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Dave S Morse
Dave S Morse
I've completed a Masters of Management in Public Administration at the University of Phoenix and am seeking to enter the field of social and/or environmental justice from the field of education. I am a strong social-justice advocate who has had letters to the editor published in the NY Times etc.


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Internal versus External Recruitment

Nov. 17, 2011 1:14 am
Categories: None

Internal Recruitment Offers Employees Career-Development Opportunities

One major advantage of internal recruitment for open positions in the organization is that it creates opportunities for employee career development within the entity and it also serves as a motivator to drive staff people toward performing at exceptionally high levels. Without such opportunities for advancement, or at least a parallel transfer to another position, there is little incentive, other than money, for employees to be motivated to perform at their highest level.

Internal Recruitment Fuels Employee Engagement with Management

In-house recruitment, moreover, increases the likelihood of employee engagement with management which is so important for individual, sectional, and organizational success. Internal recruitment is essential for retaining highly capable, high performing and loyal staff people over the long-term.

Internal Recruitment can Produce Group Think and Stymie Innovation

There is at least one major downside to internal recruitment, however. That is, it can create group think which can stymie the free flow of ideas and innovation in an organization and can adversely affect the entity’s performance. I found this to be the case at a small private college in Oregon where I worked part-time during my first round of graduate studies some years ago.

Over Homogeneity Creates a Narrow Mindset

Staff people and faculty, in the main, were recruited from key-stakeholder groups, related to the College which caused it to be insular in outlook and stultifying in their unwillingness to consider ideas outside of the mindset which they had had set for years. Fortunately, for the College, they have gained new staff, faculty, and leadership and are now much more dynamic and open minded than they were when I studied and worked there.

External Hires can Make up for a Shortage of Staff

In terms of external recruitment, on the other hand, it can be useful when an organization is understaffed, or unstaffed, in a particular skill set or area. Web-site hosting competencies, for example, may be something that the company has no one on staff who can handle so they’d have to do outside recruiting to attract and hire someone who’d be able to host their web site. Doing so might be considerably less expensive than training someone in-house how to administer the site.

External Recruitment Weakens Employee Motivation to Work at a High Level

One drawback to external recruitment, though, is that it weakens employee incentive to perform at a high level if they know that there is little if any chance of being recruited to higher level positions because all of those jobs would be filled through the medium of outside recruitment.

Internal Recruitment Empowers the Retention of Good-Excellent Employees

On balance, internal recruitment will probably sustain employee loyalty and retention over the long term far better than external recruitment. External recruitment, conversely, may produce a quick “fix” to fill a skill-set gap in the organization but not meet the long-term skill-set needs of the entity.

David M Shedd
November 17, 2011 at 1:25 pm


Well done. Good mix of the pros and cons of internal and external recruitment. I have one thought that might shift the balance a little towards external recruitment. With the rapid change in the world and the required shift (in our slow-growth world) to a focus on customers and sales and marketing as keys to success, many companies that recruit internally remain mired in a world-view more applicable to 2006 than to 2012.

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