Should You Start the Hiring Process or Look Internally?

A position opens up in your organization. You have a number of strong internal candidates. However, some of the managers prefer looking for someone from the outside.

What should you do? Should you promote one of your current employees? Or should you launch a hiring process to bring in an outside ringer?

Unfortunately, there are no definitive answers for those questions. Whether or not you bring in an outside candidate has a lot to do with your circumstances.

The basic choice comes down to consistency versus variety. Which of those best fits your situation depends on a diverse set of factors. However, there are some general arguments for each strategy that can help you decide which one suits your hiring needs:

Advantage, Internal Promotion: Known Quantities

When you hire a new employee, you don’t really get a lot of information before you need to make a decision. A resume, one or two interviews, some bland recommendations from their hand-picked references – not much detail on which to make a choice.

For that reason, hiring an outside candidate comes with a big risk. What if it doesn’t work out? You’re stuck starting over, after a waste of time, money and managerial reputation.

Promoting an internal candidate eliminates this risk. You have a long history with the employee you’re moving into the new position. It gives you more confidence in the hire and provides more continuity.

Advantage, Outside Hire: New Ideas

Talking to the same people day after day leads to constrained thinking. You hear the same ideas and settle into a shared set of assumptions. Promoting from within only encourages this loop. You entrench the same people and the same thinking.

Bringing in an outside candidate can break through this. They can bring with them new ideas and a new viewpoint. Beyond the skills of the individual hired, the sheer fact they haven’t developed within your company will grant them a fresh perspective.

Advantage, Internal Promotion: Long-Term Incentive

When employees know they have something to work for, they can show surprising determination and ingenuity. Unfortunately, your resources limit how much you can use salary as a carrot. Internal promotion can provide another possible way to motivate employees.

For the particular position you currently have open, interested employees are likely to put in extra hours and additional effort to impress you. You can use the situation to unlock skills and personality traits that might otherwise remain hidden.

Meanwhile, a culture of internal promotion can contribute to long-term productivity and morale. New hires know if they work hard and provide value, they can move up in the organization.

Advantage, Outside Hire: Tamp Down Factions

Promoting from within can become a fraught political process. In theory, you choose the person best suited for the position and offer them the job. In practice, though, you have to worry about the impact on everyone who doesn’t end up getting the gig.

Should you focus on seniority, even if the employee with the longest tenure isn’t the most qualified? Should you focus on education and experience, or on the person with the highest long-term performance ceiling?

Whomever you select, several employees will likely feel passed over. That might create morale-hurting bad feelings that can fester for years to come.

Bringing in an outside hire short-circuits this grievance spiral before it starts. Employees might argue against the decision to hire from outside, but at least there is no suggestion you passed them over personally.

However you choose to handle these complicated scenarios, a strong relationship with a staffing firm can ensure a positive outcome. By using a top-flight recruiter, like SmartTalent, you can ensure your staff is filled with competent, inventive workers ready to step up when needed. Or, if you prefer outside hires, SmartTalent can streamline the process for you and bring in the top talent you need to supercharge your team.

Contact SmartTalent today to find out more.

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