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What Is Internal Recruitment?

Internal recruitment is turning to your existing employees as a source of talent for new or open positions.

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Visier HR Glossary

What is internal recruitment?

Internal recruitment is turning to your existing employees as a source of talent for new or open positions.

The internal hiring process can work in much the same way as traditional hiring processes with employees having an opportunity to apply for open roles, go through an interview process and be evaluated along with other potential candidates.

Internal recruitment vs. external recruitment

Internal recruitment is when companies look to internal employees as a potential candidate pool for open positions, whereas external recruitment is when companies look outside of the organization to a candidate pool of people who are not currently employed by the company.

Types of internal recruiting

Internal recruiting can take a variety of forms, including:

  • A promotion into a higher-level position.

  • A transfer to another job in the organization.

  • Temporary, contract, or gig workers being hired into full- or part-time positions.

  • Retirees, or soon-to-be retirees, being recruited to stay in their current or some other role.

  • An internal advertisement made available to all employees.

Advantages of internal recruitment

There are many advantages of internal recruitment for both employees and employers. For employees, internal recruitment allows them opportunities to move into new positions requiring different skills or capabilities and, in most cases, offering more pay. For employers, internal recruitment allows them to take advantage of known talent who are already familiar with the organization; its mission, vision and values; its policies and practices; and other staff members. It also sends a signal to employees that growth opportunities exist and can be a good way to create engagement and encourage loyalty and longevity.

There are, though, some disadvantages of internal recruitment.

Disadvantages of internal recruitment

One potential disadvantage of internal recruitment is that there may be more qualified staff externally who could bring important new insights and competencies to the company. Without an influx of external talent from time to time, companies can become insular in their thinking. Another potential disadvantage is the ill will that can be generated among employees who applied for, but were not offered, a position.

Still, the benefits tend to outweigh the potential disadvantages when programs are established and run effectively.

How to get started

An important starting point is to develop and publish a policy outlining how the internal recruitment process will work. Will employees need to notify their current managers before applying for another position? Will they need to have been in their position for a certain period of time before applying for other jobs? Will external candidates also be considered. Be detailed, clear, specific and transparent with employees to ensure you maximize the positives of internal recruitment.

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