A company's internal postings and external websites are the means by which a business advertises its available job openings for internal and external candidates, respectively. Internal job postings are available only to those already employed by a company. External website postings are open to all job seekers. Both internal postings and external websites generally include such information as job title and location, job responsibilities, requirements for applying for the job, salary, and benefits. Not every business manages their internal postings and external website job listings in the same manner, however, and the information available may be different for internal versus external job candidates.
A company's decision to post job openings internally or externally can depend on several factors. These include legal requirements and business conditions. The business's perspective about hiring is often key as well. A job seeker, especially one already employed by a company, can use this knowledge to better manage his or her job search.
Sometimes an employer is legally required to post a position in a specific way. For example, federal contractors affected by the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act, as amended by the Jobs for Veterans Act, fall into this category. This law impacts affirmative-action requirements and gives veterans priority in referrals. Under this law, jobs can be posted simultaneously for both internal and external candidates, but internal candidates often receive preferential attention. Job posting rules can also be affected by collective bargaining agreements , which may require a period during which a position is offered only internally before opening it up to external candidates.
A number of business conditions also impact how a company lists a job. Companies often will not post a job internally, or will post it both internally and externally, to address organizational restructuring or critical operational needs. Also, if management or human resources is aware
that a position requires certain skills, education, or experience, or a combination thereof, that no current employee holds, the company may only post the position externally.
Companies often prefer internal candidates over external candidates because the hiring process is less expensive, less training is required, and the candidate's work habits are known. External candidates require more time, cost, and effort to be found, interviewed, and hired, then must undergo a learning curve after starting the position. External websites also must communicate more information about the business and the position than internal job listings. Preparing this information takes more time and results in increased costs for the human resources department.
From the business or organization's point of view, benefits and drawbacks exist for pursuing both internal and external candidates, and job seekers should understand them as they organize their job searches. Some companies have a policy of promoting from within the organization because it enhances employee commitment and morale. At the same time, external candidates can bring in new ideas and perspectives, without which a company can become entrenched in the same ways of doing business and miss opportunities to change and grow.
If you are already an employee of a company, you can use internal listings as a means of finding a new position. Internal job postings may be communicated by internal job bulletin boards available to all employees or on a restricted basis to certain groups, such as middle management. While such a bulletin board was once physical, it is now often found online via a company's intranet or company-only web pages. Companies also send out e-mails listing jobs available to internal candidates. Developing strong relationships with managers, supervisors, and/or hiring personnel might also lead to advanced knowledge of internal positions ahead of their posting, allowing you time to prepare an application and network with the appropriate personnel.
If you are seeking a position at a company via an external, dedicated website, you should regularly scan posted jobs listings and note their requirements. Such websites are typically updated daily or at least weekly. On some external websites, you can set up an alert so that you receive automated notifications via e-mail when the type of job you are seeking becomes available. However, an automated system will not always catch all jobs of interest to you, so it is still beneficial to visit a company's external job search website on a regular basis.
A company's external website generally offers a means of applying online. Some allow you to post your résumé , work portfolio, and other information as part of an internal database that human resources or hiring managers can search. External employment websites can also include inventories that you can take to assess whether or not your personality matches a successful employee within an organization.
Additionally, a company's external website often provides valuable information on the company itself, the kind of people that make up its current workforce, and the employment benefits they offer, including developmental opportunities. Some websites even offer virtual tours of the office or facilities and a realistic description of what a work day might be like. A company often markets itself through its employment website, emphasizing its desirability to potential employees and the strength of its business.
The advantages for job seekers looking for internal postings are many. This includes knowing about openings before external job seekers and a greater consideration for the position by the human resources department. Many companies have a vested interest in retaining current employees through internal promotion. Additionally, some jobs are never available to external candidates.
Internal job postings may also include more targeted and specific information than the same jobs listed externally. Information available to internal job seekers may include pay grade, contact information for the human resources or hiring manager, the time period the job opening is valid, as well as descriptions of the responsibilities, skills, education, and experience necessary. Internal job postings may also offer a bonus to anyone who refers a candidate, internal or external, for a position that requires advanced or specific skills that are hard to find, if the candidate is hired. Such a bonus is generally not available to external job seekers.
Internal job postings have their drawbacks. Depending on the company or organization, there may be a limited number of jobs available at any given time. Internal job seekers also face competition from coworkers, whose skills and abilities may be widely known and admired. In addition, if a job seeker is not happy at the company, applying for a new position internally will not necessarily address this issue.
External website postings have several negative aspects as well. Sometimes companies list jobs externally to meet legal requirements or company policy even if they have already identified internal candidates, which means external candidates are wasting their time and they do not even know it. There is also greater competition for externally posted positions. Companies sometimes list jobs not only on their own external websites but also on Internet job boards, further increasing the competition by broadening the recruiting area to include the entire country and sometimes other countries. Additionally, a company's external website sometimes only lists certain types of jobs, such as entry-level positions, those requiring specialized skills, or upper management, for which there may not be many internal candidates.
While policies vary from company to company, most internal job seekers do not need to provide as much information as external candidates. Because much of an internal candidate's previous employment information is already on file, a résumé and cover letter are often not needed. Some employers, however, do require such documents, including details on specific projects the candidate has worked on for the company. Often internal job seekers need to fill out forms for human resources and inform their supervisor that they are applying for a different position. An internal job seeker should be aware that hiring managers access performance appraisals and other data not available on external candidates.
For external job seekers, the application process is more traditional and expansive, including the submission of a résumé, a cover letter, and sometimes a portfolio of work, if applicable. Résumés should include job titles, education, and work experiences. References and letters of recommendation should also be prepared ahead of time, as human resources and hiring managers will ask for them if the job seeker becomes a viable candidate. The external employment websites of some companies also can include online applications, testing, and other filtering processes to be filled out by job seekers.
If you are an internal job applicant, the follow-up process is slightly different than for external job applicants. Because internal candidates have greater access to and knowledge of those in charge of hiring, you can approach managers, supervisors, and human resources personnel about the status of your application and express interest in the job through e-mails or phone calls. Such contact should be limited and conducted within a week or two of submitting the application. However, the preferred status of internal candidates often means that human resources will contact the candidate and set up an interview as soon as possible. As an internal candidate, you should be aware that your job performance might be under more scrutiny during the hiring period.
If you are an external job applicant, you will often need to be more proactive about follow-up than an internal candidate would because you lack a relationship and/or access to the hiring managers. If contact information is included in the external job listing, you should send a follow-up e-mail or telephone call within a week. If this contact information is unavailable, you can call the company or do other research to gain this information if possible. However, you should not expect to hear from most companies if they are not interested in scheduling an interview, a standard practice in the industry. When a company or organization responds to an application you submitted through an external company employment website, you should reply as soon as possible and in no more than two days.