Internal Recruitment: What Are the Pluses and Minuses?

Internal Recruitment: What Are the Pluses and Minuses?

Especially today, when companies around the world have a hard time keeping up, we must not lose sight of the fact that recruitment is never an easy task.

Besides external hiring, many companies rely a lot on internal recruitment. For the sake of trust and familiarity, an existing employee in the company can give a remedy. But is it really worthwhile for the company?

What Is Internal Recruitment?

Two sources of human resource supply exist: internal and external recruitment. Internal recruitment is a process where employees are recruited from within the organization, while external recruitment is a process where recruitment is conducted through external sources.

For further details, internal recruitment is staffing vacant positions or new positions within a company through the promotion or hiring of existing employees. There are several forms of internal recruitment, such as:

Job offer

This is an internal recruitment method commonly used when a vacancy is advertised via an internal job offer. Interested employees can apply for the position by submitting their curriculum vitae or completing a request form.

Employee Referral Programs

In this type of internal recruitment, existing employees are invited to recommend qualified candidates from their network for vacancies.


It is an internal recruitment method where employees are deployed to senior positions within the same organization. It is often used to recognize and reward employees’ skills, experience, and hard work.


Internal deployments are an alternative way of filling vacancies. It’s moving people from one department to another within an organization.

Succession planning

It is a strategic internal recruitment method to identify and train potential future leaders within the organization for key positions.

Temporary to Permanent

This method lets the company move the collective agreement of a temporary trainee to a full-time employee.

Internal recruitment sometimes becomes an option as it helps the company select candidates who already understand its culture, policies, and procedures.

Internal Recruiting Vs. External Recruiting: What’s the Difference?

Here are the main differences between internal and external recruiting:

  • Internal recruitment is the recruitment of existing personnel within the organization. External recruitment is different because it involves chasing potential employees from outside the organization.
  • Internal recruitment is based on value and length of service, but external recruitment is based on skills and qualifications.
  • Internal recruitment does not require basic training, while initial training is necessary for external recruitment.
  • External recruitment includes advertising and invitation to apply, screening, interviewing, placement, training, testing, and onboarding. Internal recruitment takes less time than external recruitment. 
  • Internal recruiting is a cost-efficient process. But external recruitment demands a significant investment.

Advantages and Drawbacks of Internal Hiring

Both approaches to recruitment have pros and cons. It should be pointed out that the two approaches are not mutually exclusive and could be used at the same time.

The pros:

1. Cost-effective

Internal recruitment is cheaper than external recruitment because it eliminates the cost of advertising vacant positions and recruiting new candidates. Training also saves time and money as current employees are familiar with the company’s culture, policies, and procedures.

2. Reduces the time to onboard

The internal staff probably already have some level of understanding in important areas such as culture, policy, and values. They also know the company’s operations and may be familiar with people in their new team. It saves the company time in terms of integration.

3. More timely hiring process

Internal recruitment may be more rapid than external recruitment because the hiring team may spend less time reviewing resumés, conducting initial interviews, and running background checks.

4. Higher levels of retention

Employees promoted within the organization are often more engaged and committed to the business as they see their hard work and commitment acknowledged. It can result in higher retention rates and lower turnover rates.

The cons:

1. Creates a culture of jealousy

Internal recruitment may give rise to resentment among employees and managers. Those who are not included in the promotion may feel envious. In addition, managers may feel uneasy about losing their good team members.

2. A small pool of candidates

Internal recruitment only takes into consideration candidates within the organization. It may limit the pool of potential candidates and reduce the diversity of experience and track record.

3. Office politics

Internal recruiting can result in office politics and favoritism. Some employees may feel that they have been left out of the promotion or that the selection process was biased in favor of some candidates.

4. Missing new perspectives

Internal recruitment can limit the introduction of new insights and perspectives, which can hinder creativity and innovation.

When it is difficult for managers to find the right employees and get them into the right jobs, especially in this economic crisis, internal recruitment helps to identify the best employee solely from the talent pool folder.