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Home What is lateral hiring and how can it benefit your company?

What is lateral hiring and how can it benefit your company?


Hiring in the 21st century is a challenge. New practices and technology are being used in recruitment, but the inability to find talents to hire remains to be the top threat to businesses according to survey reports asking chief executive officers in the US.

Surveys have reported that US companies have spent more than 100 billion dollars from 2022 to 2023 for hiring employees. It also said that for companies to receive the pay off for the cost of a new hire, it can take up to six months or even longer.

Traditional hiring

For the past 6 decades or so, large companies have set the traditional way we hire. The recruiting team prepared the complete job description, the tasks required in the job, and the characteristics and traits needed for the job. Job evaluation follows where the hiring team fits the job into the organizational chart and determines the pay. Then jobs are posted so applicants can apply. Candidates are given tests, their references are checked, and they are interviewed. This is how companies filled their entry-level jobs. Meanwhile, people already in the organization get promoted to fill in higher level jobs in the company.

Lateral hiring 

Nowadays, recruitment has shifted. According to data, most of those who started a new role last year were people who were not actively searching for them. But they were approached and hired by another company. Loosely defined, this is an example of lateral hiring. 

In lateral hiring, a hiring team looks for people outside of the company who already possess expertise and skills, especially for executive and one-of-a-kind roles in the organization. 

Benefits to lateral hiring

1. Lateral recruits can hit the ground running. Since the recruit is already an experienced professional, they already have and can immediately apply leadership skills and set of technical skills for the growth of the company. 

2. Lateral recruitment saves money and time. There is less investment needed on training them. In addition, someone who has passed a rigorous hiring process in your company but is still inexperienced with the role will take more time to warm up and learn what the job requires. Meanwhile, a lateral recruit has already proven their capacity in another company and are ready to deliver results upon hiring. 

3. Lateral recruits bring a wide range of experience. Recruiting someone who has work experience in several settings brings fresh perspective and insight to your company. They can see and troubleshoot challenges in the workplace based on their prior career experience. 

4. Lateral hiring improves your company image. When you are able to retain lateral hires, you become known for being an ideal workplace for people who are already skilled at their jobs. You further attract lateral hires and it gives your hiring team a better chance of recruiting top talents in the midst of competition. 

Something to consider in lateral hiring

Alignment to your company’s culture and values

Since lateral hires are usually recruited based on their skills and their previous work experience, there is a chance that their personality or behavior may not fit to your company’s culture and values. 

The hiring team needs to be careful in assessing them, to try their best to overcome biases, and practice discretion when making the decision to hire. 

Being able to hire across all levels of career experience is indeed a skill that recruiting teams need to develop. Finding a candidate who fits your company just right is harder to find nowadays, because they might not be actively applying for jobs and they are working at other companies. Recent surveys show that good candidates would consider a job offer if they have more opportunities for career advancement. 

So take these things into consideration as you not only deal with retention, but also when connecting with highly qualified talents for your job vacancies. 

Discover everything you need about finding the right talent for your healthcare and mental health job opportunities. Consider how a job board for professionals can help in your hiring process. 

What is lateral hiring and how can it benefit your company?
Brandon Resasco