This week we asked people who hire librarians
Can we talk about internal hiring? What is the process for promotions in your organization? Are there any particular indicators that show you when a staff member is ready for more responsibility? Do internal candidates have to follow the same application procedures as external candidates? Any other advice for succeeding when you’re already an employee?
We go out of our way to promote internally, and we never post the job externally when we intend to do so. (Not every institution is allowed to do that, of course.) Readiness really varies. Sometimes they’re the choice because of related prior experience. We’ve had internal candidates apply for higher-level things less than six months after getting hired, and we don’t hold that against them. They’re frequently successful, in fact.
I’ve had cases of losing a staff member to another department. And I’ve had cases of interviewing someone from another department and not hiring them. It’s never as awkward as people fear. Go for it.
The one thing I do wish we’d change is pushing people into positions that either they don’t feel ready for or are just not interested in. Sometimes it would be better to go through the extra work of posting and interviewing rather than shoving in a warm, convenient body. Yes, sometimes people lack confidence but are actually ready to shine. But not always. And then we lose them altogether the first chance they get to escape.
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