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Internal vs External Recruitment
Choosing between hiring from outside of the business or promoting internally can be a difficult choice for an employer. Both methods come with their pros and cons as they are very different ways of filling a vacancy. Here’s our guide on making the decision between internal and external recruitment.
What’s the Difference Between Internal and External Recruitment?
When a business looks to fill a position by promoting or transferring an existing employee to another role, the key aspect of internal recruitment is that someone already employed by the business fills the vacancy.
When an employer looks to fill a vacancy from an applicant outside of the business, familiar sources of external recruitment involve advertising a position on job boards or employing a recruitment agency.
- Internal recruitment can be cheaper – Potentially, the biggest reason internal recruitment is so common is that it usually works out cheaper. Employers can save money by internally promoting as they can often get away with offering a slight pay rise to the employee for the new role, rather than paying the industry standard for the position.
- Current employees take less time to get up to speed – Induction processes do take time for new staff, and it can take a new employee a while to get used to the organisation before they start performing to their potential. Internal recruitment can get around this by putting an employee into a position that will hit the ground running.
- Internal recruitment can be quicker – Considering candidates that you already know the strengths and weaknesses of can mean a quick decision on who is suitable to fill the position. Often if a business considers internal recruitment, they will already have someone in mind from their current staff.
- Motivates current staff – A business with a culture of internally promoting when the time is right can incentivise staff to work harder if they think their work will be rewarded. In both the consideration period and everyday work, employees tend to work harder if they feel they are working towards something.
- Limited applicant pool – The biggest limitation with external recruitment is that you only have your current employees to choose from. External recruitment can provide candidates from literally anywhere, giving you the best chance of making the right hire.
- It can be hard to reject internal candidates – Choosing one current employee over another for a position can cause resentment for the person not picked for the promotion. For more tips around rejecting candidates, including current employees, read our guide to rejecting candidates here.
- Internal recruitment creates another vacancy to fill – Transferring an employee from one area of your business to another means that another role will need to be filled. This often solves one problem by creating another!
- New people bring new ideas – Business processes can become stale if new people aren’t brought in to innovate and improve ways of doing things. This is especially significant in creative or technical industries where businesses must keep up with and beat competitors to survive. Poaching a competitor’s staff can provide your business with insight into your competitor’s processes and methods, which can be a key strategy in keeping your business ahead of the curve. Alongside this, new staff can bring new connections and sales leads to your business.
- More sophisticated recruitment process – Hiring through a specialised recruitment agency can bring with it expertise in recruitment which you wouldn’t necessarily get in-house. The use of psychometric tests, bespoke interviewing and independent validation can help you find someone who will actually perform for your business.
- A wider number of candidates – Advertising a vacancy properly through a number of job boards and other applicant sources will provide a much larger range of candidates to choose from than internal recruitment sources. Without reviewing a large range of applicants, you don’t know what you’re missing out on!
- External recruitment can also be motivating – Hiring a new manager in your organisation will motivate the employees that will be reporting to the new manager. Everyone’s experienced working under a new boss and trying to impress them!
- External recruitment can take longer – It will indeed take longer to recruit after advertising for the job externally. This is natural as you have to go through the process of advertisement, consideration, and decision-making to effectively recruit from outside of the business. Although, in the cases where you won’t have an employee who is right to be promoted, you will have to go through this time period no matter how you recruit.
- It can cost to advertise – There are more costs involved with external recruitment as most job boards charge for advertising. However, nearly always, the price of advertising for finding the right candidate is well worth it.
Things To Consider:
Combining internal and external recruitment
There’s no reason why you can’t combine internal and external recruitment! For the majority of cases, the most effective recruitment strategies will utilise consideration of both internal and external candidates. After all, deciding between the two methods needs to be done on a case-by-case basis. There will be times when you have a current employee who will be a perfect fit for a new vacancy, and equally, there will be times when you will need to look elsewhere.
Even if you think you have someone in mind for a position, it can be worth looking at external sources to see how that person compares to the competition.
Cost debates between internal and external recruitment
Most people would argue that external recruitment costs more than internal promotion. However, this isn’t necessarily true. Considering a more comprehensive range of candidates through external recruitment can reveal someone who is right for your business and costs less. Over the years, we’ve found an array of candidates who have the right experience for a role and are looking for a salary below our client’s budgets.
As well as this, internal recruitment usually leaves your business a ‘man down’ in another area, which will need to be filled by another recruitment process. It can be hard to keep shifting people around in your business, and you will usually need to consult an external recruitment source no matter what you do!
Finally, if you have a vacancy you are struggling to fill, contact Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment. We can help with recruiting the right person for your business.
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by Sophie Jones
About the author
Sophie is a Senior Consultant within Aaron Wallis, who thoroughly enjoys working with candidates to prepare for their job search, ensuring the roles they are considering are right for them. Looking at their essential requirements to make sure the next move is the correct one. Also, this helps Sophie speak with her clients in confidence about the candidates they should be considering. Sophie is also the point of contact for anyone looking to join the team at Aaron Wallis. She supports candidates through the interview process making sure that we are the right company for them, and sales recruitment is the right industry choice.
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We were impressed not only by the quality of candidates you found for us but also the level of information, preparation and qualification you put into the process. You continually kept us informed of each person’s feelings about the process, which is very important but often overlooked. I am looking forward to working with your company again in the future.
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I found Aaron Wallis to be very professional and efficient, taking time to understand the role and the type of candidate we were looking for. The candidates they put forward met our criteria and were of a high standard. The service they provided was exemplary and I would have no hesitation in recommending them, and will certainly consider using them again in the future.
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Giles is highly professional and was a pleasure to work with. He achieves excellent results through his personable skills and tenacity. I have no hesitation in recommending Giles to anyone who considers employing his services.
Commercial Director, G4S Government & Outsourcing Solutions
Giles Phillips is a rare find in the minefield of sales recruitment; an honest and thoughtful recruiter who considers the needs of both the client AND the candidate to create perfect role matches. I look forward to working with him again in the future.
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Managing Director, bigHead Bonding Fasteners Ltd
Rob is a true recruitment professional that goes the extra mile that I have never experienced from any other recruitment agency before. If you need sales people call Rob or someone in his team, as they really are experts in sales recruitment.
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In an industry where people over promise and under deliver, Rob and his teams have consistently provided a high-quality service. It is great to deal with someone that has an excellent understanding of UK industry, and a passion for sales.
Sales Manager, TR Fasteners
Thanks for all your help during the recruitment process. I have been extremely impressed with Aaron Wallis especially when compared to other agencies we have dealt with. I really felt you grasped the type of person we required and found strong candidates.
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I have used Aaron Wallis to fill a number of our Sales Development Manager roles and I have found them to provide a very professional service. I will use their services again in future recruitment campaigns.
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Really excellent experience dealing with Aaron Wallis. Liam Oakes who helped me get a great job was brilliant. Kept me up to date during the process and offered great help and advice, and a thoroughly nice guy. Highly recommended!
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Fantastic customer service, communication was brilliant, happy polite people to talk to, made everything a lot easier and smoother. Thank you for all your help getting me back in the work force, Keep up the good work :-)
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S. Akers, Candidate
Aaron Wallis (and in particular Rob Scott) have been fantastic throughout the recruitment process, and even a few months down the line, still continues to care. Rob clearly cares about each individual and has a wealth of knowledge and expertise, which shows in the work he does. Each candidate is not just a number, and the support received from Aaron Wallis has helped me get a career which I truly enjoy.
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A. Callaby, Candidate
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M. Crisp, Candidate
Excellent experience from first contact to ultimately securing a suitable placement. Giles looked after me in a very professional and friendly manner. He used his expertise and experience to ensure I was put forward for the most suitable positions for my skill set and found me a new role very quickly. I can't recommend Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment highly enough.
M. Green, Candidate
A great recruitment company to work with. Excellent experience with Aaron Wallis through the entire recruitment process. The team was really professional and extremely helpful. Darren was a pleasure to work with. He was friendly, supportive and gave me great advice. Thank you very much!
A. Bauchet, Candidate
I have to say coming across and having dealings with Aaron Wallis proved to be very successful. Being highly experienced did not seem to count for much during my job search bit a conversation with Robert Scott gave me a real confidence boost and enabled to get a position at the age of 63. Great service!!!
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Aaron Wallis Sales Recruitment are a very friendly and professional recruitment organisation who listen to your needs, work with you and act on your behalf which sets them apart from many of their competitors who in my experience are willing to throw anything at you. We discussed my history, my preferences and my wishes - one opportunity was introduced. It was perfect. I start at the end of June.
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C. Hoy, Candidate
Aaron Wallis is an outstanding recruitment agency specialising in high calibre sales positions. I was working directly with Darren Dewrance who went above and beyond my expectations in sourcing me my perfect role. I was kept in regular communication with Darren and he worked extremely hard to secure my dream job. Highly recommended and Thanks Darren for all your expertise and hard work.
R. Sealy, Candidate
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L. Colagrossi, Candidate
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I've had a really good experience working with Giles Phillips at Aaron Wallis. From initial contact to the finer details of securing the job, he has been very professional and a pleasure to work with.
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S. Bartlett, Candidate
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L. Taylor, Candidate
Aaron Wallis have provided me with an excellent service, Giles went out of his way to help me preparing for my interview and supported me through all the processes. If you need an agency to give you a fully professional and consultative approach to finding you a new career move, the Aaron Wallis can certainly provide this for you.
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