How internal recruitment can improve your hiring results

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Internal hiring

Internal recruitment

Human resources departments have long relied on sourcing external candidates to fill new job openings. A talent shortage and a widening skills gap have obliged HR professionals to get creative to improve hiring results; 70% of business execs agree! Despite job listings for U.S.-based technology roles hitting a two-year high in October, the job market uncertainty has led many organizations to search for great candidates closer to home and consider an internal recruitment strategy.

After a period of job market stagnancy following the pandemic, the hiring of IT professionals is on record pace. The World Economic Forum revealed that 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025 as the adoption of new technology increases, and organizations are taking notice. The shift to an internal recruiting strategy brings many benefits to combat the impending skills gap. It also provides some much-needed stability in times of mass layoffs. Let’s have a closer look at how an internal recruitment process can help your organization.

What is internal recruiting?

Internal recruitment refers to a company promoting or transferring an existing employee to a new role. This occurs when said employee expresses interest in an open position or if the management decides they may be a good fit for a new role or a management position.

Internal recruiting promotes the concept of internal mobility or the movement of talent within your organization. By hiring internally, organizations encourage staff to take on new growth opportunities that align with their long-term career goals and a business’s personnel turnover.

Hiring managers and HR professionals often share a job posting with internal employees before publishing the job opening on a public forum. This practice allows current employees to receive first consideration for the position.

Such definitions paint internal recruitment as a win-win scenario. If the process is calculated and performed correctly, it certainly is beneficial to both your organization and your existing workforce. HR professionals too often submit to following the narrative that your next hire is somewhere in the wilderness and automatically turn to external hires. The good news is that businesses now have more tools at their fingertips than ever before, so the benefits of internal recruitment are now easily within any company’s grasp.

      Image Source: Insperity

The advantages of hiring internal candidates

Hiring internal candidates can be more efficient and successful than external recruiting because it can:

Shorten your onboarding and time to hire

External hiring drains resources. That’s a fact. LinkedIn places the average time to hire at 30 days. Conversely, internal candidates are already part of your workplace, so the time you need to find and engage those candidates is much less. It’s also easier to assess internal candidates because: 

  • They’re prescreened for culture fit. 

  • Their track record is easily accessible. 

  • Qualified internal candidates may only sometimes need full interviews with managers (for example, if
    they are moving within the same team or department, the department head already knows the candidate.)

Strengthen employee engagement

Making internal hires sends a message about an organization’s culture that you value your employees and want to invest in them. Organizations that offer employees opportunities to further their careers yield only positive results. Salesforce found that 70% of employees admitted that increased investment in learning and development would make them happier and more productive. To confirm this, LinkedIn discovered 94% of employees would stay with their current employer longer if they offered good learning opportunities. Internal recruitment helps build a trust culture that enhances employee engagement and retention.

Image Source: Helpjuice

Reduce hiring costs

External hiring may cost 1.7 times more than internal hiring. When you’re hiring from within, organizations are not obliged to: 

  • Post ads on public job boards: Informing internal candidates through email or a company’s internal job board is less effort and costs you nothing. 

  • Subscribe to resume databases: Instead of sourcing passive candidates on databases, compel HR personnel to look internally, and leverage existing hr software to save time. 

  • Pay for background checks: Ideally, you’ve already conducted background checks on internal candidates when they were first hired.

Provide career development opportunities

Internal recruitment enables organizations to promote growth through career development opportunities for existing professionals. Deloitte considers this a ‘critical talent initiative’. LinkedIn found that employees stay almost 2x longer at companies where internal mobility is high. The average tenure for companies with high mobility is 5.4 years; compared to 2.9 years for low mobility work environments. Internal recruitment encourages employees through career progression and self-development, to continue to work with the company and motivates them to strive for promotions.

More than twice as many high-performance organizations prioritize internal recruitment compared to low-performing businesses.

Image source: Deloitte

The challenges of recruiting internally

Though internal recruitment has numerous advantages, it’s essential to consider some possible drawbacks. Ultimately, smart recruiting decisions are made with a balanced perspective, using a mix of informed external recruitment while encouraging internal mobility.

Could create a skills gap in your organization

You must recognize that promoting or transferring an internal employee to another role leaves their previous role vacant. In a practical sense, the HR manager is now responsible for finding new hires to assume any freshly vacant positions. However, in many cases, it is much easier to fill some open positions than others. Promoting an internal employee to a more senior position allows human resources to hire for a role requiring fewer credentials, which may make the hiring process more straightforward. Skills management software can minimize the risk of creating new skill gaps.

An impact on employee morale

Internal recruitment can affect employee morale, especially when more than one colleague wants to fill an open position. The risk is that this causes competition between two employees, which can impact their working environment. In some cases, employees who don’t receive a promotion may decide to quit. A peaceful internal hiring process is achieved by maintaining transparency and reasonableness from start to finish. Using performance records and quantifiable credentials is vital so employees understand that the hiring process is free from bias.

Image source: Jobsoid

How skills management software can help you improve your internal hiring results

Digital transformation has inadvertently caused a talent gap which may result in an $11.5 trillion loss in potential GDP growth over the next decade. Research suggests that technical skills tend to have a “half-life” of just two and a half years, putting digital-first organizations at considerable risk. As many career paths aren’t linear, owning prerequisite skills can make it easier to learn new skills and succeed in new roles. The motivation for businesses wanting to upskill internally is crystal clear.

This recent talent shortage challenges the traditional definition of talent acquisition, where recruitment focuses on candidates from outside the organization. Subsequently, the internal mobility of employees has become the focus for many talent acquisition professionals to manage talent shortages and reduce external hiring costs.

Skills management software allows businesses to track employees’ skills and interests. These platforms can also help identify viable internal candidates and even vet applicants.

DevSkiller TalentBoost is a skills management software built to define, measure, and manage digital skills. Our platform enables the adoption of skills-based models through a data-driven approach, featuring powerful skills mapping and management technology.

Every time a given skill is needed in your organization, you can make a strategic, informed decision about whether you should pursue: 

  • Talent Acquisition

  • Learning & development

  • Outsourcing


Market volatility in the near future will see more companies announce the need to restructure. This need will place even greater pressure on leaders to promote internal mobility through reskilling and upskilling initiatives.

With skills management software, you can map, measure, and grow digital skills to ensure all skills-related decisions are data-driven.

Key takeaways

The low-down of what we’ve discovered is that internal recruitment is a super source of pre-existing candidates.

For an organization, you can reduce your time to hire and associated costs and keep hold of already established employees whilst offering them a path for career progression.

To do this, skills mapping and management software can help you optimize hiring by mapping your company’s deficiencies and identifying which staff can be upskilled or reskilled more efficiently. Internal mobility rewards loyal employees by developing their skills and promoting them, and your organization also wins by closing a skill gap. The risk of a bad hire is significantly reduced since it’s a known candidate, and their onboarding time is shorter due to their familiarity with your organization.

Of course, the risk of alienating other employees remains, and no successful hiring strategy is entirely reliant on one approach more than the other. In the skills-based workplace of the future, skills are more important than traditional roles.

Most companies see internal recruitment as a symbol of success. Taking advantage of internal recruitment means the business is nurturing employees to be their best. The result is happier employees who are willing to go the extra mile for your organization.

Photo by Headway on Unsplash

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