Coburg Banks | Multi-sector UK recruitment agency

The 10 Pros and Cons of Internal Recruitment

By Anthony Hughes | Jul 4, 2016 | Attracting Staff

cartoon of 2 people, one with + brain bubble and one with - brain bubbleSo, you’re looking to hire a new superstar for your business…

Have you looked within your own ranks first?

You should do!

And here’s why…


The 5 Pros of Internal Recruitment

1. It’s quicker.

It takes (a lot) less time to hire someone from within and the whole process is a lot more certain…

  • You’ll know pretty much everything you need to know about them already.
  • They’ll also understand the company, its values, technologies and processes.
  • You’ll already know that they are a good cultural fit.
  • You can approach them directly.
  • You may even already have someone in mind for the role.

This means you’ll spend less time advertising the job, sifting through CVs, interviewing candidates and all of those other niggly tasks that come with external recruitment.

There are other ways to speed up your recruitment process – click here to check them out.

2. It’s cheaper.

Obviously, because the entire process is quicker (and time is money) you’ll save money too.

You also won’t have to pay for job advertising and agency fees etc.

And inside hires actually cost less money in general; they won’t get the dreaded counter-offer and they’re less likely to turn down the role or haggle on the salary (promotions are positive and exciting)!

3. It’s less risky.

You actually know this person; you can get managers and staff to vouch for them and their record will speak for itself.

This, of course, takes away a lot of the risk of hiring the wrong person.

Think about it; people will lie on their CV and in interviews, they will be on their best behaviour and may exaggerate their commitment and passion about the role, however, with an internal recruit you actually know all of these things about them.

4. It’ll improve your employer brand.

When you do come to hiring someone external, showing hard evidence that your company are willing to offer opportunities for progression is a real selling point.

People are always looking to the future and if you can show them that it’s full of chances to grow, with your business, then they’re much more likely to want to join you.

For some more tips on boosting your employer brand, click here to check out our recent post on the topic.

5. It’ll boost your employee engagement.

Similarly, your own staff will feel more valued, engaged and happier if you offer them opportunities to progress at your company and reward their hard work and loyalty.

If you don’t give them an opportunity to grow, they’ll probably move on pretty quickly (more recruitment costs for you).

And the happier your staff are – the happier your customers will be – believe me.

Click here to read more about how to engage your employees.

The 5 Cons of Internal Recruitment

Of course (unfortunately) there is always a downside, so let’s balance things out a bit…

6. It could cause internal conflict.

If you open up a job to internal employees, especially if you already have someone in mind, it can have a negative impact on morale.

Other employees who are interested in applying could end up feeling shunned if their application isn’t taken seriously or if someone else gets the job.

They may feel that it’s ‘favouritism’ and that their own hard work and skills aren’t valued.

This might all seem a little fickle to you, but if the morale of the team suffers, it can really impact your whole business and you could even lose staff because of it.

Make sure you’re giving everyone an equal chance and that you consider the consequences before promoting someone (especially if they’re not well liked…)

7. They may not be respected by others.

In a similar vein, if you’re hiring for a management position, it is really important to consider the applicant’s current position within the team.

Are they well liked? And respected? Are they too close to some and not close enough to others? Will a management position be so much of a leap that no one will take them seriously?

Sometimes, people are skilled enough to do a job but simply aren’t respected, liked or well-known enough to pull it off.

The ability to work with others whilst earning their trust and respect is an essential trait of a good leader.

To find out more about hiring a great leader (internally or externally) – click here.

8. Sometimes, you just need a breath of fresh air.

Sometimes, you need to bring a new person into a company to shake things up a bit, bringing fresh ideas and insights to the table.

This is especially important if you think things at your company are stagnating a little and that the morale is a little slow and people seem unmotivated – promoting the internal candidate probably won’t change that.

Bringing in someone who can inspire others could be the breath of fresh air your team need to get back into their groove.

9. You’re essentially hiring two people.

Of course, often, you’ll also have to hire a second person to fill the promoted person’s job.

So you will essentially be hiring two people that you’ll have to train up, instead of one.

If the position is more senior, then it could be worth it, because the internal hire will have gained valuable experience and knowledge throughout their time working for the company – all of which will speed up their training process and make them a great addition to the senior team.

However if the role is roughly at the same level, you might wonder whether it’s simpler and quicker to just hire one, external person.

10. You’re limiting your options.

At the end of the day, recruitment is a numbers game and if you choose to only advertise a vacancy internally then then you are limiting your options.

You just don’t know whether the perfect person is somewhere out there, just waiting to be plucked.

Is it worth the risk?

What do we think?

Internal recruitment really works well, if you have some great talent within your business right now.

But, as you can see from the negatives above, there are a few traps you could fall into.

Just make sure you consider every avenue and every potential issue before making any snap decisions.

Recruiter Pro Tip

Don’t hire someone internally, just because it’s cheaper, easier and quicker, short term.

If you have any doubts that someone is right for the role (for example, perhaps you decide they’re not great, but a promotion will ‘buck up their ideas’) seriously reconsider those doubts before making a decision.

It’s just not worth making a mistake that could cost you thousands of pounds.

If you’d like more advice on making your recruitment drive more efficient and less costly, then please feel free to subscribe to this blog – HERE.

We’ll send over a quick weekly email with our latest blog post.

Want to find out more?

If you’d like to hear some more perspectives on the matter, check out these great articles…

Hope you found the post useful!

- Anthony Hughes

Anthony Hughes

Anthony is a recruitment veteran of 18 years and is also one of the original founders of Coburg Banks. He now trains recruitment consultants on the best methods to utilise when sourcing and assessing applicants for their clients. 


> More blog posts by Anthony Hughes

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