Rooted in success: the advantages of external recruitment

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How to weigh up the advantages of external recruitment to make the best hire for your team.

When a vacancy opens up in your organisation, you have a decision to make. Do you hire someone new, or promote someone from your existing team?

As you’d expect, it depends on the role and the organisation. While both internal and external hiring strategies have a place in a healthy work ecosystem, when it comes to hiring in the digital space external recruitment brings some clear advantages.

As an expert digital recruitment agency, we understand the pros and cons of internal vs. external hiring and work with clients every day to help them make the right choice for their vacancy.

In this article, we’ll help you cultivate an understanding of the advantages of both internal and external hiring, to make informed hiring decisions that align with your company’s long-term growth goals and cultural roots.

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How companies grow with their people 🪴

As a company grows, each person contributes to the vitality of the space. Like a garden, both seasoned plants and new seedlings help to create a diverse ecosystem, and each has an important role to play.

In many ways managing a workforce ecosystem is the same as managing a garden, and your space will be a complex one with lots of different organisms with different needs at different stages of growth. Like a skilled gardener, to encourage the best performance, you’ll need different tactics:

  • Your internal recruitment strategy and learning and development programs cultivate talent from within the organisation’s existing ecosystem.
  • Your external recruitment strategy and onboarding process helps to attract and integrate external candidates.

Embracing both internal and external talent ensures a dynamic and flourishing workforce, ripe for growth and success.

When you have a vacant role, however you choose to hire for it, your recruitment journey begins with a clear and comprehensive job specification. A clear and engaging job spec is crucial. It outlines what is needed for the role while reflecting your company’s culture and the opportunities for growth. To attract the right talent, internal or external, you’ll need the right specification.

Salt’s role in shaping your recruitment strategy
Salt understands the challenges of talent acquisition in the digital era. As a leading recruitment agency, our services are designed to help fulfil your immediate hiring needs with the best person for the job. Working with Salt from the beginning of your hiring, whether you are considering internal or external options, or need to have a large team project that requires multiple hires we can lead you up the right path for the right roles and objectives.

What are the advantages of external recruitment?

External recruitment can broaden your business’s potential to hire exciting talent, diversify your organisation, fill skills gaps in your existing teams, and helps fuel a productive, healthy, happy workforce. Here are a few key advantages of external recruitment to keep in mind:

Innovative thinking
If you’re an established business, a new idea can go a long way. By bringing in an external hire, particularly in digital roles, you’re likely hiring needed skills and experience missing in your current team that helps upskill your existing people. New hires bring with them new ideas, experiences, and ways of approaching things. The right hire can ignite your company’s path to innovation. 

Diverse perspectives
Similarly, if your workforce consists of many people from the same walk of life, a diverse new hire could provide perspectives that bring your product or service to a broader demographic. Diversity improves your ability to serve your target audience, as well as create a more welcoming and accessible environment for your entire workforce, now and in the future.

Scalable solutions
If your business is growing, it needs more people to power that growth. When scaling, relying solely on internal hires won’t work as you simply don’t have the numbers. In this case, you can work with recruitment agencies to build on both your permanent and contracting recruitment strategies, to scale your teams up and down as needed. This approach ensures you can identify the right individuals with the specific skills required for each project at the right time.

Breaking from routine
You don’t know what you don’t know – especially in the fast-changing world of digital. A new idea from a new person could be exactly what your workplace needs. If you’re finding your business stuck in a routine, or missing key skills and experience needed to compete in your marketplace, sometimes fresh eyes can set you on a new path that extends further than your current one.

Inclusive hiring equips your team and your organization with diverse skills and higher collective intelligence - just like this jazzy packet of colourful crayons"

Maximising success with internal talent development

Internal recruitment plays an important role and has clear benefits alongside working with recruitment agencies. Here are some things to consider to maximise success.

In place and up to speed
Internal hiring and promotion is always a good choice, however, when one vacancy is filled, another opens! It’s great for your culture to promote and progress your people, but it leaves you with roles to backfill. Your existing people can help inform your decision here and we have worked with clients to set up their EVP and hiring structure to utilise both internal retention and new talent.

Boost morale and develop a growth culture
Just as internal recruitment is a powerful way to show you recognise not just the growth of your people but their potential, increasing job satisfaction and cementing employee loyalty. This environment not only fosters employee development but also attracts new talent to fill roles created by promotions, showcasing progression as a testament to the opportunities available within the company.

Progressing careers retains and attracts talent
Career progression is absolutely key not just to retaining your existing people, but to attracting the new talent you need to grow and develop as a business. Employees who can see a future within the organisation are more likely to stay loyal, reducing turnover. When skills are missing in house, external hires can bring both the knowledge you need and the potential to upskill and mentor your existing people, so your next hire can be internal! Sometimes the right person is just under your nose. Read our guide to identifying your hidden gems.

Chief Learning Officers: Transforming Rocks into Diamonds in the World of Culture

Unlocking synergy with internal and external recruitment

While internal recruitment offers substantial benefits to your speed of hiring and your work culture overall, it can only work well in tandem with external recruitment. Particularly in digital where skills and roles change so quickly, both strategies are required for your metaphorical garden to flourish.

Embracing strategic agency partnerships can enhance your talent development and see you benefit from expert perspectives on the current job market, helping you foster a dynamic, innovative, and motivated workforce that employs the best of both. Here are the benefits of combining internal and external recruitment:

A wider talent pool
Recruiting internally might mean you’re missing out on a world of skills, insights, and innovation that external candidates could bring. How and where you’ve previously recruited also shapes your future hires if you rely on internal hiring, and can perpetuate biases in your hiring process. Depending on the role and your existing team, the right external hire can change the direction of your company, and benefit your whole workforce by passing on their skills, knowledge and experience. 

Harmony in your workplace
While internal recruitment is a natural part of career progression within a company, it can sometimes spark envy or perceptions of favouritism. Your work structure is a delicate balance you must maintain to ensure that advancement opportunities are perceived as fair and merit-based, and that the right leader is selected to manage and motivate your top performers.

Addressing skills gaps
Internal candidates have grown up with your company, which is a great thing for onboarding and maintaining your existing way of working, but isn’t going to help deliver and manage change. Internally you might be missing skills and understanding you need to compete in your marketplace, leading to gaps that require additional training or development. It’s crucial to assess whether the internal talent pool can meet the specific demands of the role, now and in the future. Experts like Salt can help with this.

Creating innovation
New hires at any level of your company bring with them new perspectives and experiences, which helps you challenge your ways of doing things, and continue to iterate to meet the demands of your target audiences. External recruitment helps alleviate any stagnation or group think that can arise when a working environment becomes too familiar, comfortable or homogenous. This approach ensures a continuous flow of creativity and innovation.

You need both internal and external recruitment to grow 🌲

Just like trees and seedlings each play a role in the ecosystem of a thriving garden, both internal and external recruitment have advantages and important roles to play within a company. They are most effective when they work well together.

The right external hire injects new life, ideas, lived experience, skills and learning into your existing workforce. In turn, a dynamic work environment with opportunities for both learning and career progression means your employees are more engaged and more loyal, increasing retention. This in turn strengthens your talent attraction strategy, helping you and your recruitment agency partner like Salt attract top talent who are looking for businesses with stability.

Equally, a diverse workforce is a powerful driver of innovation, employee satisfaction, and a broader talent pool.  At Salt, we understand the transformative impact that a diverse team can have on a business.

Discover more about how to promote equality and diversity in the workplace with actionable advice and strategies for hiring managers looking to create more inclusive work environments. 

By thoughtfully combining internal and external recruitment, companies can cultivate a workforce that is both deeply connected to the company’s mission and open to embracing new challenges and innovations. Embracing internal and external sources of talent allows companies to foster a dynamic and innovative workforce capable of navigating the complexities of the digital age. Contact Salt today to discover how our expert consultancy can empower your recruitment strategy, driving success through informed, strategic talent acquisition.

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If you’re interested in hearing about how Salt’s top talent recruitment experts around the world can help with your hiring right now, get in touch. Click below to contact the closest Salt team to you!

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