Ruth Cornelius –
Unlocking the Potential of Internal Candidates


Unlocking the Potential of Internal Candidates

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Author: Ruth Cornelius

Often organisations invest in personality assessments for external candidates to allay fears of the unknown, to identify potential behavioural risks which they are unlikely to declare at interview, and ultimately to make better hiring decisions. The cost of a bad hire is well researched, and the higher the role is in the organisation the bigger the cost.

As we wrote in our last blog, humans are notoriously bad at making objective, unbiased decisions. Internal candidates are often at the highest risk of being pigeon-holed because they are a ‘known quantity’. Often the hiring manager thinks they ‘know them’ and unless they are very deliberate, will use their candidate’s performance in their recent roles as a prediction of how they will perform at the next level or in a different area of the business. Internal candidates face the challenge of being stereotyped into roles they have been successful in, or blackmarked against roles where they have been less successful. You can get past that bias by investing in research-based predictions about how a person will perform in a particular role allows you to compare apples with apples, leveling the playing field for internal and external candidates.

One organisation that we work with are particularly strong advocates for the use of personality assessments for their internal candidates because the independent and objective perspective the assessments provide enables their hiring panel to ask better questions. It also enables them to place the candidates in the roles most suited to them personally and the organisation.

Good companies recognise that hiring is a long game. Investing in the process from the start means everybody wins in the end. Regardless of whether an internal candidate is appointed, they benefit from the developmental experience. Assessment insights support reflection on leadership style and values fit, encouraging individuals to be deliberate in how they show up, and providing managers with reliable insights for how to best provide an environment in which the individual will thrive. They also enable the identification of future leaders and support succession planning initiatives – supporting you to make the most of your talent pool. If you’re interested in learning more about our assessment tools, reach out - we’d love to have a chat!



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