From seriously reducing your perspective to raising your potential for an echo chamber at your company, here are insights into the disadvantages of internal recruiting.

Lacking Fresh Outsider’s Perspectives

I’d say the greatest disadvantage of internal recruiting is that it limits the onboarding of external high-potential employees who can bring a fresh outsider’s perspective or newer skills to an organization.

Internal recruiting deals with people already in the system, and however qualified they are, they may be too comfortable and can resist challenging the status quo. External candidates often have no such qualms and are eager to bring in new ideas and help spur innovation.

Linda Scorzo
CEO, Hiring Indicators

Limiting Your Pool of Potential Candidates

While promoting an employee from within the company may seem like a logical and cost-effective solution, it can also result in an inadequate selection of candidates for a specific role. This is particularly true if the company is seeking someone with highly specialized skills or experience.

In such cases, it may force the company to invest a significant amount of time and resources in training the internal candidate to fill the gaps in their knowledge or skill set. This can ultimately be a costly and time-consuming process that may not yield the desired results.

Additionally, if the promoted employee ultimately proves to be a poor fit for the position, the company may be left with no other viable internal candidates and may need to look outside the organization, further delaying the hiring process.

Luciano Colos
Founder and CEO, PitchGrade

Reducing Diversity

Internal hiring may take away opportunities for your company to diversify its office. This doesn’t just pertain to race or ethnicity or gender either. You may also deprive your business of different perspectives and experiences that could benefit your business’s performance.

Businesses should be careful not to rely too heavily on a limited talent pool even if it’s logistically and financially easier. It may result in a homogenization of their workforce that can be detrimental to their business goals.

Max Ade
CEO, Pickleheads

Overcoming Attitudes and Stigma Towards Promoted Employees

One major disadvantage of internal recruitment is the attitudes and stigmas that other employees may have towards those who are promoted.

We may view employees who are promoted from within the organization as having an unfair advantage or being favored by management. This can create tension and resentment among other employees, leading to decreased morale and productivity. Additionally, the promoted employee may feel pressure to prove themselves or face criticism from colleagues who may doubt their abilities.

To overcome these attitudes and stigmas, communicate transparently about the recruitment process and the criteria used for selection. This can help alleviate any perceptions of favoritism or unfairness.

Lilia Koss
Community Manager, Facialteam

Reinforcing Negative Power Structures and Hierarchies

When an organization only considers internal candidates, it may overlook talented external candidates who bring new ideas and offer new perspectives and experiences to the role.

Internal recruiting may also lead to resentment and tension among employees who feel passed over for promotions or opportunities for growth. This can create a toxic work environment and result in decreased morale.

Another potential disadvantage of internal recruiting is that it can reinforce existing power structures and hierarchies within the business, limiting opportunities for individuals from underrepresented groups to advance and contribute.

To mitigate these potential disadvantages, leaders should strive to maintain a diverse and inclusive workforce and consider both internal and external candidates. Outsourcing is a flexible hiring solution that is cost-effective and requires little commitment to getting started.

Bethan Trueman
Director, The Virtual Assistant Company

Creating a Hostile and Toxic Working Environment

When you do internal recruiting, your pool of candidates is quite limited, as it only revolves around your employees. This means that they know each other and they know the skills and capabilities of one another.

Since internal recruiting mostly means a promotion to a better position, other employees who applied for that job but did not get it may feel bad about this situation. It may lead them to hate the employee who got the job and may even lead them to quietly quit and rage applying.

This toxic working environment may also affect other employees, and productivity may go down. Hence, internal recruiting is not always a good idea.

Steven Mostyn
Chief Human Resources Officer,

Increasing the Potential for “Groupthink” to Take Hold

One of the biggest disadvantages of internal recruiting is the potential for “groupthink” to take hold. When you recruit from within your organization, you’re drawing from a limited pool of candidates.

While this can be an advantage in some cases, it can also lead to a need for more diversity in your hiring decisions. Groupthink can occur when everyone in the company thinks the same way and has the same biases, leading to poor decision-making.

Let me share my personal experience. I worked for a company that heavily relied on internal recruiting a few years ago. While this approach did have some benefits, the company tended to hire people who thought and behaved like us. Because of this, we had a very homogeneous workforce that lacked diversity in experience, identity, and background.

This hurts our ability to generate new ideas and stay competitive. After we realized this was a problem, we improved diversity by changing our hiring process, leading to more innovative solutions.

Pete Evering
Vice President of Operations, Utopia Management