screening internal applicants

Screening internal applicants is a best practice for your interview process. Having a policy in place that outlines how and why you re-screen your employees when they move within the company will eliminate any confusion from internal applicants and show external applicants that you aren’t discriminating against them.

Your screening policy for applicants should cover any current employee that is looking to change roles within your company.

Screening internal applicants when they apply for a new position

Employees move in a company. Sometimes people move up, for instance, if they get a promotion, (yay!). Sometimes people need a change in career and move laterally within the company.

Whatever the reason for the change, it is usually a relief to hiring managers to see internal applicants resumes in the stack. You and your HR team have already done the work to ensure that your current staff fit within the culture and are outstanding employees. If an internal applicant is the best choice for an open position and can move within the company a final step is verifying their credentials and skills.

There are three main reasons why screening internal applicants is a must for today’s employers.

Their responsibilities have changed

If the new role your employee is applying to has a different set of responsibilities, as it almost always does), it is usually necessary to re-check that employee’s background. Common responsibility changes include:

–            Incorporating a financial aspect, such as access to financial documents or handling money, be sure to run a credit check on all of the final applicants, including the internal ones.

–            Requiring travel outside of the country. If that is the case, you’ll need to check if they have the correct visas and passport.

–            Moving into a role where the applicant will be driving a company vehicle. In these instances, a valid drivers license and driving record check should be completed.

They need different education

The skills and education that got your internal applicant their current position may no longer be relevant when they switch roles.

When an employee moves into a new role at your company they generally need to gain new skills. Whether those skills are in management, leadership or a new professional designation, it is important to ensure that the incumbent can fulfill the duties of the new role.

Verifying education, designations and other skills should be a part of the screening process.

Don’t discriminate

The final and most important reason that you should be screening internal applicants is, so that you don’t discriminate against any other candidates applying for the position. If pre-employment background screening is the norm at your company (and it should be), then it needs to be standard across the board for all of your applicants, whether they are internal or otherwise.


Whether your candidate is moving up in the company or laterally into a new position, screening internal candidates is always an important step. A change in responsibilities and needing different skills and education are two common concerns. The overall most important reason: so that you aren’t discriminating against any external applicants that are applying.

The professional team at AIS can work with you to ensure that your screening process includes the industry-leading best practices. Give them a call today at 1 (800) 295-7109.

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