Why Internal Recruiting Isn’t Always the Best

In the search for ideal candidates, you look for specific qualities: perhaps experience, strong communication, or the ability to be a team player. Current employees are often at the top of the candidate list for new job openings. But is hiring internally always best? Let’s explore the unique benefits of both internal and external hires.

Advantages of Hiring Internally

It’s difficult to measure an individual’s level of engagement and motivation from a resume and a brief interview. When hiring internally, you already know the candidates and their work ethic. For every bad hire, a company loses an average of $14,900, and the loss of a good hire can cost up to $30,000. Hiring internally can save you thousands of dollars.

Additionally, potential job openings, promotions, or raises excite and motivate employees to do a good job. Employee engagement drops quickly and steadily when they feel there is no room to grow within the company.

Disadvantages of Internal Hiring

In some cases, hiring internally is the fastest and easiest solution to fill a position — particularly if it is an upper management or other key role. However, this isn’t always the best option. An internal hire may have a strong work ethic but lack the experience or qualifications to advance the company or department. In many positions, experience is necessary. Without it, an individual may make rookie mistakes that could cost your company time and money. An employee with experience may have already made those mistakes and be ready to use his skills to move the company forward.

Advantages of Hiring Externally

Not only does hiring externally provide a broader selection of strong candidates, but it also brings new ideas, talents, and personalities to the team. Many employees get stuck in the same routine, knowing exactly how much effort they must put forth to do their jobs — often not 100%. When you bring in new talent, the rest of the team will likely be more dedicated and motivated. New employees often want to make a difference in the company’s goals, policies, procedures, and even workplace environment.

Disadvantages of External Hiring

Unfortunately, hiring outside talent has drawbacks, particularly concerning the time and money it takes to find ideal candidates. Not only is the hiring process longer, but you may pay significantly more. Additionally, research shows that some individuals, although successful at former companies, cannot bring the same victories to new organizations. Their previous companies made them successful, not necessarily their lists of awards and accomplishments.

Determining whether to hire internal or external talent will vary depending on your company and your specific situation. Before you choose the easiest route that causes the least organizational disruptions, take the time to weigh all your options and see what candidates you can attract from a variety of sources.


HiringThing, founded in 2012, is award-winning recruiting software that helps simplify and shorten the hiring lifecycle by automating processes, facilitating collaboration, and organizing data. Our goal is to help you focus on what matters most — finding the perfect hires. Ready to give HiringThing a try? Start your free 14-day trial!

Alisiana Peters

Author: Alisiana Peters

Alisiana is a senior marketing coordinator at HiringThing, an award-winning online recruiting software provider dedicated to changing the way businesses hire talent. Questions? Contact HiringThing Marketing.