Understanding the difference between making an internal hire and promoting an employee is important if managers wish to properly fill the gaps needed within their businesses. Switching a staff member’s position to an entirely new one within the office is considered hiring internally, and should be done so with extreme care and consideration.

Though it is necessary at times, shifting a currently employee’s job and responsibilities can be damaging if not done properly. Be sure to interview every candidate suitable for the new position beforehand without bias, as current staff members have most likely been given the opportunities to prove their skills. Applicants however, may or may not be as effective. Fairness is key.

When you’ve taken the next step in the hiring process and have chosen to go with an already employed team member, schedule an in-person meeting to discuss your expectations, and what his or her new job responsibilities are going to be. Explain the difference between a shift in positions and a promotion as well. While this employee may have been exemplary at his or her previous job, this new position will require an entirely different set of tasks. Though their skills may apply, employees given new jobs entirely will need to adjust their strategies.

A crucial consideration when deciding to hire an internal employee is why you’ve chosen them over other candidates. Many employers have done so to reassign an otherwise struggling employee, thinking he or she would flourish in a new position. This can lead to further failures in a title that required more than another. Though it can be difficult, discussing termination at this point is most likely necessary.

Look back on peer review and performance reviews in the past when vetting an internal employee. With this information, you are able to look back on the quality of work he or she has produced, and any improvement that was shown over time; something you would not have on applicants and external candidates.

When the availability for this new position was posted, whether internal employees came to you, or you asked them personally to apply can speak volumes. One who may approach you first can show great confidence in taking on a new responsibility, thus gaining your trust. At times, employees you feel fit new jobs best may approach you before you have the chance to bring it up to them, showing that they understand their value within the company. This is not to say that you as a manager should sit back and wait for employees to apply, but leave a little time in between posting the new job and approaching candidates about applying. You may be surprised with the number of employees that come to you first.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, conducting another background check on the internal candidate can provide you with insight on his or her recent accomplishments, and perhaps any negative activities he or she may have been involved in. This can prevent you from making any damaging hires, leading to damaged business; a risk that is easily avoidable.