Internal recruiting is the process of filling vacancies within a business from its current workforce. This is distinct from external recruiting, which brings in candidates from outside the company to interview and consider for open positions. 


Why Is Internal Recruiting Important?

Recruiting teams need to include internal recruitment as part of their recruiting strategy because it provides current employees and non-full-time workers with the opportunity to progress in their career within the company. This results in improved employee retention and higher team morale by demonstrating that a company promotes from within to develop their talent. In addition, internal recruiting brings down recruiting costs. Not only does the recruiting team save time from sourcing candidates but companies also spend less money on job postings.

Internal Recruitment. | Video: GreggU


How Does Internal Recruiting Work?

For recruiting teams to successfully recruit internal candidates, an internal recruiting strategy must focus on ensuring roles are easily accessible to eligible internal candidates and that recruiters are aware of these talent pools. Within a workforce, qualified talent for open roles can come from employees who are growing their skills through training, whether on their own or by learning from others (through mentorship or apprenticeships). 

Eligible internal candidates can also come from part of the workforce that already has the existing skills required for a role but may be in a different department or currently working as non-full time employees. Below are examples of how successfully recruiting within an organization can show up in different ways, including promotions, internal transfers and converting a contractor into a full-time employee. 

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Examples of Internal Recruitment


The most common internal recruiting tactic is promoting a current employee to the next level of their position within their own team. This upward mobility is the result of a combination of exemplary work performance, possessing the required skills and demonstrating growth by taking on additional responsibilities that align with an employee’s career goals. For example, if there is a recruiting manager role available and two lead recruiters on the team meet the requirements of the opening, those individuals should be recruited to see if they are interested. In general, it's a best practice for recruiters and hiring managers to work together to figure out if there are qualified candidates within the company before actively sourcing for external candidates for an open role. This provides career progression opportunities within the company while promoting recruiting efficiency.

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Internal Transfers

Career progression for some employees may not always mean a promotion within their existing team. Another way to internally recruit is to source employees from other departments with a role that aligns with their career goals. Some eligible employees may meet the role’s job requirements from gaining new skills on their own or outside of work. For example, recruiters might approach a customer support specialist who’s been taking coding classes for an engineering role as long as they fit the job requirements. 


Conversion to Full-Time Employee

For some companies, a workforce might include non-full-time workers such as part-time employees, contractors, freelancers and consultants. Depending on the openness of these individuals to working full time, they may be recruited for open roles that align with their skill set. For example, a graphic design freelancer may be recruited if the company’s graphic design needs grow to the point where they require a dedicated full-time employee.

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