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Internal Vs external recruitment: pros and cons
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When hiring, before shouting it from the rooftops, take a step back and ask yourself: “Where should I start looking for candidates?”

The decision to promote from within or bring in a fresh face can present a dilemma. Start-ups obviously have no other option but to hire from the outside. However, when a company gets to about 20 employees or so, they can start considering internal candidates for promotion. Incorporating a mix of internal and external applicants is the best practice, as there are pros and cons associated with relying on either source exclusively.

The pros of recruiting internally

If you know you’ve got a superstar on the team, whether their sales are through the roof, they show potential to be fantastic in another area, or they’re just really hungry to learn and develop, internally promoting them could be the ideal option.

They already know the ropes… 

They will have to learn how to perform their new role and responsibilities, but they’re already used to the culture and a good fit plus you won’t have to do any kind of onboarding. Whilst inducting new staff is very important it does take up valuable time (less so if you use HR software), this is a big pro of internal recruitment.

…And the rules 

It takes some time for new recruits to settle into the rules of an organisation and find their feet. Mistakes are part of the learning curve but can disrupt the flow of work and can ruffle feathers of other team members whose work is affected.
By hiring internally your employee can get straight down to business with fewer teething problems and hiccups.
Since the other team members already know the employee too they’ll be less disruption for them as well.

It’s a positive signal to other team members 

By offering someone the opportunity for growth, others will notice. It’s likely to be a motivating and engaging to the team who will see that they too could develop within the business.
It sends a great message that potential is recognised and rewarded which helps to build a positive culture.

It adds to your brand value 

Everybody has heard the endearing story of the rise of a humble shop floor worker to CEO, the worker whose loyalty and dedication to a business is second to none and has been the driving force and the heart and soul of a successful business.
Everyone loves a story like this because it attaches an emotional element to the brand, and whilst your internal recruit may not reach the dizzying heights of CEO, customers and applicants to other roles will enjoy hearing such a positive story. Your brand will benefit from offering great opportunities for your staff to develop and will be seen to be more human and people focused.

*If the role you’re advertising is a permanent role then by law you have to tell any fixed term or temporary workers about the position.
*If you have any staff on maternity leave or at risk of redundancy you may need to give them priority over other candidates.


The cons of recruiting internally 

On the flipside, if you’re unsure about internal recruitment, you may be right to pause and consider the disadvantages.

Do you need a fresh perspective? 

The other side of knowing the ropes and the rules is that current employees may not see opportunities, they may not spot cracks in processes and they won’t bring new eyes to the role.
If it’s a shake-up you need, if the way you’ve always done things is no longer working or even if you need a blast of fresh air then bringing someone new in will be just the ticket.

You risk it backfiring 

If there was more than one current staff member gunning for the new role, those who are unsuccessful may decide to leave.
This is just a risk you’ll have to take if you decide to recruit internally.

It might make life hard on the promoted employee

In an ideal world (and ideal work culture) fellow employees will congratulate their colleague on their new role and collaboratively work with them going forward.
Sadly, this isn’t always the case and there’s a chance that other staff may not view the promotion favourably. In the extreme they may even make life purposefully difficult for the hiring manager or even for the promoted person. Yikes! Hopefully you’ve hired carefully in the past and this won’t be the case. For more info on how to hire well and the recruitment process click here >>

You limit the pool of potential applicants 

The wider you cast the net the more potential talent you will find. If you don’t consider anyone outside of your organisation then you will never know who you might find and what they could bring to your business.
It would be unwise to recruit internally just because it’s the easier option. Instead carefully consider what the best option is for each role in question.



The cost 

With regards to the cost of recruitment, in the short term it may seem that internally recruiting could save you money, but it’s best to take a bigger picture approach and consider how recruiting the wrong person internally could mean bigger financial losses down the line.

Additionally, consider the training costs that you may have to provide for your internal recruit, whereas if you look elsewhere you can specify the exact training, skills or experience you need and save on training costs.

It’s worth noting that recruiting for senior level roles or using an agency can incur significantly higher costs for you. And additionally, it’s likely you’ll need to replace theformer role of the person whose moved up.

For information on how to recruit on a shoestring click here >>

There is simply no right or wrong answer when it comes to the best way to recruit for your business. Don’t be tempted to cut corners and try to consider each role separately.

With all this to think about, having HR software in place can not only streamline the recruitment and onboarding process, but also save you precious time with HR admin, freeing you up to get your thinking cap on. Our system allows you to generate one click reports such as this organisation report, helping you to easily map out your staff.

HR software report


For a free trial of our software click here >>

If you need advice or a helping hand with recruitment give us a call on 0333 444 0165 or drop us a line hello@citrushr.com and our friendly team will talk to you about your business needs.

*Facts from a US study in 2012 by Matthew Bidwell at the University of Pennsylvania

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