External Recruitment Methods: The Pros and Cons

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Recruiting the best candidates is critical to helping organisations reach their full potential. There are many recruitment strategies you can use to find top talent, and while it’s true that internal recruitment can be extremely effective in boosting company culture and allowing existing talent to shine, it can also be extremely restrictive as it limits the generation of fresh and creative ideas. External recruitment offers many options, and it can be very powerful when trying to hire quality candidates.

Pros of Hiring From the Outside  

To assess candidates that come from outside the company hiring managers employ a number of methods; some of which are very creative, while others are relatively simple. Whatever method you choose, there are many advantages to external recruitment.

Bigger Pool of Candidates

Perhaps the biggest advantage of external recruitment is that it gives you more options. Internal strategies restrict you to existing personnel or - if you have an employee referral programme in place - your current employee’s networks. This means that you won’t have a big pool of candidates to choose from which can significantly limit your options.

External recruitment, on the other hand, opens you to almost anyone who’s looking for a job. You could have hundreds of CVs to review which can increase your chances of finding a candidate that matches your exact criteria.

New Skills

One of the greatest perks of hiring is that it exposes companies to new and creative ideas. By introducing new people to the company culture, you can ensure that the business will benefit from any up to date and creative ideas they have.

If you want your company to grow it’s important to make the most of all the talent available and if you are only promoting or transferring people, there’s a good chance that the company will never get the chance to utilise new skills and ideas.

Avoid Internal Problems

Although you shouldn’t allow internal politics to direct your strategy, it’s worth mentioning that external recruiting can help you avoid office drama. Promotions and transfers can be positive to company culture, but they can also create tension between employees and management. From refusing to work under a new boss to feeling that the promotion was not fair, there are a lot of things that can go wrong with internal recruitment strategies.

Cons of Hiring an Outsider

Apart from its benefits, external recruitment can also be very disadvantageous, especially if it’s used every time there’s a vacancy.


One of the biggest concerns you should have with external recruitment is that it can be extremely time-consuming. From writing the job description to finding the best place to advertise and deciding which events or job fairs to attend, it can take a very long time to prepare everything for the selection process. The selection process can also be incredibly long as you need to shortlist candidates and conduct interviews, etc.

Bigger Risks

Even though hiring someone new means opening the door to fresh ideas, there are also a few risks you need to consider. Hiring an external candidate means they’ll have a limited understanding of the company and its functions and this will inevitably prevent them from adjusting quickly. There’s also the risk of not really knowing the candidate, their attitude towards work and work-ethic.


Advertising a position can be very expensive, especially if you are targeting major job boards. To reduce costs and improve results you can always target niche boards.



Methods of External Recruitment

One of the best tips for recruiters is to identify the best hiring process for each vacancy. Not all positions can be filled using the same strategy, so treat every vacancy as its own individual problem. The higher ranking a position is, for example, the more effort you’ll need to put into the hiring process, while an entry-level position will be relatively easy to fill.

Newspapers and Other Offline Methods

Online recruitment is becoming increasingly popular, but that does not mean you can’t also use offline methods. It could be argued that newspaper recruitment is the most effective method if you are trying to hire someone locally. It can be more flexible as it allows you to address various niches and reach out to a wider audience. It’s also a more formal method of recruiting, so you might want to consider it when hiring for senior positions.

Job Boards

Job boards are probably the most popular method of external recruitment and they are highly effective as they allow hiring managers to reach a wider audience that can help increase your chances of finding the candidates most suited to each position. What’s more, as job boards allow you to reach a larger audience, they can also help speed up the hiring process. It’s important to note that millennials tend to trust job sites that provide career advice more than regular job boards, so if you are looking for millennial talent you should consider posting your job. These sites usually also have cv databases that will allow you to filter through candidate profiles based on your criteria.

Social Media

The majority of jobseekers now use social media to search for jobs, so it makes sense to use social media as well. Apart from posting vacancies on company’s accounts, it’s also important to include sponsored posts in your campaign, because you can use these platforms to target passive candidates and poach talented professionals.

Job Fairs

Although not as popular as they once used to be, job fairs continue to help hiring managers gain access to a large number of candidates. What’s also great about them is that they allow you to meet the candidate and talk to them, rather than just reading their CV. It can be a great way to understand if someone will be a good fit or not.


Apart from job fairs, there are many other events you can attend to meet potential candidates. From networking events to places where you think that your target audience might attend (like seminars and conferences), you get a chance to meet some truly talented candidates, while also help raise brand awareness by being physically present at industry-related events.

Recruitment Agencies

Recruitment agencies continue to have the best results in finding quality candidates simply because they are focused on delivering their clients with the best quality candidates. If they take charge of the hiring process, it can be less time-consuming for you while they’ll also be able to help you with offering the right salary and benefits since they know what the job market is like and what professionals expect.


Depending on the size of your organisation and how often you need to fill positions you may want to consider using both internal and external recruitment strategies because when paired together they can help ensure that you’ll find the best candidate for each position. It’s important, however, to remember that external recruitment generally means opening your doors to creativity and new ideas.

Do you have anything you would like to add? Let us know in the comments section below…