What Is Internal Recruitment? A Guide for HR Professionals

The recruitment team needs to incorporate internal recruitment as part of the recruitment strategy.

It provides full-time or current employees with an opportunity to progress in their careers within the company.

This paved the way for higher employee morale and increased employee retention, showcasing that the employer promotes employees internally for talent development.

Why Internal Recruitment Is Better? Reasons

Internal recruitment trims down the recruitment costs. Not only does the recruitment team save time from internal recruitment, but it also spends less money on job postings.

Hiring from your business also makes sense, as these candidates are already part of it and know its culture and policies.

An internal recruitment strategy is a must for a recruitment firm to successfully recruit internal candidates.

The strategy must focus on ensuring that roles are accessible to internal candidates and that recruiters know these talent pools.

Within a workforce, qualified talent for open roles may come from employees who enhance their skills through training, whether they learn independently or from others.

What Is Internal Recruitment?

Internal recruitment is finding candidates within a business from its existing workforce. This differs from “external” recruitment, where a business looks outside the workforce to fill positions.

In the last year or so, the recruitment landscape has changed; internal recruitment can be a viable option to fill roles quickly.

Companies use internal recruitment to fill up their roles fast, which is best suited for having an insider’s view or knowledge and encouraging loyalty and a sense of purpose for the employees.

Internal recruitment is an important aspect for any business, as it can save time along with money and resources compared to external recruitment. The following are some examples of internal recruitment:

  • Promotions are the most widespread form of internal recruitment that everyone resorts to.

  • Transfer: A typical form of transfer means moving to a similar job at a different location or to a similar job in a different department.

  • Temporary to permanent: This is similar to promotion in that it involves converting a temporary position holder or intern into a full-time employee.

  • Employee referrals are a hiring manager’s dream and an overlooked part of the internal recruitment process. For hiring managers, it is a cost-effective way to get qualified candidates. There has to be a system in place and gamification of the internal hiring process to ensure a constant flow of employee-referred candidates.

Figuring out when to recruit a candidate internally within an organization is not difficult, as most organizations tend to look inside before they hop outside to choose a candidate.

The question is whether recruiting anyone from outside an organization is worth it, despite any trouble, instead of hiring an employee remotely.

Internal recruitment needs to be constantly thought about; a business needs to be mindful of whether an organization is formulated in such a way that considers employing this practice.

Internal Recruitment Advantages And Disadvantages

Internal Recruitment Advantages

Reduces the time to hire

When you recruit externally, hiring teams find candidates, either through a job posting or advertisement, evaluate them properly, and if things go well, persuade them to join their company.

The entire process takes time. Since internal candidates are all part of your workplace, the time that is needed to find and engage those candidates is much less.

It is also easier to access internal candidates because

  • It is pre-screened for cultural fit.
  • Their track record is easily accessible.
  • Full interviews with managers may not be needed, for example, if they are moving within their department and the department head already knows the candidate.

All these reduce the time spent on each hiring stage and the overall hiring time.

Reduces onboarding times

We all need time to adjust to a new role, but internal hires are quicker to onboard than external hires. This is because they are

  • Be aware of how your company operates and most of the policies, practices, and procedures.
  • Are you familiar with the people in their own team, especially the new businesses?
  • If they are moving to the same team or to a similar role, they will be aware of the context and content of their new roles. An example is a sales associate becoming a category manager.

Costs less

Research indicates that external hires could cost 1.7 times more than internal hires. This is because when you are hiring from the inside, you do not have to

  • Putting ads on the job boards: it is easy to inform the internal candidates about job openings through the internal newsletter or through email. You could place printed job ads on a bulletin board if all the employees are working in one place.

  • Subscribe to resume databases: Rather than passive sourcing candidates from resume databases, ask managers about their team members or look into the mindset of the co-workers who are going to fit in their respective roles.

  • Paying for background checks: When you have hired internal candidates, you have already done a background check on them. It turns out to be in good standing based on employee records or the input of managers.

Strengthens the engagement of the employees

Promoting internally sends out a message that you value your employees and are keen to invest in them.

Providing more opportunities for employees to advance in their careers or even allowing them to move over to same-level positions that they value is good for their morale.

Employees who change careers and others may have similar opportunities in the future. This would help to develop a culture of trust and enhance employee retention and trust.

Disadvantages Of Internal Recruitment

Despite all the benefits of internal recruitment, there are a few drawbacks associated with it, as follows:

A degree of resentment is created among the employees and the managers.
An employee who is considered for a role would feel a degree of resentment if an external candidate or colleague is hired.

Even the managers are uncomfortable losing their team members, as they go so far as to hinder the transfer process.

Restrict your pool of participants.

There could be cases where your company does not have qualified candidates for a particular position; this is not necessarily true for every role.

An example is if the role is fairly new to your business, the employees may have other specialties, and you may not be able to comply with the skill gaps.

Relying merely on internal hiring indicates that you may miss out on the opportunities of hiring people with new skills or ideas.

Leave a gap in the existing workforce.

The moment you promote someone to a new position, the old position becomes vacant. This means that a series of promotions or moves will likely disrupt their business operations.

Apart from your internal hiring, you would require external hiring to supplement the process.

Result in an inflexible culture.

Hiring from within your business could lead to a stagnant culture. Employees are bound to become comfortable with the way work is done and struggle to find inefficiencies or experiment with new ways of working.

An inflexible culture is going to create problematic relationships where employees need to advocate changes and improvements rather than relying on established, inefficient practices.

External hires are vital as they shape the company culture and provide a new dimension when it comes to the company’s problems.


When you are deciding on an internal recruitment process, a few points need to be considered to ensure that the choice being made is fair and just.

  • All the workers in an organization should agree on a decision.
  • The employees should not feel intimidated.
  • The managers need to be in agreement with the decision.
  • During the decision-making process, there should be no bias.

Recruitment is a vital cog in the wheel when it comes about the roles and responsibilities of an HR manager. Doing it right requires a lot of exertion.

Though some form of external hiring may be fundamental, you need to set aside the time and effort to fabricate an internal hiring procedure that can truly pay off in the long haul.

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