The do’s and don’ts of internal recruitment

Great organisations are the result of great individuals which is why effective hiring is so important for organisation success. Successful hiring is putting the right people into the right positions, and looking internally for talent is one way of facilitating this.

When promoting from the inside you can build on current employees knowledge and skill, enhance motivation with the incentive of a promotion, retain your best talent, and help foster a culture of friendliness.

Promoting internally can make financial sense too when it costs 1.7 times more to hire externally. It also removes some of the risk when 40-60% of external hires are unsuccessful and only 25% of internal promotions are unsuccessful.

To get internal hiring right and not fall into any common traps…


  • Create an official policy. Can anyone be put forward for open positions? After how long of being in their current position can someone apply for a new vacancy? Can employees apply for open positions before speaking to their managers?
  • Promote opportunities for promotion. Lay out formal career development paths, and train employees up for roles before they apply. Working towards a promotion is a good incentive to reward hard work.
  • Interview and check references. All candidates should be interviewed to investigate suitability and avoid bias. Sometimes a 3rd party recruiter may be necessary when personal relationships are involved.
  • Get some good software. Software is needed to store data on candidates and compare candidates consistently. Jobshape is a good system for collecting candidate information, and comparing candidates across role and team fit.
  • Consider how best to deliver feedback to rejected candidates. Rejection can be demotivating and effect team dynamics if not handled carefully.
  • Trawl the market for fresh applicants every so often – keep the best talent coming in, promote diversity, and avoid discrimination issues.


  • Cause tension by not having an official procedure. Private conversations and candidates being stolen from other teams will not promote a friendly environment.
  • Hire based on friendship, relationship, or biases.
  • Fail to properly collect data and interview candidates based on competency and suitability.
  • Neglect looking further afield and settle for someone mediocre. Find someone who can do the job well even if that requires looking outside the people in the existing company.
  • Foster a company that lacks diversity by only promoting from within.

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