The Advantages and Disadvantages of Internal Recruitment

Published 13 Mar 2017

As Compton, Morrissey and Nankervis suggest, while the organization may have a thorough understanding of the job requirements, HR department will need to evaluate the most effective recruitment methods, internally and externally, otherwise HR practitioners may fail in acquiring the most suitable pool of applicants (2002, pp.52-57). The main decision facing HR and line management may be whether the most suitable applicants can be sourced using internal or external recruitment methods and which will provide the best pool of applicants (Irwin, 2003, p.21). Internal recruitment refers to the assessment and evaluation of employees from within the organization as they move from job to job via transfer and promotion systems.

Internal recruitment is the promoting, or advancing of employees within the organization, which focuses on hiring individuals within the organization. Job posting is an important way to inform the internal employees of any job openings. Substantive methods are used to select internal finalist from internal candidates. Some advantages of internal recruiting are: recruiting costs – since the recruiting machinery is focused on an already existing pool of employees to fill a vacant position, and therefore selection and socializing processes are less time and dollar consuming, internal tends to be less expensive (Compton, Morrissey & Nankervis, 2002, p.67). Motivation is also another advantage because the prospect of potential promotion or transfers provides a clear sign to the current work force that the organization offers room for advancement (Irwin, 2003, p.29). And also familiarity of the employee has a two-side effect. On one hand the employee is familiar with the organizations policies, procedures, and customs. At the same time, the organization has established an employment history showing the workers formal and informal skills and abilities. Some disadvantages are inbreeding which results in the reduced likelihood of innovation and new perspectives. And also internal recruiting demands a higher degree of employee training (Stone, 2002, p.182).

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Internal recruitment uses the same “logic of prediction” approach as for external selection. Some advantages of internal logic of perdition is that data collected on internal applicants in their previous jobs often provide greater depth, relevance, and verifiability than data collected on external applicants. Reliable data on external applicants may be difficult to obtain because of privacy/legal issues and may not always present the whole picture or an accurate picture of their past experiences.

Internal recruitment process may generate a large number of applicants for vacant positions, especially when an open rather than a closed recruitment system is used. However, for small companies internal recruitment represents a challenging task, because of limited pool of candidates. Simultaneously, disadvantages of internal recruitment usually come from positive aspects external recruitment brings to HR management. One growing method of external recruitment has been the use of the Internet. Due to the advances in technology and changing demographic of the workforce, more people are accessing the Internet as a form of job search (Stone, 2002, pp.187-188). There are numerous benefits towards the organization including speed of recruiting results and reduced costs due to the inexpensive use of the Web instead of print media (HR Focus, Mar. 2000, p13). Further, research showed that 80 percent of businesses surveyed believed candidates who came via the Web are of a higher calibre than others (HR Focus, Mar. 2000, p.14).

The question of whether HR department or company should use external methods against internal is highly debated especially in the context of turbulent workforce. Literature and practical experience suggest that there recruitment strategy could not be effective unless it contains multi-sided approach towards recruitment methods. Internal recruitment offers many benefits for modern HR department, including low recruitment cost, additional motivation and high morale for company’s employees and more secure and reliable data about applicant. Simultaneously, internal recruitment is a slow process, comparing with external recruitment, and is hardly applicable for small businesses to manage their human resources.


  • HR Focus, (2000) ‘Online Recruiting: What works, what doesn’t’, March, Issue 00-3, pp1-14.
  • Compton, R.L., Morrissey, W.J. & Nankervis, A.R. (2002) Effective Recruitment and Selection Practices, 3rd Ed, Cambridge University Press
  • Irwin, R. (2003) Study Guide: Staff Selection and Appraisal, Southern Cross University, Lismore.
  • Stone, R.J. (2002) Human Resource Management, 4th Ed. Rutledge,
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