For every assignment I take on advising on integrated talent management we set business targets that it should help achieve. Often increasing the ratio of homegrown vs. recruited talent in key positions is stated as a target to aim for. The reasons are clear, on the one hand, recruitment is costly, and on the other, not very sustainable. Simply recruiting junior talent with five years of experience can cost upwards of 20.000 Euro and this amount ‘skyrockets’ to twice annual salary for C-suite level leaders. The sustainability factor is even more striking: talent that’s recruited for higher management levels frequently leaves within 18 months. No matter how strong their earlier performance, the culture-factor clips their wings.

What if we wouldn’t recruit, but incruit?


The idea came to me when reflecting on a design summit I had held with the People Development department of Innogy Benelux. It struck me that the tools recruiters use to find fresh talent for key positions have evolved over the past few years. LinkedIN is a prime example. Not only has the platform matured, it has become the go-to place for talent that’s on the lookout for new jobs. You can be sure that their profiles are both current and attractive and that recruiters are able to match their profiles to their requirements.

But what happens to employees that aren’t currently actively looking for new jobs outside of their companies? Are their profiles as spic and span as those applying for new jobs? I suspect not.

This poses dilemmas for in-house recruiters. Homegrown talent is nigh invisible for them, whereas external talent for hire is at their fingertips. Is it any wonder that we so often find ourselves in situations where we strive to swing the ratio of hired to homegrown talent in favor of homegrown?

Incruitment would require each employee to keep an up to date record of the potential, performance and skills on the same platform where recruiters recruit: say LinkedIN. Managers would motivate their teams to capture the lessons learned and identified in the performance management cycle in their profiles. Through recommendations from colleagues or contractors, for instance, or by keeping a current record of projects and assignments.

Wouldn’t incruitment be a huge boon to sustainable development? An enabler for both internal and external mobility? A way to increase market and future fitness? And wouldn’t it help save a ton of money on external recruitment?

What are your thoughts?