Nurturing Growth from Within: The Crucial Importance of Looking After Internal Talent

Recruitment in the modern era presents a myriad of challenges for both employers and job seekers. As technology evolves, societal expectations shift, and the global workforce becomes increasingly competitive, the traditional paradigms of recruitment are being redefined. Vicky Murphy, Director of HR and Organisational Development at STEP explores the key challenges faced by recruiters today and examine strategies to overcome these hurdles. Something she and her team face on a daily basis working with STEP HR clients.

Talent Shortages:

One of the foremost challenges in contemporary recruitment is the scarcity of qualified talent. As industries evolve and new technologies emerge, the demand for specialised skills often outpaces the available talent pool. This is particularly evident in fields such as technology, data science, and healthcare, where rapid advancements require a workforce with up-to-date skills.


To address talent shortages, organisations are turning to upskilling and reskilling initiatives. Investing in employee training and development not only fills the immediate skills gap but also fosters a culture of continuous learning within the organisation.

In today’s fast-paced and dynamic business landscape, companies are constantly seeking ways to stay competitive and innovative. While the quest for external talent is a common strategy, the significance of nurturing and looking after internal talent cannot be overstated. Internal talent refers to the pool of skilled and experienced employees already within an organisation. Investing in their development and well-being not only fosters a positive workplace culture but also yields numerous strategic advantages.

Businesses have strategies for all areas of their business but commonly over look recruitment or talent development and succession planning, finding themselves in a panic reacting to a change in their labour profile as people move on and up.

There are key advantages to growing and nurturing from within some of these include:


One of the most apparent advantages of looking after internal talent is the cost-effectiveness it offers. Recruiting and onboarding external talent can be a resource-intensive process, involving expenses for job postings, interviews, and training. Internal talent, on the other hand, is already familiar with the company culture, processes, and often requires less time to adapt to new roles. By investing in the development of existing employees, organisations can save on recruitment costs and allocate resources more efficiently.

Fostering Loyalty and Engagement:

When employees perceive that their organisation is committed to their growth and development, it fosters a sense of loyalty and engagement. Internal talent is more likely to stay with a company that invests in their professional journey.

This loyalty can translate into higher productivity, as engaged employees tend to be more motivated and committed to achieving organisational goals. By building a culture that values internal talent, companies can reduce turnover rates and enhance overall job satisfaction.

Knowledge Retention and Institutional Memory:

Internal talent possesses a wealth of institutional knowledge that is often gained through years of experience within a company. This accumulated knowledge is invaluable and can be challenging to replicate with external hires. By retaining and nurturing internal talent, organisations ensure the continuity of this institutional memory. This, in turn, helps maintain a stable and knowledgeable workforce capable of navigating challenges and adapting to changes in the business environment.

Accelerating Skills Development:

Investing in the development of internal talent allows organisations to customise training programmes to meet specific needs and objectives. This targeted approach helps accelerate skills development and ensures that employees are equipped with the expertise required for evolving roles. By aligning training initiatives with organisational goals, companies can enhance the overall competency of their workforce and adapt to industry trends more effectively.

Promoting a Culture of Continuous Learning:

Encouraging internal talent development creates a culture of continuous learning within the organisation. This mindset is essential in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, where new technologies and methodologies emerge regularly. By fostering an environment that values and supports ongoing learning, companies position themselves at the forefront of innovation and equip their workforce to thrive in an ever-changing marketplace.

Individuals and seasons of life:

When looking to nurture internal talent it is important to understand not one size fits all, you need to understand your individual employees and their needs and desires and work individually on their plan.  It is also valuable to recognise that people go through seasons of life and what may suit them when you last spoke to them will shift and change as they progress through life stages, so make sure to revisit these on a regular basis.

However if still needing to look externally for talent then it is important to be mindful of the opportunities available for example.

Digital Transformation:

The rise of digital technologies has transformed the recruitment process. While online platforms and artificial intelligence streamline many aspects of hiring, they also pose challenges such as information overload, biased algorithms, and a lack of personal connection in the hiring process.

Strategy: Striking a balance between automation and human touch is crucial. Recruiters can leverage technology for initial screenings and assessments but should maintain a personalised approach in interviews and candidate interactions.

Additionally, ongoing training on ethical AI use can help mitigate biases in the recruitment process.

Remote Work Dynamics:

The widespread adoption of remote work, accelerated by global events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, has reshaped the expectations of both employers and candidates. Recruiters now face the challenge of assessing candidates for remote work suitability and ensuring a seamless onboarding process in a virtual environment.

Strategy: Redefining job descriptions to highlight remote work competencies, utilising video interviews to assess communication skills, and implementing robust onboarding programmes are essential strategies for navigating the remote work landscape. Challenge the norm of the job description, think of the non negotiable elements and then look at how it can be flexible, moving away from tradition and the way things have always been done attitude.

Diversity and Inclusion:

Creating diverse and inclusive workplaces remains a persistent challenge in recruitment. Overcoming biases, whether conscious or unconscious, and ensuring equal opportunities for all candidates is an ongoing struggle for many organisations.

Recruitment in the contemporary landscape demands adaptability, innovation, and a commitment to addressing the unique challenges that arise. By embracing technology responsibly, fostering diversity and inclusion, and prioritising the development of both hard and soft skills, organisations can navigate the complexities of modern recruitment and build a workforce prepared for the challenges of the future.

The importance of looking after internal talent cannot be overstated. Beyond the immediate benefits of cost-effectiveness and knowledge retention, nurturing internal talent contributes to the creation of a positive workplace culture, fosters loyalty, and positions organisations for long-term success. As businesses navigate the complexities of the modern economy, recognising and investing in the potential of internal talent is a strategic imperative that can drive innovation, adaptability, and sustained growth.

If you want to discuss how your organisation can nurture growth from within get in touch with us at

Read the full edition of TALK 20 here:



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