When Anne Marie Izzo applied for an e-marketing job at Destination DC, she didn't have to travel far for the interview: She already worked at the Washington, D.C., tourism firm. It wasn't the first time that Izzo, who won the position last summer, had topped outside applicants. These days, insiders have an edge.
Employers are having a hard time finding job candidates with the required skills, says Loree Griffith, at human resources consultant Mercer. So companies are increasingly priming their own talent pools. In 2011, inside hires took 30% of Booz Allen Hamilton's open positions through the company's "Inside First" internal-recruitment program, 10% more than in 2010. In 2012 through early October, Energy Future Holdings, in Dallas, had filled 69% of available jobs with its own employees, up from 56% in 2010.
Before casting a wandering eye outside your company, find out whether it offers a career-building program that could help you land an in-house gig. Network with colleagues to find out about positions that may become available, and keep an eye on job boards. Learn what experience you need for a job that interests you and work on gaining it -- by taking on a project in a different division, for example. Izzo credits this bit of advice for her success: "If you want the job, you have to prove that you're already doing it."
This article first appeared in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. For more help with your personal finances and investments, please subscribe to the magazine. It might be the best investment you ever make.