External vs. Internal Skills

External vs. Internal Skills

Deciding on the best procedure to fill in a new position in any organization because promoting individuals from within the organization is viewed as the best practice but at the same time can lead to future problems. If an individual without the necessary skills and technical capability to fit in the position is promoted, the organization will start becoming ineffective. On the other hand, if a new and qualified person is brought in the organization without any explanation, employees within the organization who had hoped for a promotion might frustrate the new member in the organization as they feel he or she did not deserve the position. It is prudent to consider internal staff for new positions before moving outside the organization but there are factors to be considered before making the final decision. The first consideration that should be made before filling in a position either internally or using locally available skills is the job description and the skills it requires. After knowing the skills needed it is advisable to assess whether there are people who possess those skills internally or whether the skills can only be sourced locally. Making the consideration of the available skills can help in avoiding falling into the pitfall of promoting employees who cannot perform effectively due to lack of the necessary skills.  It is also imperative to consider giving well-prepared feedback to all of the employees in the organization that had been considered for the job and interview but did not make it through the final selection. The employees need to be shown the gaps they had in their skills and how they may work towards ensuring that they make it through selection when the next opportunity becomes available (Bidwell & Keller, 2014)

Training the staff members is more effective for the organization is more effective than going through the process of hiring new skills.  To begin with, the existing staff in the company are more accustomed to the culture of the organization, unlike the newly hired staff that may have difficulties in fitting in the organization. Secondly, training the existing skills is relatively cheaper than spending a lot of money on advertising and paying hiring agencies. Training can be done on the organization’s premises, and therefore only the trainers are needed. Training also saves on cost because external hires are likely to get many offers from different organizations and therefore demand high salaries (Leekha & Sharma, 2014).


Bidwell, M., & Keller, J. R. (2014). Within or without? How firms combine internal and external labor markets to fill jobs. Academy of Management Journal57(4), 1035-1055.

Leekha Chhabra, N., & Sharma, S. (2014). Employer branding: strategy for improving employer attractiveness. International Journal of Organizational Analysis22(1), 48-60.

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