Internal Recruitment: Hiring Top Talent from Within

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There’s a lot more to hiring the best candidate than just reviewing CVs and conducting interviews and this is why recruiting can be stressful. In fact, there are so many decisions to be made during the recruitment process that it can be a nightmare.

The key is to take it step by step. Start by deciding whether you should recruit externally or internally (are there potential candidates within the company?) and this decision will lead your next decisions as well.

Most recruiters choose to hire people from external sources as they see it as a way to bring in new blood and by extent new ideas to the company, but there are many benefits to internal recruitment as well.

The advantages of internal recruitment

Internal recruitment sources include promotions, transfers and employee referral programmes; as such they encourage organisations to value internal talent, while they also help boost company culture. But, these are not the only advantages of internal recruiting; in fact, there are many more benefits you need to consider before deciding to put out a job advertisement.

1. It's cheaper

Advertising jobs costs a lot of money. Getting your vacancy on one of the big job boards (Linkedin, Monster etc.) costs companies an average of £150. And as you are going to want to post on more than one job board, as well as post the position on social media, the entire process can end up costing a lot.

2. It's less time-consuming

External recruiting can be extremely time-consuming, as writing the job listing, deciding where to post it, and actually posting it takes a lot of time. And this is just a small part of the entire process; reviewing job applications and conducting interviews require an obscene amount of time. Consider the fact that you’ll receive dozens of CVs and cover letters for each vacancy which you need to read to select the best candidates; you’ll then need to sort through the candidates to ask them to come in for the interview and then make time to hold the interviews.

What’s more, with candidates hired externally, the adjustment period is longer as they need more training and more time to feel comfortable in the workplace. With internal recruiting, on the other hand, candidates are already familiar with the way the company operates, they already have their friends, and are comfortable in the workplace which means that they can get started and produce results a lot faster.

3. It's great for motivation

What many employers often forget is that having a successful team is not just about hiring talented people, it’s also to do with keeping employees happy. Happy employees are more productive, and they take a bigger interest in their work. So it’s important to put in place a company culture that allows individuals to grow. By promoting people, you are giving them the motive they need to work harder and better. Keep in mind that professionals like to feel valued and cherish the prospect of being rewarded in their workplace.

4. It's easier to adjust

One of the biggest concerns when hiring new people is that they usually take quite a long time to adjust. Getting used to a new work environment is not easy, and some training is nearly always required which can delay the process even further. What’s more, employees need to start feeling comfortable before they start working to their full potential and it takes time for employees to start feeling that.

The disadvantages of internal recruitment

In spite of the many advantages, there are also quite a few disadvantages you need to consider before deciding to focus all of your energy on finding the perfect hire from within the company.

1. It creates another vacancy

The obvious problem with internal recruiting is that it almost always creates another vacancy. Extracting an employee for one position to put them in another means that you create an opening in that department and to cover that position you’ll probably need to recruit externally. Of course, if it’s an entry level position, then recruiting someone externally is less of a risk.

2. You're more limited

Internal recruiting is limited in two ways. First of all the pool of candidates is much smaller, and the company is also limited to using the same talent.

It’s important to have a large pool of candidates to choose from because finding the right fit is always a bit complicated; you need to look at qualifications, personality traits as well as character and having more candidates to choose from increases the chances of actually finding the ideal candidate.

It’s important for the candidate you hire to bring in new ideas as well, but if you are targeting internal candidates, there’s a good chance that they’ll have nothing new to show.

The internal recruitment process

Both internal and external recruitment can be beneficial to the company and team morale, and as long as you are careful to combine the two sources effectively, it can make the recruiting process much easier. You don’t always have to hire internally, but when it’s obvious that the best candidate is already within the company, you shouldn’t waste resources to look for someone on job boards and social media.  

Although internal recruitment may sound simple and straightforward it rarely is. You are required to identify the best candidate as well as conduct interviews to find out if the people that have voiced their interest really are a good fit for the position.

Essentially, there are three internal recruitment sources you can use, promotions, transfers and employee referral programmes.

1. Promotions

As we’ve discussed earlier, promotions are great for team spirit. Apart from being great for employees however, promotions can also be extremely beneficial for the company. Employees who rise up the ranks know what the job is all about and are much more productive. 

2. Transfers

Transfers can be an extremely effective tool, especially if you work for a large organisation with many departments. Transferring employees between departments can help employees become more invested in the company’s future, while it also helps cover openings. It’s important however to make sure that you are not making any degrading transfers as this could hurt employee productivity and could result in a resignation. Always transfer employees between departments that have the same status within the company.

3. Employee referral programmes

Employee referral programmes essentially combine internal and external sources. Companies who effectively use these programmes get their employees to suggest candidates for openings and then reward the employee who brought in the person that was hired. As the environment is more supportive for these new hires (they already have a friend) they always adjust more easily, while they also stay for longer than professionals who were hired without being referred.

Effective internal recruitment can help save resources, and ensure better quality candidates, but it’s important to note that for best results internal recruiting should always be combined with external recruiting. Limiting your choices to the talent that is already available within the company can hurt growth opportunities, so it’s important to assess company needs every time before deciding on the recruitment method.

Do you have any questions about internal recruiting? If you do let me know in the comment section below!