Internal vs. External Recruitment

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Recruitment, selection, and employee development forms one of the most important and critical role/activities of the human resources management in an organization. As a matter of facts, the success of the organization or rather the ability of the organization to adequately meet its objectives largely relies on the nature of human skills available to it, the adequacy of which is the combination of the organization’s ability to attract, retain, and develop high levels of skills in to the organization. Consequently, the organization’s employee’s recruitment, selection, and employees development policy is critical since it is the key source of skills, expertise, and adequacy to guarantee efficiency and effectiveness in undertaking the activities of the organization and attainment of the objectives.

By definition, recruitment is basically a business activity that comprises all the processes that are involved in the identification, attraction, and selection of individuals either from within or without the organization to fill pre-identified job positions. Basically, the recruitment process involves a number of activities which includes identification and attracting of potential candidates, evaluation of the latter and ultimate selection of suitable candidates for the job (Accel-Team, 2009). There are basically two approaches to recruitment that the organization is presented with. These include the internal recruitment and development of the current employees and external recruitment where the firm attracts and hire new employees from without the organization. All the organizational recruitment policies have both long-term and short term benefits to the organization as well as shortcomings. This paper therefore explores the long-term advantages of internal recruitment and development of current employees relative to external hiring of new human resources.

The rationale behind appropriate recruitments policy

Irrespective of their size, structure or orientation, organizations tend to hire new people or maintaining employees’ current positions via recruitment and selection. According to Accel-Team (2009, Para. 5), effective recruitment and selection policies and decision provide ideal means for the organization to ensure that there is an adequate supply of labor. In order for an organization to effectively and efficiently perform the organizational activities thus enabling it to meet its objectives it must seek adequate and quality human resources. The external hiring provides the organization with a leeway of obtaining new workforce; the latter of which poses as a potential source of new skills and a point of adjusting attitudes and cultures in the organization. Furthermore, an appropriate recruitment policy and the related set of activities helps the organization to acquire the right number of people to perform the tasks and activities in the organization and meet the predetermined goals and objectives with absolute efficiency and effectiveness.

Skills expertise form one of the most important elements of the organization and a major determinant of the organizational success or failure. If an organization is a stead ahead of the rest in the industry in terms of skills and expertise, it is bound to have a competitive edge over the others (Accel-Team, 2009, Para. 6). Effective recruitment and selection strategies in the organization enable the organization to attract the right such skills and expertise the right people to apply or the job and selection of the best candidates from the applicants as well as training and orientating the hired individuals to successfully induct them into the organizations systems, policies, procedures, and practices (Anonymous, 2009, Para. 6). Whether the organization adopts an external recruitment policy or hires internally, the fundamental requirement and rationale behind a suitable recruitment policy as far as effective human resource management is concerned to aid the organization in the attraction hiring, retaining, and development of the best human skills for distinct competence as well as ensuring efficiency and effectiveness in achieving the organizational goals and objectives.

The external versus internal hiring and development

An organization can either recruit internally or externally. Internal recruitment is the recruitment in which the organization limits the existing job vacancy only for its existing workforce. The employer or rather organization hires, retains, and develop current employees internal to the organization as an alternative to opening opportunity to external/ new employees. Generally, internal recruitment opens opportunities for current employee’s promotion as well as offering them a chance to develop new skills within the organizational context (Sarah, 2008, Para. 4). The sources of internal recruitment includes, transfers, promotions, hiring the services of retired employees, reengaging the retrenched employees, upgrading, demotions, and considering dependents and relatives close to a deceased employee (Anonymous, 2009, Para. 7).

External recruitment on the other hand involves the organization seeking to fill the emerging job vacancies with individuals from without the organization hence the advertisements are accessible and open to applications from individual outside the organization. According to Sarah (2009, p. 8), external recruitment is applied when the organization intends to expand its current work force and acquire new skills. The sources of external recruitment includes press advertisements, hiring from education institutions, placement agencies, and outsourcing employment exchanges programs labor contractors unsolicited applicants employees referrals and recruitments at the gates of organization or factories (Sarah, 2008, Para. 15).

Argument for internal recruitment

Irrespective of the fact that many organizations tend to look down upon internal recruitment making it characteristically uncommon in many industries, it presents an ideal recruitment approach with potential of offering the organization with both short term and long-term benefits. The underlying principle and the basis of this argument is that through internal recruitment; an approach via which the organization hire, retain, and develop human skills from within the organization instead of hiring new employees from outside, the organization seeks to develop and maintain skills of in-house employees with expertise, desired performance ability, right attitude, and experience level critically essential to aid the organization in the achievement of its goals, objective, and mission. Among the shorter and long-term advantages on retaining and developing human skills in-house is that, it reduces the organizational costs allied to recruitments, acts as an ideal approach to employees’ motivation; the latter of which is an impetus to higher performance and also ensures that the organization retains and further develops in-house experience creating the highest level of employees’ familiarity, expertise, efficiency, effectiveness, and desired precision for high performance as well as a point of competitive advantage (Sarah, 2008, Para. 13).

Ideally, when an organization recruits internally, its focus is basically on the existing bank of employees in the events of ensuing vacancies within the organization. As a result, the advertisement, recruitment, selection as well the employees socialization processes attracts much less time and monetary costs on the part of the recruitment and selection team relative to external hiring process which are lengthy, costly, and uncertain outcome-wise since the recruiting team has confidence and evidence of competence as far as the existing employees are concerned. This culminates to cost minimization for the organization not only in the short run but also in the long run. Similarly, adoption of internal recruitment and development of skills from within the organizations help open opportunities for promotion and career progression for current organizational employees. This greatly favor’s the inherent employees’ desire for career advancement hence a predominant source of motivation and impetus for higher performance on the part of the employees.

When employees are sourced internally from the organization, the previous familiarity and experience on the part of the employee is maintained and forms a strong basis on which such familiarity can be developed to higher levels if need be. Basically, the employees upon the completion of the recruitment move to a new position with different responsibility, his knowledge of the basic aspects of the organization such as organizational policies and procedures, the organizational culture, customs and all other factors pertaining the organizational environment. Consequently, career imbalance that an employee is usually faced with in events of being subjected to an absolutely new job and working environment is minimal in cases of internal recruitment.

In addition, the employer finds it comfortable choosing the appropriate employees to fill identified positions since the recruiting team is not only familiar with the company recruitment history and procedure but they also have adequate knowledge about specific employees’ skills and ability in relation to the position they are recruiting to. As a result, the team is able to select suitable employees with maximum precision compared to external recruitment that involves risk taking since the result of the recruitment may not always transform to the expectation of the organization. This reduces costs of repeated recruitment due to failures as well as minimizing employee’s turnover (Anonymous, 2009). More over, internal recruitment and development of internal workforce/ skills excels in garnering employees loyalty.

The argument against internal recruitment

According to Sarah (2008, Para. 14), internal recruitment irrespective of the long-term benefit that internal recruitment has, shortcomings ranging from workforce in-breeding, contravention of the equal employment opportunity requirements to the fact that the employees will still require intensive and further training to help them fit in their new employment positions. According to Sarah (2009), exclusive internal recruitment policy makes it impossible or greatly hinders innovations, invention, and development of new ideas in the organization. This is because external employees brings new knowledge, absolute new ideas, and working perspective or presents great potential for such a factor which is characteristically absent in internal recruitment. Furthermore, adoption of such a policy may land the organization against the law especially if the organization’s legal environment includes equal employment opportunities’ decrees since internal recruitment is a rather discriminative recruitment approach as it locks out new/external employees (Sarah, 2008, Para. 12)..

In addition, internal recruitment calls for additional specialized training to help the employee with skills, knowledge and expertise to fit to the new positions and to be able to effectively handle the new challenges. For an organization to come up with the skills required to train the current employees to embrace new organizational procedures, technologies, approaches to work, it is imperative that it invest in more expensive employees training programs.


The importance that the employees’ recruitment and selection hold to a business calls for a strategic choice of a recruitment policy on the part of the organization. Irrespective of the fact that both external hiring and internal recruitment that involves development of skills internally from the current organizational human resources are at the disposal of the organizational recruiting team, strategic choice of the approach is critical since it has to be in line with the organizational human resources objective as well as overall goals of the firm. In addition, the policy must meet the requirements of the environment in which the organization operates, especially in regard to morality, legal requirements and social responsibility.

While internal recruitment is faulted for hindering new inventions, requiring specialized training programs, it greatly reduces the recruitment team cost both in time and money and retains organizational experience and familiarity of both the employees to the organizational processes and culture as well as the employee ability by the recruiting team. Furthermore, it has a great motivating effect and a potential tool to enhance increased preference in the Long run. Consequently success in HRM as in relation to recruitment is an adoption of an approach that strikes a balance between internal and external recruitment policies as adoption of an exclusive approach will never lack limitations that are inherent in it.

Reference List

Accel-Team (2009). Human Resource Management: Function 2: Recruitment and selection of employees. ACCEL. Web.

Anonymous (2009). Human Resource Management – Recruitment & Selection Procedure. Articlesbase. Web.

Sarah, J. (2008). Internal Recruitment. Scribd. Web.

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