Recruitment: promote or hire in? - Mitrefinch


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Recruitment: promote or hire in?

Published: February 26, 2018

When it comes to filling a job vacancy, there are two ways your business can go. You can use external recruitment, which is the process of hiring someone new outside the company, or you can promote someone internally to fill the role.

Finding the right person for the job can be time-consuming, not to mention expensive if you’re going through recruitment agencies, so it’s no surprise that many businesses start to look at their internal talent pool instead. After all, you already know their strengths, their talents and their work processes – but is it the best way forward for your business?


There are many advantages to hiring internally:

  • Hiring someone that works for you already may feel less risky, as their work record will speak for itself and you have trusted members of staff happy to vouch for them.
  • Promoting existing members of staff allows you to advance the talent within your business, which indicates to your other employees that you recognise and reward high performance, which is a great motivator. It can increase retention and have a positive impact on engagement and office morale.
  • Hiring internally can also reduce costs, as it will save costs on recruitment agencies, job boards and referrals.

However, promoting doesn’t come without its downsides:

  • Using an existing employee will mean there are no new ideas or energy coming in to the business. It can be harder for an employee to come up with innovative solutions or processes if they are already too close to the core structure of the business.
  • If the internal candidate is lacking some of the skills of their predecessor, time will need to be put aside to train them, either through shadowing colleagues or by arranging external training sessions.
  • Promoting an existing employee could have a negative impact on morale, as other employees who showed an interest in the role may feel resentful or overlooked.
  • If an employee fills another job, their current job will open up. This means either having to find another replacement or dividing their current responsibilities between other members of staff.

Hire in

Bringing in fresh talent can be hugely beneficial:

  • A new recruit could offer solutions to pre-existing problems within the business, which wouldn’t otherwise be addressed by existing members of staff. For example, if your business is suffering a lull in morale and productivity, bringing someone in could provide a breath of fresh air that an internal candidate probably couldn’t offer.
  • Hiring externally opens up a much larger pool of prospects – a completely new candidate could be more qualified, experienced and bring a wealth of new ideas to the table.
  • The chance of internal conflict is lowered, as employees are less likely to feel resentful towards a completely new hire.

 Hiring externally isn’t always the answer – it can cause issues such as:

  • A new employee may seem great on paper and come across well in an interview, but a new recruit always requires something of a leap of faith, however small. Fitting in to the work culture is important for maintaining a positive working environment, so someone that isn’t a cultural fit could cause rifts.
  • Similarly, there is only so much information that can be drawn from a CV and an interview. It can be easy for an interviewee to exaggerate or even lie about their skills, with these possibly only becoming apparent a few months in to the job.
  • The recruitment process can be long and draining if handled in-house, meaning your HR department will end up dedicating a lot of time to posting job adverts, sifting through endless CVs and interviewing potential candidates. Hiring someone from inside the company means that HR will be able to focus more on the higher-level aspects of their jobs.

There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to recruitment, as it’s dependent on the structure and circumstances of your business. Whichever route you head down, make sure that you have fully weighed up the pros and cons of both strategies to make the most informed decision both financially and practically.

What’s your recruitment strategy? Let us know on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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