Complete Guide to the Internal Recruitment Process

Guide to internal recruitment

Recruiting is always a challenging process for any organisation, regardless of size, annual income, or the number of staff. Losing a key employee and trying to hire someone new can be a costly and time-intensive process.

But what if there was another option?

A school of thought believes hiring from inside your company is one of the most productive recruiting strategies available. It makes sense when you consider it; you already have the employees available. And there may be a need to upskill someone inside your organisation or offer a new point of view and analysis that the team may be lacking.

So, let us delve into the world of internal recruitment.

What is Internal Recruitment?

Internal recruiting refers to the procedure of identifying candidates and attracting them for a new post within the same company. As opposed to opening the job to the public and seeking candidates who may be working for other companies or are currently jobless, the human resource department of some businesses may decide to promote the job within the company and only allow their own employees to apply for the position.

However, if the company fails in finding a suitable match for the position using internal recruitment, it may be necessary to promote the job externally, in order to guarantee that the position is filled.

Organizations today employ internal recruitment methods to fill jobs in their organisation that require an insider’s perspective or knowledge and inspire employee retention and a sense of progress. The internal recruitment process is a crucial component of any organisation since it saves time, money, and workforce when compared to external recruitment which is 18% more expensive than internal hiring.

So, when it comes to internal recruitment, what are the advantages and disadvantages? Let us consider them before making a decision.


Advantages of Internal Recruitment

The advantages of internal recruitment are as follows:

1. Saves time

When hiring externally, the hiring team discovers applicants through sourcing or job advertising. After assessing them, if all works, the HR recruiter will use their skills to persuade them to join the organisation. It takes time for all of this to come to fruition.

Internal candidates, on the other hand, already are a part of your organisation, thus reducing the time it takes to find and engage a suitable fit for the open position.

It is also simpler to evaluate internal applicants because:

  • They’ve been pre-screened for cultural fit
  • Their track record is easy to find
  • They may not necessarily need in-depth interviews with management

2. Saves money

Internal recruitment process allows you to promote new vacancies using internal resources such as community boards. This is less expensive than paying for advertisements on job sites when recruiting externally.

Although it’s worth noting that you may also post job listings for free on some sites when recruiting outside.

3. Promotes employee retention

Internal promotion gives the impression that you respect your staff and wish to invest in them. Giving employees more opportunities to advance in their careers, or even allowing them to transfer to other comparable-level roles that may be of interest to them, enhances their morale.

Employee Retention

People who change roles grow professionally, and others realise they may have equal opportunities in the future. This contributes to developing a trusting culture, which improves employee retention.

4. Shorter learning curve

Anyone who has a previous work experience at your company has a good knowledge of your company’s methods and procedures. This will mean that the amount of time needed in understanding and learning is considerably shorter than those who are new to the company.

An employee recruited internally might also have the ability to transform their experiences from the previous function to your advantage, giving them crucial insight into how the different elements of your business work together.


Disadvantages of Internal Recruitment

Regardless of the advantages of internal recruitment, there are a few things to bear in mind. Hiring internally has the potential to:

1. Create departmental gaps

Offering an employee, a new position means that their position is now vacant. You may find it difficult to replace this vacancy. Therefore, you must take a moment to ensure that the existing team can continue to function well with one lesser member.

2. Restrict the applications in your pool

While your organisation may have many competent candidates for certain roles, this isn’t always the case for every position. For example, if a job is relatively new to your company, your employees may have different specialisations and may be unable to cover this skills gap.

Lacking skills at work

If you only employ from the inside, you may lose out on hiring people with fresh perspectives and ideas.

3. Develop a competitive culture

While healthy competition may be beneficial to employee motivation, too much disagreement over internal openings may negatively influence relationships. Many employees may be interested in the new position, and those who do not get it may be dissatisfied at work and end up venting their frustrations on their co-workers or even attempt quitting.

4. The culture becoming inflexible

Doing the majority of your recruiting internally may result in a stale culture. Employees might become too comfortable with the way things happen, making it difficult to notice inefficiencies and try out new working methods. In leadership roles, where staff may need to fight for change and improvements rather than depending on old, inefficient processes, a rigid culture can limit the organisation’s progress.


Different Types of Internal Recruitment

There are a variety of methods to introduce an open position opportunity to your current employees. Some of the most sought-after methods include:

  • Promotions: The most common type of internal recruitment that everyone wishes for is a promotion.
  • Transfers: Typically, a transfer includes transferring to the same job in a new location or to a similar position in a different department.
  • Transitioning from temporary to permanent: This, like a promotion, entails converting a temporary post holder or intern into a full-fledged permanent employee.
  • Employee referrals: These are a hiring manager’s dream – and often ignored method of internal recruiting. Employee recommendations are an excellent, low-cost method of putting eligible prospects in front of hiring managers. A mechanism to incentivise the employee referral process can help you maintain a steady supply of employee-referred options.

Now that we have covered the advantages, disadvantages, and types of internal recruitment, it is time to show you how to develop your internal recruitment strategy.

How to develop an internal recruitment strategy?

While it is vital to have a relatively established process, it is also crucial to know that there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for internal recruiting for various reasons. The intricacies of internal recruitment imply that your process must have a degree of design flexibility to work; from pre-existing team dynamics that range from team to team to the technical or experience level necessary for a vacancy.

Here are some of the strategies that you can use for your internal recruitement process:

1. Create a flexible internal transfer policy

Internal transfers should have limited restrictions in place and if necessary, should be applied only citing reasons of fairness. For instance, it would make sense to prevent employees from being moved to a post where they would have relatives as direct reports. Employees may also be discouraged from changing positions unless their management agrees. If they’re the ideal candidate for the new position, it is in the company’s best interest to allow the transfer.

flexible internal transfer policy

In addition to that, ensure that internal transfers are completed swiftly and with little paperwork. If your existing procedure is inefficient, request a meeting with your HR staff to explore what adjustments are required.


2. Circulate the vacancy details

When you know that employees are going to apply for internal positions, you must ensure the vacancy is made public internally in a variety of ways – trying to send out company-wide emails, posting on the corporate intranet, are just a few examples of how you can inform employees about an internal vacancy.

In these interactions, make sure the job description is explicit — if workers realise the information is incorrect, they may leave the organisation, which you want to prevent.

3. Encourage your employees

Internal recruitment method is only effective if your staff knows that you want them to apply internally. Hold a meeting with your company’s management and instruct them to encourage the employees to check at the internal job board frequently. This will ensure that you have a steady flow of quality internal applicants.

4. Use HR tools & software

When engaging with internal recruitment, having recruitment solutions in place might be beneficial. You may use internal recruiting tools and software to publish internal openings on your company’s job board or your website, making it simpler for workers to identify which openings are available and the deadline for applying.

5. Give constructive feedback

Not everyone who applies for an internal post will be qualified or a suitable match for that role. A basic copy-pasted rejection email isn’t going to cut it if you want to easily let rejected internal candidates down. Offer advice on skills to improve or certifications to pursue that will make them more suitable for the position.

Recommendations for alternative opportunities that are a better match can also help alleviate the disappointment of being rejected for a certain role.



Ultimately, it is critical to organise your hiring process to guarantee fair and successful hiring, whether you are focusing on internal or external recruitment. Employ screening tests and organise interviews to assess candidates and objectively interact effectively with all prospects.

These strategies will assist you in making smart recruiting judgments while also increasing trust in your employment process.

Merin is an HR professional with an MBA in Human Resource. She likes doing a lot of research and study in the field of Human Resource and can't help but share her knowledge on the same in this platform. She is also a great cook and during her free times she keeps experimenting with new dishes. Know more about Merin by clicking here.
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