Jobseekers are clear on what they have to do in order to get a job: look for job postings and advertisements, prepare a resume tailored to the job they are applying for, submit the resume along with an application letter, and wait for word from the hiring manager or recruiter about a possible interview.
It sounds straightforward enough, but did you know that there is another process through which jobseekers can get a shot at the job of their dreams?
It is common to see many applicants competing for a single job. In fact, the reality of high unemployment and underemployment rates in many countries all over the world has made of dozens and dozens of jobseekers going after only one position. On the part of the recruiter or hiring manager, this could prove to be a challenge, especially if a large number of these applicants have the necessary skills for the job.
This becomes even more of a problem in the case of internal recruitment, where the qualified applicants being invited to place their bids are already employed within the company or the organization. For example, there is one supervisory position to be filled, and there are over ten permanent employees that are roughly on the same level in terms of their qualifications who have expressed interest in the job.
The solution that is seen as a good answer to this predicament is job bidding. Job bidding is that process in which an employer will require applicants – who are already employees of the company – for a job position it has posted to compete with each other. They may be asked to bid for a salary or compensation rate for the job, and the employer will use the bids as basis in choosing those who will move forward in the recruitment process. In several instances, the “winning bidder” may be selected right there and then for the open position.
Job bidding used as a recruitment method means current employees who have the necessary abilities, skills and knowledge for the vacant position are allowed to apply or bid for it. This makes sense, if you think about it. Having been with the company, they are already familiar with the corporate culture, the organizational structure, and the other relevant information about the position, which means they are in the best position to make the bids.
Job Posting vs. Job Bidding
It is not uncommon to find many people using the phrase “job bidding” interchangeably with “job posting”. Job posting is job advertisement, or the process of publishing, posting, or advertising the vacant positions that the organization or company wants to fill. The posting invites practically anyone to apply for the job, so it works for both internal and external recruitment.
Job bidding, on the other hand, is primarily for internal recruitment. The current employees are given the chance to apply for the job opening (that, incidentally, they have seen or read about in the job posting) and compete with other employees-slash-applicants for it.
In many instances, job bidding is referred to by some as “inside first” hiring, because priority in recruitment is given to candidates that are already with the company. Let us take a look at the reasons why many employers prefer to use job bidding instead of going about the traditional way of recruiting for its open positions.
Job bidding, when done and executed right, can work wonders for the company’s image and reputation. The general public has a positive impression of a company that can keep its employees satisfied. Once word goes out about the company’s recruitment strategies that are clearly in favor of its employees, it will become an attractive prospect for external jobseekers, who will keep their eyes on the company in case it releases job postings for entry-level positions.
The process of job bidding begins when a job vacancy within the organization has been identified, and ends when the vacant position has been filled by the best, or most suitable, candidate among the internal applicants who placed their bids.
Let us walk through the job bidding process, step by step.
This is where management will determine whether there is a vacant position that needs to be filled. Vacancies may arise from a position being left open because the previous employee holding it has been terminated, voluntarily resigned, retired, or has been promoted or transferred out. Companies that undergo expansion also often result in new vacancies, thus requiring additional employees
Assessment of the position will follow, in order to ascertain whether it may be filled internally, or its entry level position requires someone from outside the organization. If it is the former, then the option of job bidding for internal recruitment is chosen, and the human resource (HR) department will be notified of the vacancy.
The HR, or an independent hiring manager or recruiter (if the company does not have its HR department), upon notification of the vacant position, will create the job posting. Again, in internal recruitment, you can think of job posting as the job advertisement.
The job description is very important, since it lays out what the duties, role, and responsibilities of the position are. It won’t be a problem if the position already exists, which means there is already an existing job description for it. But if it is a new position that needs to be filled, you’ll have to write a new one for it
The posting usually includes the following information:
Once the job posting has been created or written up, it is time to officially open the job vacancy and notify the employees about it. The employees are informed of the vacancy through the following methods:
Posting usually runs for a specific length of time. Deadline of submission of bids will be expressly provided.
Employees interested to apply for the open position will submit their bids to the HR or the hiring manager. Usually, this is done by requiring interested applicants to accomplish a job bidding form or an internal application form cover sheet. The Job Bidding Form is created and designed by the company, customized to gather the information deemed relevant or important for evaluation of bids.
An example of a Job Bidding Form may include the following fields to be filled up by the bidders:
The bidders may be asked to list all related education, work experience, and other skills and abilities that prove how they meet the requirements of the posted job.
Identification of eligible bidders will be underway. Basically, HR will screen the candidates who made their bids. This will result in a shortlist of candidates that will proceed to the next step of the recruitment process.
The most popular form of bidding is through the salary or wage rate. In some cases, it is through seniority, or the number of years that the employee has worked in the company. The employer and the HR may come up with other bases for their evaluation.
When evaluating the bids, there are no fixed rules on how the employers will base their decision or selection on. For many, the logical conclusion would be that the employers will choose to interview those who have the lowest bids. But you should consider the value and cost of each applicant.
In some organizations, they may be using programs or software to do the evaluation. They will simply enter the bids information on the system, and the latter will return the eligible or qualified bidders.
Hiring managers or even management will interview the candidates who made the short list or, if the managers screened in favor of low bids, the candidates with the lowest bids.
The hiring manager or employer will make his selection among the candidates interviewed. The job will be formally offered to the chosen candidate.
The winning bidder, or the employee selected for the job, will review, accept or reject the job offered.
If handled properly, job bidding can become successful and give the company all the advantages discussed earlier. Here are some tips that employers, companies and organizations may take note of in order to ensure the success of their job bidding processes.
You may have a system in place for external recruitment, but what about one for internal recruitment? More and more companies are finding it more beneficial to hire first from within, and only turn to external recruitment when filling up entry-level positions.
If you are one of these companies, then it will be to your advantage to have a job bidding system in place that you can follow every time you post a job for internal candidates. This will save you a lot of time and resources when you start the recruitment process. This usually goes hand in hand with having formal procedures for job posting.
You should also have a system in place that will review the qualifications of the candidates for possible promotions. Work with the HR and revisit the positions or job descriptions in the organization and review their qualifications from time to time.
Information dissemination is very crucial. You want to hire from within, encouraging your current employees to bid for the open position. Well, you have to let them know about it first. They won’t be able to apply or bid for the job if they have no idea about it.
Therefore, you have to make sure that the job posting is properly delivered to the employees of the company. If you can use more than two or three locations or places to put up the notice about the job posting, then do so.
This entails paying extra attention to the job posting, particularly the job description. Make sure it is specific, accurate and provide all the necessary information. Applicants should find it easy to understand, so they will know exactly what they are applying for.
Supervisors and managers must be supportive of their employees’ efforts to find a better position within the company, even if it means that they will move to other departments. In fact, they should push their subordinates to seek advancement.
For example, if a job opening in Sales is perfect for someone in the Marketing department, the marketing manager should encourage that person to make a bid for the job. After all, in the long run, it will benefit the entire organization, not just one or two departments.
One of the dangers of hiring internally is that you may be familiar, or even friends, with some of the employees applying for the open position. Avoid playing favorites and be as impartial and objective as you can when assessing their qualifications.
If you don’t think you are fully capable of that, you may delegate the task to another and inhibit yourself from the process. There will be less biases if an outside firm is hired to conduct interviews with the internal candidates. It will cost money, yes, but it may help greatly in eliminating any shadow of doubt cast upon you and your sense of fairness.
In the case of employees that were not chosen for the open position, it would be a good idea to offer feedback. Let them know why they were not picked for the position. This is to maintain a positive relationship, since you will still be working in the same company.
Also, this will encourage the employee and teach him not to lose hope, so he will still look forward to applying when another position opens. Offer advice on how they can do better the next time. They are sure to appreciate it.
Employees who are also looking to further their career within an organization should keep their eyes peeled for job bidding opportunities. Some tips that may help:
Choose your battles. Do not apply for every position in the company that opens up, even if it is not your specialization, or you do not have the skills for it. Just because you are already an employee does not mean that you are an automatic candidate for it. Qualifications will still matter a lot.
In addition, applying each time a position opens up, regardless of your qualification, or lack thereof, will reek of desperation and, worse, recklessness on your part. You want to give the impression to your employers that you have a personal goal and you have direction in your career. Being all over the place will negate that.
You want to be ready at any time that a position you are highly qualified for opens up. Therefore, you have to keep updating your resume, highlighting your achievements since you became part of the organization.
It goes without saying that the resume should be written in such a way that will be easy to tweak and customize to fit the jobs that are anticipated to be posted vacant.
You are familiar with the managers. You are friendly with the folks over at the HR department. Does this mean you can relax, since the people interviewing you are practically friends? No, of course not. Do not let your guard down.
During the interview, you are not friends. You are an applicant, and he is the interviewer. Treat your interview as you would an interview you are having in another company.
Not only is this common courtesy, it will also help maintain a positive relationship with your boss or supervisor. There is nothing wrong with seeking career growth, and if you explain your reasons honestly and properly, he is bound to understand you. He might even support you and put in a good word for you in the department that you are applying for. Keep in mind that, when you are hired for the position you are applying for, you and your former supervisor will still be working in the same organization.