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The Pros & Cons of Internal Promotion and External Promotion

10th Jun 2010
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Advantages and disadvantages of internal promotion


  • Current employees already know the rules, regulations and culture of the organisation.
  • Employees have understanding of how the organisation operates and do not need an induction programme.
  • The organisation knows employees and have detailed records from previous supervisors
  • Offering opportunities to internal employees may boost the morale of the staff members.
  • Allowing employees to move vertically and horizontally within the organisation could reduce the possibility of her looking for another job.
  • A positive image is created in the organisation


  • No new or fresh ideas are brought into the organisation
  • The job advertised may require skills not currently available within the organisation
  • Promotion of an internal employee could cause resentment amongst other employees, who may feel they deserve the post more than the promoted employee.
  • The number of applicants from which to choose may be too high or limited.
  • It is possible to promote less qualified employees than those from outside of the organisation, in order to comply with the internal recruitment policy or the Employment Equity Act.
  • Most internal applicants have been stagnant in their posts for so long and will not positively contribute any new ideas.
  • Harden negative attitudes of internal employees cannot be changed by promotion.
  • Lazy employees cannot suddenly change into ‘star’ employees because they have been promoted.
  • Contagious negative habits and behaviour by one negative employee can easily be passed on to other divisions.

Advantages and disadvantages of external promotion


  • A wide choice of candidates could attract skilled applicants and put the organisation in a better position.
  • Where recruitment agency has been used, candidates might have passed the initial screening done by recruitment agency and save the organisation time and money.
  • Organisations that use employment agencies are more often guaranteed to receive only the best and skilled applicants.


  • Recruitment agencies do not always understand the culture of the organisation and inherent requirements of the post.
  • New recruits more often need to be trained.
  • It could cost the organisation a lot of money to screen a large number of candidates.
  • Advertising in the print media attract a large number of unsuitable applicants particularly for low level positions.

Justice Mandhla is the author of 'What They Didn't Teach you in School:Life Long Learning Tips to Land a Job Straight out of School.' For more information visit:


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