6 Common Mistakes to Avoid with Internal Recruitment

When hiring new staff, making the wrong choice can have severe implications, make sure you make the right one

6 Common Mistakes to Avoid with Internal Recruitment

You’re looking to fill a new role, or roles. Do you look outside your business for the right person? Or could you find who you need within it?

It costs less money. It takes less time. It’s less risky. It often provides better results for your business. Given all of the benefits, it’s hardly surprising that internal recruitment is on the rise .

But internal recruitment is not the cure-all for your vacancy woes, and its process is not without its own risks for your business. Any mistakes made can still be costly – below you’ll find out how you can avoid the most common ones.

1. Make sure you have an internal recruitment policy

Can anyone apply for any position? Can one department poach from another? Who is responsible for communicating internal vacancies? Do you have the right HR software to effectively track applicants and analyse recruitment results? Having a clear policy, and clearly communicating it to your staff, can help you avoid haphazard recruitment that could destabilise your business.

2. Be sensitive throughout the recruitment process

Internal recruitment can be a tricky process. If employees feel unfairly passed over, they may resent a colleague’s success. This could lead to them not only being less productive, but also potentially having conflicts with the chosen candidate and those responsible for the hiring decision.

This is why it’s important to think carefully about how you’ll manage the feedback with internal recruitment, and how you’ll keep employees satisfied and motivated if they haven’t been successful.

3. Be careful not to create a vacancy domino effect

If an employee moves to another role within your business, will their position need to be filled? If this is also filled internally, you could find yourself caught in a continuing loop of recruitment. If your company is growing, it could very well be that you need more people to handle all of the work being undertaken.

4. Promote your vacancies

Don’t assume that your employees might see jobs posted on your website, or hear about them through the grapevine. If you are recruiting, send out all-company emails to ensure everyone is aware of any job opportunities. You should also ensure that managers/supervisors are encouraging suitable staff to put themselves forward.

5. Don’t settle for good enough

There’s no getting away from the fact that internal recruitment provides you with a more limited talent pool to draw from. Settling for an existing employee because they’re the best of what you have to hand will only cause problems down the road if they can’t deliver as well as you want. Sometimes you will need to recruit externally to bring in the right skills, knowledge and experience.

You should also bear in mind that an employee who is great in one role, in one department, doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be the right candidate for another role, or for another department.

6. Consider all of the costs

Although internal recruitment is cheaper than external, it’s not without its own cost considerations. Internal applicants will probably know the salary of the previous jobholder, or that of a similar role, so you won’t have the opportunity for a market-led salary reduction. And they’ll expect any benefits they have accrued through their length of service to be carried over to the new role, which might be more than you’d provide if you were recruiting externally.


By managing internal recruitment in the right way, it can deliver real benefits to your business. You’ll be able to fill roles faster and for less money, and take advantage of people who already understand your business processes and culture and can hit the ground running in their new role. It’s also great for employee morale, as it demonstrates the possibility of career advancement within your business that can increase staff productivity and loyalty.

Shannon Forbush is a freelance business writer with over 15 years’ experience working with both large and small companies across the UK.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>