It’s frustrating when the same internal company recruiter contacts me, walks me through the entire tedious application process, including interviews, only to find out later that they’ve rehired an internal candidate. Why do they keep wasting my time?

Q: Please help me understand why the same company keeps calling me for an interview with them and then ignoring me, rejecting me and hiring an internal candidate instead?

A: I’m really sorry you were taken advantage of by a company’s internal recruiter. It is likely that the internal recruiter has been told to look at external candidates to see who else is “out there” and to justify hiring an internal candidate. Your background must be very appealing to them to contact you more than once, and I assume the rejection message you got was “we have an internal candidate whose skills are stronger than yours.”

It’s unfortunate that companies either don’t trust the skill level of their internal employees or don’t trust the professional development activities they’ve invested in and put these people through enough to just offer them the promotion. While opening up and advertising a vacancy to both internal and external candidates can allow companies to be more selective and find the most qualified person for the position, companies should simply promote their internal candidates instead of wasting time on external candidates when they next to no chance to land the position.

What is important in this situation and for all job seekers is to always ask if there is an internal candidate for the position being advertised and applying for. That information can help you, but only if you take it a step further by asking the recruiter, “How often do you promote an internal candidate versus hiring external candidates?” And trying to understand from them that if they don’t choose to promote from within, what they see is lacking in that person’s skills or the development opportunities they’ve had within the company.

This question may seem challenging to internal recruiters, but what it does give an external candidate is information and insights about whether the organization is moving ahead fifty-fifty for internal and external candidates, whether the organization believes in promotion from within, and whether the organization provides professional development opportunities and training for their employees so that they can secure promotions within their organization.

There are better ways for organizations to understand the skills that bring people to jobs in the marketplace. There are research organizations that can provide you with information to help you assess a candidate’s leadership potential and the skills and behaviors people in leadership positions have. MRG’s leadership assessments in Portland, Maine are valuable to any organization that has a cultural commitment to developing their people and it protects the brand your company will earn as one that will waste an outside candidate’s time and energy trying to serve their meet internal needs.

If this company contacts you again for an interview for a position, ask them if they have an internal candidate before considering whether it is a viable position. And if they say yes, politely decline to meet the recruiter and offer to meet the hiring manager or CEO. The executives of this company need to hear about the failed hiring process. Boston. com

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