Advantages & Disadvantages of Filling Employment Openings From Internal Sources

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Many organizations embrace the concept of promotion from within. However, there are both advantages and disadvantages to filling job vacancies from your current workforce. The advantages include the possibility of continuity and reduction in recruitment and selection processes. Disadvantages include costly recruiting efforts, ramp up time, on-boarding and changes to business processes. While employers are not bound to fill positions internally, there should be at least some internal posting so qualified applicants can apply for different roles and promotional opportunities.

Recruitment and Selection

The benefit of promoting from within can directly impact the cost of your organization's recruitment and selection process. Filling a job vacancy from your current workforce is less costly than using outside advertising to attract qualified applicants. On the other hand, your employment specialist should also plan to post the opening throughout your workplace to give employees an opportunity to express their interest in the position. The number of qualified applicants from within will typically be much lower than applicants outside the company, making the cost to recruit from within significantly lower.

Turnover and Retention

Hiring from the existing workforce can positively impact turnover and retention. Employees who joined your organization believing they would have the opportunity to develop and grow during their careers are encouraged when they see current employees being given opportunities for promotions and other roles within the company. Likewise, employee retention stands to remain steady or even increase when employees are selected to fill positions for which they have the aptitude, knowledge and capabilities.

Business Continuity

If your company has certain traditions it wants to maintain, promoting from within maintains cohesiveness among employees and demonstrates a stable business reputation along with the promise of employee development. Hiring a candidate from the outside will require training time, as well as time for the new employee to become accustomed to the work environment. Merging into a close, collegial and productive work environment may be difficult for newcomers who have knowledge of the industry but little knowledge of exactly how your company operates.

Fresh Perspective

Advertising your organization's job vacancies to recruit new employees is one of the best ways to introduce a new and innovative perspective to a company that is experiencing stagnancy. Bringing new faces on board is sometimes essential to developing new ideas, products and diversity of talent. External applicants may add useful skills, knowledge and experience to your company, enhancing your current talent pool.

Dissatisfied Workforce

The disadvantage of recruiting from within is the possibility of employees who believe they are entitled to a promotion. These employees may have devoted lengthy service to the company but, for some reason or another, just aren't qualified to fill the opening. Individual meetings to discuss the reasons why a member of your existing workforce isn't qualified consumes recruiters' and employment specialists' staff time, which could be spent diligently working on activities that lead to prompt selection of a viable candidate. In addition, if your company is one of those that proudly states promotion from within is its way of recognizing in-house talent, when current employees are routinely turned down for job vacancies, it can destroy any trust your employees had in the company they believed would provide development opportunities.

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About the Author

Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s, and she has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry," and she has been cited in numerous publications, including journals and textbooks that focus on human resources management practices. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ruth resides in North Carolina and works from her office in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.

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