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Q. What if the best candidate is already in your company? I've been trying to fill a position for a few months now. Somebody from another department stopped me in the hall and mentioned they'd like to be considered for the job. I think they'd be perfect, but I don't want to create a problem for the other department. What's the best way to handle that?

A. When an organization finds a good person, they're smart to do anything they can to hold onto them. This may well include a lateral or interdepartmental promotion. You're very right to think about the political ramifications of something like this though. You should check to see if your company already has a policy in place for this type of move. In many cases, a company will insist that somebody who wants to take another position within the organization first approach their current supervisor.

In any event, you should probably speak with the person's supervisor before making any decision to move forward. Find out to what extent, if any, a move like this would create a problem for them. If you are going to move forward, you can also work with the other department with respect to timing to make sure that there is a smooth transition.

If any of the people you had seen in the course of your recruiting might be workable in the new department, you might also mention that as a way to speed up their own recruiting efforts.

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