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12 Ways to Decide Whether You Should Hire Internally or Externally

02/10/2016 01:58 pm ET | Updated Feb 10, 2016

If you're scaling your company and need to fill positions quickly, chances are you've debated whether you should hire internally or externally. You want to allow your current team to grow within your company, but when is it better to hire elsewhere? Here's how to decide.

A. Hire the Best Person for the Job

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Avoid favoritism and your built-in bias by interviewing both internal and external candidates. While we have a tendency to lean toward internal candidates at Voices.com, we make the effort to interview people who we've never before. Ultimately, the decision must rest by evaluating each candidate against the job description, their skills and ability as well as cultural fit. - David Ciccarelli, Voices.com

A. Balance Both Hiring Practices

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A fantastic ingredient for creating an excellent working environment is to give your team access to promotions gained via results. There will be times where you also need to bring external talent to increase your team's skill set. Don't hurt your best team members by promoting them to the wrong position. Sometimes, having someone join from the outside is the right choice. Find a balance. - Darwin Romero, Applaudo Studios

A. Ask Yourself If You Need Senior or Specialized Experience

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The two biggest reasons for most people hiring externally is that they're looking for a seasoned expert to bring new ideas into the company or bring a specialized skill set that's lacking within the company currently. Ask yourself: are you missing strong leadership in a particular department? Do you need somebody with a specialized skill set to get the job done right? - Andy Karuza, brandbuddee

A. You Almost Never Have to Ask This Question

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The reality is, you can easily determine when to hire new help by simply thinking about the possibility of doing so. In other words, if an internal team member was up to snuff, you wouldn't entertain the idea of bringing someone new on. Although this can become somewhat of a gray area, if you do need to make the decision, always hire based on the competency to do the job over anything else. - Blair Thomas, EMerchantBroker

A. Ask Where Your Team Members Want to Be

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We encourage our team to grow with the company. We like to keep a pulse on where our team members are and where they see themselves in the future. If that vision fits with a position that becomes available, we are more than happy to consider them as a part of the recruitment process. - Andrew Kucheriavy, Intechnic

A. See If You Have the Bandwidth to Train Internally

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In a rapidly growing sales organization, it is a recipe for disaster when you promote new leaders from within and then give them two to four new people without an amazing ops and enablement team. It's ideal to hire internally for many roles, but when you need operations excellence sooner rather than later, people who have been there and done that from the outside may be preferred. - Jake Dunlap, Skaled Consuting

A. Decide Whether the Role Develops the Employee Professionally

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It comes down to knowing the role and the employee. Is this a role that will highlight the strengths of the internal hire, or is it just something the internal employee can "do?" If it's the latter, you may want to hire externally. - Mike Seiman, CPXi

A. Have an Internal Training Program in Place

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You should be developing internal employees at all times. A recent study by PWC showed that Millennials' most valuable work benefit was training and development. With the proper training programs in place, you should be able to better assess what skills an individual is missing in order to give them a promotion and what their rate of progress is. If you know they won't be ready, that's when you hire. - Mattan Griffel, One Month

A. Consider Your Company's Stage of Growth

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Because we are a fast-growing company, most of our positions are new. Therefore, we want people with expertise in these areas in order to add strength to our organization. If the role requires knowledge not held by anyone at the company currently, hire from the outside. If that knowledge resides within your company already, you have options. - Afif Khoury, SOCi, Inc.

A. Assess Your Company Culture First

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If you've built your company to the point where there's enough talent to consider internal promotions, then assess what's going on in your company's culture and how external vs. internal hires would impact it. If leadership is weak or the position requires a high skill level, consider external hires; but if you want to build morale and encourage high achievers to stay, then promote internally. - Dave Nevogt, Hubstaff.com

A. Understand the Goal of the Position

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I believe promoting from within is traditionally optimal for middle management positions and below, and hiring from the outside might make sense for executive leadership positions requiring new insight and experience not obtainable from the current staff. There is no perfect equation, but promoting from within does help provide employees some incentive to achieve greater responsibilities. - Phil Chen, Wrapify

A. Consider the Value of Loyalty and Trust

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Assuming you can find competency both internally and externally, I believe the next most important thing to consider is loyalty and trust. The internal person has already proven their loyalty to the organization and presumably earned your trust. You would be taking a significant gamble hiring externally. Consider this decision carefully as it will undoubtedly affect company culture. - Travis Smith, V.I.P. Waste Services, LLC

These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's mostpromising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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