Recruitment is (as you, reader, well know!) a fundamental part of any successful business. As well as ensuring company growth and adding extra talent to your team, recruitment allows HR departments to collate a talented pool of potential candidates for current and future vacancies. 

So you’ve made the decision to recruit. Now you’re probably wondering how best to go about doing that. Will you be looking around your existing team for your latest internal recruit, or scaling up the search by advertising the new role externally?

One thing’s for sure: when it comes to successful recruitment strategies, there’s no one-size-fits-all. It’s vital you weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of external recruitment vs internal recruitment before you start hiring.

Thankfully, you don’t have to add ‘research internal vs external recruitment’ to today’s to-do list. As usual at Hireserve, we’ve made your life a whole lot easier and put everything you need to know in one easy place. In this blog, we’ll weigh up the advantages vs disadvantages of hiring internally compared to external hiring.


What are the Advantages of Internal Recruitment?


You already know the candidate

With internal recruitment, you don’t have to rely on an applicant’s CV to know whether they will be a good cultural fit for the company. Because you already know the candidate, you can easily and accurately assess whether their skills, attributes and performance levels would make them suitable for the new role. An internal employee also comes equipped with knowledge of the company, experience with your pre-existing systems and connections to other staff members, making the on-boarding process easier and reducing the chance of maladjustment. Hiring from your company’s internal talent pool ensures peace of mind, rather than investing in a potentially risky new hire.

It saves time, energy and money

Recruitment is an expensive, time-consuming and exhausting process. When hiring internally, you instantly cut costs to both your brain and bank account by removing the need to widely advertise the role, sift through piles of potential candidates and conduct lengthy interviews. An internal candidate will usually require less training for the new role because they are familiar with the company, again cutting costs to the on-boarding process and ensuring efficiency.

By using internal hiring technology and tools, such as those within Hireserve ATS, recruitment becomes a breeze for HR teams. You can provide employees with a dedicated internal hiring portal, for a smooth online experience for them. And in terms of your workload, you can easily schedule in-house interviews or share feedback between Hiring Managers online, securely and simply, within Hireserve ATS.

Improves Morale, Engagement and Loyalty

Giving your employees career goals to strive for and opportunities for their hard work to be rewarded with internal promotion boosts employee morale, productivity, engagement and loyalty – all things you definitely want in your workforce! Hiring an internal applicant encourages other employees to strive for the same goal, thus fostering an environment of productive, enthusiastic employees.

People look favourably upon an employer who values their teams’ individual career goals, opportunities and progression. Know an employee who is outgrowing their current role? Promote them!



Ensures Staff Retention

Lack of job progression and career opportunities is the number one reason why people leave their jobs, as well as a lack of engagement. According to a recent report by Gallup, employee engagement has decreased globally over recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  As previously mentioned, internal promotion is a great way of boosting engagement in your workforce. Therefore, if you want to retain your most talented team members, internal recruitment is the way to go!


However, There Are Disadvantages to Internal Recruitment…


No New Talent = No Fresh Ideas

Innovation is essential for successful businesses. External candidates can bring new skills, new talent, new ideas and a fresh perspective, whereas internal employees may add to an echo chamber of uninspired opinions. Whilst internal recruitment is cost- and time-effective, in the long run it may cause your team to stagnate – that’s definitely something to be mindful of when hiring an internal candidate. Sometimes, looking externally for an employee is a better way to future-proof your business than by cutting corners on recruitment costs.

Recruitment software such as Hireserve ATS makes it easy to find the best new talent. Our Smart Talent Search feature allows you to set specific skills and requirements as weighted keywords, which our system will then use to screen your applicant database and sift out the most appropriate candidates. That’s right, no more hours spent trawling through application forms looking for your next ideal hire – our software does it all for you.

What’s more, with our sophisticated candidate screening features, you can streamline your hiring process by setting up job specific or mandatory ‘Killer Questions’. These effectively shortlist your applicants by evaluating their suitability for the role before they submit an application – saving both you and your potential recruit time and energy. Our software ensures that external recruitment doesn’t hinder the quality and talent of your team – with Hireserve ATS you can easily find the best of the best.

You Have Fewer Candidates to Choose From

By sticking to an internal recruitment process, you’re drastically limiting your candidate pool. Just think about how many talented job seekers are out there waiting to join your team – or worse, be snapped up by your competitors! Internal recruitment might save you some time and money, but it could also cause you to miss out on an external candidate who is perfect for the role – and who may have brought a much-needed breath of fresh air into the team.

One of the biggest advantages of external recruitment vs internal is the sheer wealth of applicants it provides. With Hireserve ATS, you can instantly widen your talent pool by utilising our wide range of integrations. Maximise your reach with our social integrations, which allow you to automatically post job alerts across your social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. Furthermore, instantly advertise open positions across multiple job boards with our diverse range of job board integrations. Our configurable application forms also allow external candidates to simply drop in their CVs or apply with their LinkedIn profiles, meaning you can recruit great new talent quickly.

However, we also understand that having a huge number of applicants to sort through can be daunting and cumbersome. That’s why recruitment software such as Hireserve ATS is absolutely essential when undergoing external recruitment. It makes the whole recruitment process much quicker and easier for your recruitment manager – so even if you’re faced with a large pool of applicants, you’re never faced with hours of admin.

You Still Need to Fill a Vacancy

If you promote an existing employee, you are still left with a vacancy in their previous role that needs to be filled. Chances are, you will then have to recruit an external applicant to complete the team. That means you could ultimately find yourself waiting for an internal recruit to adjust to their new role whilst also recruiting, onboarding and training a completely new external hire. In the long run, that quick and easy internal hire may just end up creating more stress for your recruitment team and costing your company time, productivity and money!

Combine the benefits of internal and external recruitment by using Hireserve ATS. You can reach talented external recruits that you may never have come across internally, with the speed and efficiency of internal recruitment.

With Hireserve ATS, our configurable application forms, comprehensive candidate screening tools and automated pre-employment checks and reference requests make finding your dream recruit quick, easy and efficient. Plus, using our automatic interview scheduling tool and in-built online interviewing integration makes conducting remote interviews hassle-free – something that has become vital in the COVID-19 era. Our handy SMS integrations send out reminders to applicants so that you don’t have to, freeing up time to focus on more important things. All of this comes as part of an easy-to-use, remote-accessible hiring manager portal that requires no training for non-technical, infrequent users. What more could you want?



It Could Cause Tension

Promoting one employee over another can, in some cases, create disputes between staff and cause tensions to build – particularly if an employee feels they deserved the promotion more than another. Disputes and tension do nothing for company culture, and at a time where workplace stress is at a record high, nobody wants to add internal hiring disputes into the mix. External hiring offers a key benefit of maintaining much-needed harmony between your current employees.

Hireserve ATS Makes Internal and External Recruitment Easier

Whether you wish to hire internally or externally, the whole recruitment process is made much easier by having software such as ours by your side. With Hireserve ATS, you not only benefit from a range of tools, third-party integrations and automation, but you also get that helpful human touch. Led by experts with over 20 years of experience in external and internal hiring technology, Hireserve ATS can exceed your needs regardless of which recruitment methods you use.

To see how Hireserve ATS could streamline your next hire, simply request a demo!

About the author

Tristan Potter

Hireserve ATS is an Applicant Tracking System designed for in-house recruitment teams, and is trusted by organisations across the globe.