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Assessing Candidates Internal versus External

We as search specialists are frequently asked to include and assess one or more internal candidates in the executive search process to staff a vacancy.

This results logically from succession planning within the client company. Also, when planning to appoint a new senior executive, management boards generally wish to benchmark their internal candidate successors against outside potential.

Assessing Context

We find this a healthy practice, provided a number of conventions are followed in order to ensure a fair and professional selection process. 

Make sure all candidates go through the same steps:

  1. Appoint an Executive Selection Panel consisting of Company management members and search consultants.
  2. Have a formal meeting to decide on the job specification, candidate requirements and wish list.
  3. Include internal candidates in an agreed long list presented by your consultants.
  4. Make a Selection Panel decision, based on the consultants' reports, on who is to be on the shortlist.
  5. Have all short listed candidates complete a psychometric test questionnaire such as OPQ by SHL and have your consultants prepare a 360° reference check on external candidates (and possibly internal candidates as well).
  6. The individual is asked to report to his own manager about the usefulness of the Mentoring session he has attended, and his wish for it to be repeated. Our Consultants will give a short feedback to management only at the request of the individual.
  7. Ask the short listed candidates to make a formal presentation to the Selection Panel. The first part of the presentation should focus on why they believe they are the right candidate for the job based on skills, experience and personal ambition. The second part of the presentation should focus on their understanding of the business and organisation of the company and how they would go about their short- and long-term role.
  8. Have a formal Panel meeting to discuss the ranking of the candidates against the job specification, the candidate requirements and wish list. The Panel should then decide on their number one and two choices.
  9. A member of the Panel should then start negotiations with the number one candidate. If this does not progress satisfactorily, the number two candidate is approached.
  10. The Panel decides on formal introduction of the chosen candidate.
  11. The Panel decides on face-to-face feedback sessions with those candidates who gave presentations.

For further information on this and related topics please contact us either via mail, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call us on +32 2 663 1600


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