Your company is in the process of looking to fill a current job position. You have two options: do you promote internally or externally? The truth is, the answer isn’t always clear cut. According to Entrepreneur, companies who promote in-house not only impress customers but team members are willing to work harder, knowing their efforts may pay off.
Still, no matter how many high-performers you have, chances are there is going to be an experience or talent gap somewhere, in which case even your highest performer doesn’t have the required skill sets (yet) to fill; in this situation, an external hire may be your best bet. This brings up the question, when do you know when to hire inside or outside? To bring some perspective, here are some scenarios where hiring in house may be the best way to go. (Plus, why you need to conduct a Louisiana corporation search.)
1. Rewarding Hard Work and High Performance
You hired Jeremy straight out of college for an entry level position. Over the past 5 years, he has worked hard, spending long evenings at the office and even doing some work on the weekends. He does consistent work and is not afraid to ask for help from one of his high-level coworkers.
Why Jeremy Should Be Promoted
Jeremy is a classic example of a hardworking, high-performing employee who goes above and beyond. Working extra hours and doing consistent work are signs of his worth ethic and character. Also, the fact that Jeremy has been with the company for 5 years demonstrates company loyalty. These traits are all the more reason to consider promoting him to a higher-level job position.
Why Voicing Concerns Are a Must
Not only this but Jeremy’s odds of succeeding when promoted are in his favor. According to research, promoting within has lower failure rates than promoting from outside. However, despite the study, the truth is, Jeremy’s hard work and consistency may not be enough; upper management in charge of hiring will consider Jeremy simply because of this: he voices he wants the promotion.
Contrary to what some may think, it isn’t the quiet-but-hard-working types that tend to get the promotions; in fact, quite the opposite. Management turns to employees who ask about moving up the ladder. “What can I do to be considered for promotion?” and “What do I need to do to show you I’m ready for promotion?” are questions the employee floats to management.
Such questions not only show the candidate’s willingness to address their strengths and weaknesses but highlights leadership—a trait companies link with upper-level job positions. This is why Jeremy is more likely and rightfully deserving of being promoted compared to other equally hardworking internal candidates who stayed silent on growth opportunities.
2. Rotational Programs Benefit Internal Hiring
Like Jeremy, Cindy started working for Company X straight out of college and has been with the company for 3 years. She was a part of the company’s rotational program. Cindy submitted her application to the hiring manager. Similar to Jeremy, Cindy works hard and produces top-quality work.
Why Cindy Should Be Promoted
What Cindy has that Jeremy doesn’t is experience doing a variety of jobs thanks to the company’s rotational program. In a nutshell, rotational programs work where employees rotate job positions. For one quarter (or for however amount of time), the employee works in the finance section.
After that time period is up, the employee then moves into marketing, acquiring a number of new skill sets. Why rotational programs are successful and companies use them is because they are “talent developers.” They work like the minor leagues, giving “players” opportunities to show off their skills to managers and learn some new ones in the process.
Like scouts, managers can see who which employees excel and can then choose whether to promote them or not. With rotational programs, not only do employees have a better idea of what job they want and excel at but they learn a number of cross-discipline skills that makes them a viable candidate for several different positions.
3. Working Hard for That Specific Number of Years
Raul has worked at his company for about 18 months. He excels at his job and consistently impresses his managers—and customers. Like Jeremy and Cindy, Raul churns out quality work and goes above and beyond in order to make sure his customers stay satisfied.
Why Raul Should Be Promoted
Unlike Cindy and Jeremy who have put in 3-4 years of work at their companies, Raul has only worked for his for 18 months — 18-30 months less than the other employees. Time alone may make it seem like Raul is not qualified to advance, however, this isn’t the case and here’s why.
According to Fortune, 18 months is the magic “socially accepted minimum.” (At the same time, Fortune goes on to state that the 6-year mark is where employees need to start thinking of jumping ship if he or she has consistently been overlooked for promotion, as this length of time without moving up could do more harm than good on a job resume.) Remember, according to Harvard Business Review, it isn’t what internal job candidates can and can’t do; it’s what they are capable of doing. Since performance reviews are normally conducted every 6 months, Raul has had enough time (3 performance review’s worth) to make a difference at his employment and demonstrate his capability.
4. Delivering Quality Customer Service
Sarah consistently delivers top-notch customer service. Managers are inundated by customer emails and calls complimenting Sarah’s high customer satisfaction. And, it makes sense. Sarah is the type of employee who doesn’t just thank a customer over the phone but will personally hand mail that thank you card (with homemade cookies attached to it). Sarah has almost worked at her company for 17 months. There’s a higher-level human resources position opening up, and managers have been floating her name.
Why Sarah Should Be Promoted
Yes, Sarah hasn’t worked for 18 months, but close to it. (Remember, the 18-month rule is more guideline than rule.) What makes her the exception is the position that’s opened up caters to her strength: customer service. While human resources mostly deal with employees, the same customer service rules apply: ensuring employees are satisfied and productive in their jobs. If there’s a problem, Sarah handles it.
The amount of consistent praise Sarah has received from former and current customers shows Sarah is a great problem-solver and considers the customers’ needs and wants. Politically speaking, this is a good move for the company as well. Customers are impressed when businesses promote in house; promoting Sarah would show customers that the business is a positive environment where employees thrive (which it should be).
When Not to Promote Internally
These four scenarios show times when it pays off to promote internally. However, there are situations where this could backfire. A job position may require a set of skills that no one inside the company has—yet. It is in the company’s best interest then to look outside. In doing so, they bring in someone who can not only offer new skills and mentor employees but new energy. Perhaps the external hire has several ideas drawn from his or her past work history?
At the end of the day, while there are a number of benefits to hire inside, sometimes internal employees are so used to company culture that they aren’t able to see areas of improvement that outsiders can pinpoint. On the other hand, internal hires are in the “inner circle” so they can equally see holes that need to be patched up, which external hires would never spot. It goes to show that hiring managers can only win when hiring externally and internally.
Final Thoughts: When and When Not to Promote Internally
Ultimately, the choice to promote internally or externally comes down to that specific company’s values, talent pool, and the job’s demands. There are times where the company has a “talent gap,” in which they must choose between an internal hire who isn’t qualified over an external hire who has those specific skillsets—in which case, it is best to go externally.
Companies need to keep in mind that what skill sets are in demand today may not be tomorrow, and that routinely hiring outside may lead to higher turnover rates since one-quarter of employees are looking to advance (and nearly one-quarter are job searching because they’ve been passed up for a promotion). When have you hired outside? What qualities do you look for when promoting internally? How has this benefitted your company? When have you hired externally, and why? Feel free to share your thoughts by commenting in the comments section below.
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