internal position with my current employer.  One of the questions the internal recruiter asked me was "Are you interviewing Externally ?"

I answered "No, I was not."

[Truth is I love working for my current, very globally large, employer.  But that I do occasionally like to hear about other career opportunities and a few times have actually gone on external interviews.]

Here is why I think perhaps I should have told the Internal Recruiter that I am interviewing externally:

Employees in my role are VERY difficult and costly to replace.

  • $100K of specialized internal training.
  • Valuable hands-on experience
  • A new employee would take 5 years to come up to speed.

Because replacing employees in my role is difficult, expensive and time consuming - they can almost never change positions within the company.

I've been here 9 years and have only seen one person change jobs.  Frankly that person couldn't do the technical work very well.  I suspect that was why they were allowed to take a different internal position.

 

Another point:  Lately there has been a huge focus on retaining technical talent. Plus major finders fees to help take talent of other companies in the industry.

- - - -

SO:  I'm wondering if one of this Internal Recruiters jobs is to triage the flight risk of high-tech employees applying for internal positions.  If there is no risk, then they don't get considered for the position.

I'm very qualified for the position applied for - but am getting little attention. I suspect they've been told not to consider me due to the cost of replacing me.

 

What do you think ?

 

 

cim44's picture

Why should you feel bad, "have" to tell them that you're recruiting externally, or not be allowed to move internally - just because they aren't investing in maintaining an adequate pipeline of talent for hard to fill positions?

Xriva's picture

I agree.

I'm considering telling the Internal Recruiter that I am now interviewing externally - which is true.

I just being careful - double checking that this is a good idea.

I don't want to loose the job I have, or become a 'lame duck.'

 

TomW's picture

To paraphrase something Mark said, people are entitled to a truthful answer IF they are entitled to an answer at all. To me, it's none of the internal recruiter's business, so he's not entitled to an answer, truthful or otherwise.

Never tell anyone internally that you are interviewing for positions outside the company.

jhack's picture

 "SO:  I'm wondering if one of this Internal Recruiters jobs is to triage the flight risk of high-tech employees applying for internal positions.  If there is no risk, then they don't get considered for the position.

I'm very qualified for the position applied for - but am getting little attention. I suspect they've been told not to consider me due to the cost of replacing me.

What do you think ?"

They're not going to go to all that trouble, just to keep you toiling in your current role.  Look at it this way: why would they put someone into a new role who isn't loyal to the company?  

A good company wants not only to retain but promote its best people.  Yes, your current manager might fight to keep you, but there's little chance of an HR program designed to keep people from being promoted. 

It's hard to accept, but maybe you're getting little attention because you're not a good fit for this position. 

And what TomW said:  Tell no one. 

John Hack

TomW's picture

"Yes, your current manager might fight to keep you, but there's little chance of an HR program designed to keep people from being promoted."

What something is designed to do and what it actually does could be two different things :-)

Xriva's picture

John & Group,

This is a good point:  "It's hard to accept, but maybe you're getting little attention because you're not a good fit for this position."  I may be blinding myself . . . but I am uniquely and perfectly qualified, . . . really.

I did speak with an industry niche external recruiter that I've know for 20 years.  I told her the story and asked her to 'give it to me straight.' Am I fooling myself or does this really happen?  She said in my industry, and specifically my role, it happens all the time.  Her advise was to politely ask for an update on the internal position as I was now considering an external offer.

I haven't decided what to do yet:

A. Tell the Internal Recruiter that I am considering some external opportunities. Possibly freeing myself to be hired for the internal position.

B. Not tell the Internal Recruiter and just leave for an external opportunity. [I sure would miss this great company.]

I will decide by Wednesday.

Comments ?

-X

TomW's picture

Until you have an offer in hand, option A is VERY risky.

Xriva's picture

Tom,

You're right.  I'll wait until I have an offer. The external offer should be here any day.

Once I have it, I may 'hint' to the Internal Recruiter.   I just doubt my company can react quick enough.  The other company won't wait forever for an answer.

X

 

Smacquarrie's picture

 If you are serious about your interest in the internal posting, AND have an external offer, then just approach the recruiter. Do NoT choose option A unless you have an offer externally. Hinting will get you nowhere. I know this sounds like you are trying to get a counter but I will believe you wen you say you would miss where you are now. Unless you are giving serious consideration to the external offer, I would not bring it up, and even the. I would be very hesitant to mention it at all. I am in a solar position in that I need to leave where I am to get to te next level. The difference is that I have been coordinating this with my managers (both of them) and they are very supportive of me in this. 

I wish you the best. 

Mac

stenya's picture

Now I want to know how it all turned out... if your choice has been made yet. :-)

I had a similar situation two years ago, where I'd applied for an internal position and was waiting, waiting, waiting while the hiring manager made up his mind. More than a month from the last interview with no decision. During that period, an external recuiter called with a fantastic opportunity, set me up with an interview within two days, then made me an offer at the end of the week. Of course, on that same day, the internal recruiter offered me the promotion. It was an exciting and stressful -- and really gratifying -- time, but at the end of the day, I knew I really wanted to take the internal job and see how far I could grow in our division. (Six months after that, I was promoted into a management role which I *love*, so it still seems like a great choice.)

I never told the internal recruiter or hiring manager about the external offer. To me, it wouldn't have been worth the chance of jeopardizing my image with the company, like the others said above.

All the best,

Chris