The Difference Between Internal & External Recruiting 30 Dec 2017


Definition of Internal & External Recruiting: Internal & External Recruiting are two different ways employers can use to hire employees. Internal recruitment is a process in which employers look to fill the position from within its company. External recruitment is when employers look to fill the vacancy from any suitable applicant outside the company.

You’ve got an open position and need to staff up. Now, you have two options for recruiting. Internal & External Recruiting are possible options and it’s all up to you. Do you look outside of your company or within? That depends on a whole host of factors. For example, it depends on the nature of the job itself and whether you have a qualified candidate in-house. It also depends on your organization’s hiring strategy, and other aspects like time, training, and getting up to speed quickly. Your sources of recruitment will vary too, depending on which option you choose. There’s no need to create an ad for or another jobs website if you’re hiring internally. You can do it yourself without wasting time and money on creating job ads!

Here are some pros and cons to help you decide whether to look internally or externally for your next hire.

Internal recruitment

Internal & External Recruiting

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recommends looking within if you have solid succession planning in place. Or if you have a culture of promotion from within, a qualified candidate, or a unique culture that takes a good deal of getting used to.

Strategies for internal recruitment are looser than for external recruitment. For instance, identifying interested candidates could be as easy as a company-wide email or a posting in the break room. Interviewing is still a must, but the formality of it all can be dropped down a notch.


 Culture fit is the enormously important wild card in hiring decisions! Promoting from within assures that you’ve got it in the bag. You already know your hire will fit in.

 Less downtime as the person you’ve hired gets up to speed. An internal candidate has a strong background in your processes and procedures, even if he or she is coming from a different department.

 It’s less expensive and faster to promote from within. You don’t have to perform another background check or drug test because you’re dealing with a known, trusted employee. And you won’t have to wrangle the deluge of resumes an online ad can summon, do initial phone screenings, or interview multiple candidates.


If two or more existing employees are vying for the position, you might find yourself on the receiving end of hard feelings — and maybe another open position — when one is selected and one isn’t.

External recruitment

Internal & External Recruiting

Look outside your own box if you don’t already have someone with the specific skill set necessary to succeed in the job (your lone accountant finds a new position, say). It’s a good idea if your company could use the breath of fresh air that a new perspective can bring, or if you need a seasoned pro at the helm. Check out our article “10 Interview Questions to Determine Culture Fit” to help you make the smart hire!

Strategies include the whole nine yards of recruitment and hiring — posting an ad online, sifting through resumes, interviewing, and doing pre-screening and pre-employment testing like background and drug tests.


A new hire brings a fresh perspective and new ideas.

 You’ll get resumes that you can bank for similar open positions in the future.

• A new hire may bring best practices from his or her former company that you can use in your business.


• There’s more onboarding time, downtime, and stalled productivity as your new hire gets up to speed on everything from the specifics of his or her new job to the intangibles of culture fit.

Bottom line: Whether you recruit externally or internally, the key is finding the right person for the job. But, even when you do, the hiring process isn’t over yet! Make sure to give Trusted Employees a call or drop us a line as we’ve got the best professionals in the field of background and criminal checks! Whether you are hiring your first employee or your hundredth, we’ve got your back – with us, internal & external recruiting will be flawless.