8.2 The Recruitment Plan

When devising a recruiting plan, an important element to consider is whether the pool of candidates will be internal, external, or both. All of these options have consequences for how recruiting will be conducted. Note that, for some organizations, there is really no choice to go internal (e.g., military) or external (e.g., small business).

Internal Recruitment

Assuming the job analysis and job description are ready, an organization may decide to look at internal candidates’ qualifications first. Internal candidates are people who are already working for the company. If an internal candidate meets the qualifications, this person might be encouraged to apply for the job, and the job opening may not be published. Many organizations have formal job posting procedures and bidding systems in place for internal candidates. For example, job postings may be sent to a listserv or other avenues so all employees have access to them.

External Recruitment

The alternative to internal recruitment is external recruitment. For example, for a high-level executive position, it may be decided to hire an outside head-hunting firm. For an entry-level position, advertising on social networking websites might be the best strategy. When recruiting externally, an understanding of the labour market is essential. For example, the pandemic had a drastic effect on unemployment rates in Canada (see graph below). From a general recruiting perspective, this means that the available talent also varied in that period. Of course, the need for talent also shifted dramatically and, in general, most companies are not hiring as much (which causes the high unemployment numbers). However, recruiting strategy requires a finer-grained analysis of general unemployment numbers because there are vast variations in the availability of specific talent in the labour market. For example, the pandemic has led to an important shortage of workers in healthcare and agricultural industries but an abundance of workers in other areas (e.g., hospitality).

Canadian Unemployment Rate Changes February 22 to January 23
“Canadian Unemployment Rates” by Fanshawe College CC BY 4.0


Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Approach

In sum, both approaches to recruitment are valid, each one providing distinct advantages to the organization. The selection of one or both approaches depends on the situation (e.g., labour market, availability of internal talent, budget, etc.) and the objectives of the company. Here is a summary of advantages and disadvantages of each approach.

Table 8.2.1 Possible Advantages and Disadvantages of Hiring an Internal versus an External Candidate

Recruitment Type

Internal recruitment

  • Rewards contributions of current staff
  • Can be cost effective, as opposed to using a traditional recruitment strategy
  • Can improve morale
  • Knowing the past performance of the candidate can assist in knowing if they meet the criteria
  • Can produce “inbreeding,” which may reduce diversity and different perspectives
  • May cause political infighting between people to obtain the promotions
  • Can create bad feelings if an internal candidate applies for a job and doesn’t get it

External recruitment

  • Brings new talent into the company
  • Can help an organization obtain diversity goals
  • New ideas and insight brought into the company
  • Implementation of recruitment strategy can be expensive
  • Can cause morale problems for internal candidates
  • Can take longer for training and orientation

“5.2 Recruitment Plan – Internal and External” from Human Resources Management – 3rd Edition by Debra Patterson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

“14 The Recruitment Process” from Human Resources Management – Canadian Edition by Stéphane Brutus and Nora Baronian is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.


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Sales Leadership Management Copyright © 2023 by Fanshawe College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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