Internal vs. external recruitment

Which method of recruitment is suitable and when?

If an employee leaves your company, you are faced with the question of how to fill the vacant position. There are two possibilities: Internal and external recruitment.

Within the framework of the internal replacement of a vacant position, you fall back on employees from your own company. If you decide to recruit your personnel externally, you are looking for applicants on the job market. Precise personnel diagnostics is important for both variants. For these, you determine exactly which qualifications, competencies and characteristics an employee must have for the position in question. You also need to know whether or not employees from your company meet these requirements. Then you need to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of the internal and external search for employees.

Internal Recruitment

You can fill a vacancy with employees from your own ranks by distributing the job description on your internal communication channels. This can be done in the employee newsletter, by circular mail, on the intranet or with a notice on the bulletin board. If you convert fixed-term contracts into open-ended contracts or if you take on trainees, this is also part of the internal staff recruitment process.

If you are unable to find a suitable candidate among your employees, there is the possibility of offering further training in the case of long-term personnel planning. For example, a potential candidate may fit the job perfectly. With the so-called soft skills, however, they lack points such as the ability to lead employees. However, such soft skills can be acquired by a candidate through seminars and coaching.

The internal filling of vacant positions has the following advantages and disadvantages


  • Increased employee motivation
  • Lower costs and less time expenditure
  • Elimination of the probationary period
  • Reduced risk of miscasts


  • Emergence of envy and rivalries
  • Possible lack of respect for the new boss from his own ranks
  • No fresh wind
  • Danger of blindness or nepotism
  • If necessary, the other vacant position must be filled.

Internal vs. external recruitment

External Recruitment

If you want to use external candidates, the most common way to do this is to place job advertisements in online or print media. This includes a precise job description and a job profile for the applicants.

If you publish your vacancies on your website or via social media channels, this is also part of external recruitment. The same applies to the selection of suitable candidates from a pool of applicants. Furthermore, the cooperation with personnel consultants, head-hunters and temporary employment agencies as well as career fairs and recruiting days belong to the external employee recruitment.

When filling vacant positions with external candidates, the following advantages and disadvantages must be taken into account


  • Large selection of applicants
  • Candidates exactly according to the profile of requirement
  • Fresh wind and loosening of stuck structures
  • Errors due to possible operational blindness are detected


  • Higher risk of an incorrect appointment
  • More time spent on recruitment and training
  • Significantly higher costs


Due to the advantages and disadvantages of internal or external recruitment, there is no measure that is superior to the other. It is important that you focus on long-term personnel planning and diagnostics. Based on this, you decide whether an internal or external job advertisement is the most sensible. You can only choose the right measure if you have a clear view of what qualifications a candidate needs for the vacant position and how their employees are positioned.

Save 60% of your recruiting costs.

Learn from the success stories of our customers how you also save 60% of your costs in the recruiting process.

Read more