If a business is looking to recruit new staff, there are two ways they can do so. The first way is internal recruitment, which is filling a vacancy with staff currently employed in the business. The second way is using external recruitment, which is when the company fills a vacancy by hiring someone new from outside of the business. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of each? Which strategy best suits your company?
Internal vs external recruitment
Internal recruitment is the process in which a company will use internal sources of recruitment to fill a vacancy with an existing employee of the business. This type of recruitment is typically used for promotions, however horizontal position shifts can also be filled with current staff.
Advantages of internal recruitment:
- The selection process is much easier and quicker as there is likely to be a smaller pool of high calibre candidates to choose from.
- It’s more cost efficient as the business does not have to pay recruiters’ fees or to advertise the job.
- By recruiting internally, you already know the capabilities of the candidate and have a better idea of how they will perform in this new role.
- Promoting staff from within the company can be motivating for your employees who will recognise that their hard work is being rewarded.
- You already know that the candidate is happy with the company and work culture and gets on well with the rest of the team.
Disadvantages of internal recruitment:
- There are no new ideas or energy coming into the business.
- Promoting from within may create the ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ atmosphere in which employees feel they can only be promoted when an employee in a more senior position leaves their role.
- It limits the potential number of candidates that you have to choose from.
- A new vacancy will be created when your candidate takes the new role.
- It may create resentment between employees who feel that they were overlooked for the promotion.
External recruitment is the process in which a company will search for new candidates from outside of the business to fill a new position. This can be done using the company’s HR department, hiring headhunters, or by advertising your vacancy on an external job board (such as Fish4jobs).
The advantages of external recruitment:
- It brings in new talent and new ideas to the business.
- There is no limit to the number of candidates you can screen/interview.
- The company will be exposed to a more diverse set of skills and experiences.
- It is less likely to cause resentments with your current team.
The disadvantages of external recruitment:
- Recruiting externally is typically a more expensive process with costs for advertising the job and arranging interviews.
- External recruitment is usually a longer process.
- It is more difficult for the company to assess the candidate as you have no proven experience to work only.
- It is less unknown whether or not the candidate will fit in with the work culture of your company.
Methods for internal recruitment
If recruiting internally is the right strategy for your business, the next step is to decide what opportunities there are with your existing employees and which method is best for filling the vacancy.
Internal recruitment methods include:
- Internal advertisement.
- Promoting a talented junior member of staff to a more senior role.
- Hiring temporary employees into a permanent role.
- Hiring employees from another department into a position in a different department.
- Filling a freelance position with a retired employee.
Sources of external recruitment
If you’re looking to bring a new individual into the business to fill a job vacancy, there are numerous ways that you can search for a suitable candidate.
External recruitment sources include:
- Using a recruitment agency.
- Advertising the role on social media, the company website or in a newspaper.
- Listing the job on an external job board (such as Fish4jobs).
- Asking for referrals from existing employees
- Hiring headhunters to find the best talent.
Whether your company chooses to recruit internally or externally will very much depend on the structure and current circumstance of the business. If, for example, you have an employee who you are confident will be the best fit for your new role, internal recruitment makes the most sense. However, if there are no stand out candidates currently employed by the company it is best to look for external candidates.
Whichever recruitment method you decide on, the key is to ensure that you thoroughly understand the advantages and disadvantages of both strategies to make sure that the method you choose works best for the business both practically and financially.