The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

September 12, 2017

Internal Vs. External Hiring


When looking to fill a position in your office, you can choose to look internally within your existing employee-base or externally source candidates. Some positions fit better with internal hiring and others external, however, it will very much depend on the role and what you are seeking.

Below are advantages of hiring internal candidates and external candidates.

Internal Candidates

1. Efficiency

The process to hire an internal candidate is typically faster than sourcing externally. Not only will an internal search save you time, it is also more cost effective given that resources and not being concentrated on hiring efforts.

2. Insider Knowledge

An existing employee is already a good culture fit for the office. They understand how the office runs and already have developed relationships with your employees. No time will, therefore, need to be spent on familiarizing the new hire with the company’s practices and procedures.

3. Track Record

Being an existing employee, you already have insight into the candidate’s performance history. This intel is not usually something you can get on a new hire if they have been sourced externally. You know this person, you’ve hired, trained and retained them. You have seen how they work or at the very least, can get detailed records of their work so you are aware of what you are getting into should you choose them for the new opening.

4. Career Development

Hiring internally gives career development that is a much sought after facet of company culture. Moreover, when your team sees that their colleague has been considered for an internal role, they are more motivated to perform better and engage closer in an effort to also advance their career.

External Candidates

1. Outsider’s Point of View

An external hire, especially one coming from a competitor, will bring new insight to your company and indeed the role. A fresh pair of eyes may see issues and solutions internal staff have overlooked. Coming from a competitor, they may give you the edge you need on market leaders.

2. New Skills

Alongside a new perspective, more likely than not an external hire brings new skills that an internal candidate may not have. Skills they have acquired in a different environment and possibly even skills that your company couldn’t provide.

3. Speed of Training

If you are hiring someone with the same business title as the role you are advertising, the time taken to train a candidate is decreased. A promotion for an internal candidate requires training for them to perform tasks outside of their norm whereas someone with experience in that role can have their knowledge directly applied.

Unfortunately, hiring is not as black and white as Internal vs. External. Every position opening will require specific assessment in order to know if hiring internally or externally is the most appropriate course of action.

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