Internal Recruiting: Benefits and 5 Internal Recruiting Methods to Consider

Internal and external recruiting are nearly the same thing. The biggest difference is where candidates are sourced. There are instances where external recruiting may be the best option. However, when you are presented with the opportunity to recruit internally, you should take full advantage of the different internal recruiting methods. Initially you will find that the hiring process gets a little bit easier. Then you’ll notice all the other benefits that internal recruiting offers.

Internal Recruiting

is when a company uses internal recruiting methods to fill an open role with a candidate already working within the company.


External Recruiting

is when a business looks to fill an open role with a candidate that is not already working in the company.

Hiring internally has its pros and cons. While it is a highly effective method to fill open positions, using this method is only beneficial if the current state of your company calls for it. If your company is growing quickly, then you should opt for external recruiting. Additionally, if you are looking to acquire new skills, or you are trying to change direction, then internal hiring is not for you. Instead, the best situations for internal hiring are:

  • You are hiring for a niche skill set
  • People in your company are ready for a promotion
  • Your budget to hire, train, and onboard is too small to hire externally
  • You created a career ladder for your employees
  • Having an insider’s perspective is more important than having a fresh perspective

Benefits of Internal Recruiting Methods

Increases Employee Retention, Loyalty, and Engagement

Employee retention improves for two reasons.

  1. You aren’t at risk of losing new hires due to bad hiring decisions or the employee not fitting into the work environment.
  2. By continually hiring and promoting current employees, you are less likely to lose them.

Additionally, if your employees know that your company is liable to promote or hire for new positions from within, then it encourages them to develop professionally and build new skills. They’ll be able to see a long-term future with you, which ultimately increases loyalty.

Quicker Hiring Time

Internal hiring helps the hiring process go by much quicker, especially if you have already spent months trying to fill the role externally. Looking within your own workforce makes it easier to source candidates. From there, sifting through applications becomes less time consuming because you already have a feel for who these people are, what skills they have, and what their current roles in the company entail. Any hiring process has the ability to cut time when there is an added level of confidence and assurance.

Less Use of Resources (Time, Money, Effort)

The cost to hire and the cost to recruit decrease dramatically when you are able to hire someone who is already in your workforce. This is because you don’t have to use resources for things such as

  • outsourcing recruiting
  • job adverts
  • recruiting automation
  • and so many other things that take time, money, and resources

Already Knows the Company = Shorter Learning Curve

When you have someone who is already familiar with the company, then you can spend less time onboarding and more time getting straight to work. Of course you may still have to invest in training. However, the learning curve and getting adjusted to the new job will take less time compared to a brand new hire. Why? Because your internal hire is already aware of how you communicate, collaborate, and the expectations you have for your workforce.

5 Internal Recruiting Methods to Take Advantage of

Internal Recruiting Method #1: Promotions

Sometimes the perfect hire is standing right in front of you. You develop your workforce for moments like this. Give your employees opportunities for promotions, especially if the role is a high-stakes role. At times it can be easier to hire for a position that is lower on the career ladder than it is to hire for a role that has more responsibility.

Internal Recruiting Method #2: Transfers

Using transfers to recruit internally can come in two different forms. The first is reviewing other departments for employees that may want to switch to a new team or a new role. Often roles in other departments have transferable skills that would make them equally (if not more) successful in the internal role you are hiring for.

The other option is to recruit from different company locations. You will know the candidate a little less, but you will still have a good idea of the candidate’s skill set. As an employer, you likely know the other companies’ organizational structure and role assignments.

Internal Recruiting Method #3: Freelance to Full-Time

The gig economy is on the rise. Not only do contracted and gig workers deliver awesome work, but they also do the work for less money compared to a full-time employee. However, once you are ready to hire a full-time person for the job that your freelance workers are doing, freelance workers should become your primary candidates. They have already done extensive work in your company and were successful. Fully hiring someone who already has a grasp for your company, culture, and organization makes onboarding, training, and incorporating them into your processes that much easier.

Internal Recruiting Method #4: Retired Employees

Retired employees are often good passive candidates to stay connected with. It is unlikely that a retired employee will accept a full-time position; however, due to rising inflation, money insecurity or just plain boredom, you may be able to use retired employees for freelance projects or to fill part-time positions. This is beneficial not just because you have a very experienced, loyal employee doing work. It is also good because your older employees could act as mentors for younger employees.

Internal Recruiting Method #5: Internal Career Ladders

Many companies create internal career ladders to help their employees map out career development plans. If you have prioritized and sold career growth opportunities when recruiting your current workforce, then internal recruiting is a great time to back up what you marketed. When employees see that you are invested in them, it increases loyalty and motivates them to work harder.

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