How do companies decide whether to hire internally or externally?

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Understanding employers' thought processes can help you address concerns or play up strengths in your resume, cover letter, and interview. Eric Krell's "Weighing Internal vs. External Hires: When hiring, it’s not always clear whether you should cast a wide net or go with who you know" in SHRM's HR Magazine looks at employers' decision-making in choosing between internal talent and external talent.

Among the pros for hiring internally:

  • Candidate already knows the corporate culture and processes, as well as how to operate successfully within them
  • Faster and less expensive hiring process

Among the pros for hiring externally:

  • Injection of new ideas and skills
  • Larger pool of candidates

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The article contains insights from top experts in corporate hiring, including executives, hiring consultants, recruiters, and professors:

  • Boris Groysberg, professor at Harvard Business School 
  • Daniel Sonsino, vice president of talent management at voice and video communications company Polycom in San Jose, California
  • Greig Schneider, U.S. managing partner of global executive search company Egon Zehnder
  • Roger Ahlfeld, vice president of human resources for Tedeschi Food Shops in Rockland, Massachusetts
  • Larry Nash, the Pittsburgh-based director of experienced and executive recruiting for accounting and consulting company EY
  • Matthew Bidwell, professor at University of Pennsylvania Wharton School 
  • Laura Randell, CEO of global recruitment strategy and HR technology consulting company PeopleMatters
  • Bob Damon, executive chairman for the Americas at global executive search company Korn Ferry International
  • Scott Olsen, a New York City-based principal in PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and U.S. leader of the HR services consulting practice