A very effective recruitment technique is to look within. And why not? There are many great advantages to hiring internally so this should be your first consideration when recruiting. It won’t always be the best method you should engage in yet understanding the advantages and disadvantages of such an approach will enable you to determine when internal recruitment is the right course of action for your business.

Some of the many influencing factors that will cause you to look to your ranks when filling a position will include the quicker and less costly search, and of course the more informed decision you can make by hiring an applicant you are familiar with. A key element to recruiting right is to engage in methods that reduce the risks in selecting the wrong candidate. When placing a current employee into a new role within your business you are effectively negating your fears of hiring someone who is unproven to you, does not have the right skill set, is not a good cultural fit and doesn’t understand your company, its values and processes. Very important.

Of enormous value to the workforce today is the opportunity to grow and develop skills, knowledge and experience. If your company can demonstrate an opportunity for internal progression, not only will current employees feel more valued, engaged and happier, but you will attract future go-getters who find your ‘opportunity knocks’ brand very appealing.

And the benefits just keep on coming…

Promoting a current employee into a new role reduces the time and effort required to induct them. They already know their work colleagues, are familiar with the office layout and the workplace rules. They understand the key objectives the business is aiming to achieve and are familiar with their market, competitors and internal systems. Needless to say they will generally hit the ground running and business will continue to move at an accelerated pace. This is somewhat comforting for other staff members who don’t enjoy spending exorbitant time and energy over many months training and acquainting a new recruit while paying a lack of attention to their own responsibilities. And we all understand the correlation between employee morale and the bottom line. But what if your internal recruit is not a popular choice?

When employees are discontent with an internal promotion politics will take over. Colleagues can reject their new boss through jealously and with tension now rising among the ranks, co-workers may make their new boss’ life purposefully difficult, or display their protest by leaving. On the other hand, special treatment may be expected due to a pre-existing working relationship. And this could be an unwelcome and difficult to manage pressure for your newly promoted employee.

Another issue you may encounter when hiring from within is a lack of quality candidates. With limited options are you starving your company of opportunities to grow and learn from more experienced and worldly personnel? A fresh voice may be just what is required to reset the company’s thinking and take it in a more competitive and profitable direction.  If you sense an inbreeding of narrow thinking and stale ideas, then this is a clear sign that your internal talent pool is too small and you need to go to the broader market for your next recruit.

Your internal recruit may also need additional training to meet the demands of their new role, whether they have transcended sideways or up the corporate ladder. And this incurs an increase in expenses. A readymade external recruit can help you avoid these additional costs.

The one drawback to internal recruitment that I am yet to discuss is the ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’ scenario. Promoting a current employee into a new position still leaves the dilemma of filling the freshly vacated role. Essentially you have doubled the hiring efforts required. This may still prove to be an advantageous course of action though if you are restructuring your organisation as maybe you have come to the realisation that you are overstaffed!

The best recruitment strategy to employ is a healthy mix of internal and external recruitment methods, particularly if you are not continuously grooming your employees to take on greater challenges. In this instance you will definitely find a gap in the hierarchy and will be forced to look beyond the bounds of your own gene pool. Regardless, there are costs and consequences to both approaches. And while one of the most satisfying ways to build your own business is to mentor and coach your own success stories, it will not always be the best approach for your business’ needs. If you are astutely aware of the pros and cons of internal recruitment, you can make an informed and considered decision that best benefits your organisation and staff needs.





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