Hire Externally or Look Within?



Should we hire from the outside? Or should we look from within?

Often the best candidates for an open position already exist within your company. An internal candidate promotion won’t be right for every open position; but it can be a great opportunity for your business, keep morale high, and give other employees incentive to stay – knowing that you value current employees and are willing to take the time to “train up.” Of course, a huge benefit is that internal hires already have company knowledge, which, in turn reduces ramp-up time.


The Wall Street Journal reported findings from a study, conducted by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and determined that external hires were 61 percent more likely to be fired vs. internal promotions, and 21 percent more likely than internal hires to quit.




1. They Proactively Takes Responsibility

Employees that are ripe for promotion are often the ones that either volunteer to spearhead projects or who proactively ask for more responsibility. You will recognize them as a staff member who consistently does what it takes to get the job done and consistently chooses to go beyond the exact specifications of what’s asked of them. They don’t come up with excuses; they simply perform.


2. They're Solutions-Oriented

Leaders need to be solutions-oriented; an important quality in the employees you look to promote into positions of greater responsibility. Employees who consistently approach you with problems and don’t bother trying to brainstorm solutions are not ready to be promoted.

A true, potential leader, will voice the issue, and then start the brainstorming process to solve the problem. Always be on the lookout for team members who bring and offer answers. Even if they don’t have the right answers, it still shows a willingness to try to solve problems rather than simply looking to someone else to solve them.


3. They Are Respected by Their Coworkers

Are they respected by their peers? Not just well-liked, but, respected. The well-respected internal candidate on your team should be liked and be a team player, but there’s a difference between respect and popularity. If an internal employee can collaborate with their coworkers; and is well respected; staff will follow them.


4. They Support Others

Good leaders grow and develop others. A great internal candidate will be the one you can identify as being helpful to others; they, in turn, will be effective at developing talent within the organization. Identifying a team member that demonstrates the ability OR has the innate desire to give feedback and enjoys coaching could be a perfect promotable team member. Hint: Look to those that are coaching sports teams outside of work; especially if it’s school aged children – it shows patience, selflessness, and dedication!


5. They Handle Stress Well

Stress is an inherent part of taking on a new role; especially if it includes managing and leading. Managers experience higher demands, higher levels of conflict, and a lower degree of social support from their peers than employees. Whether looking to fill a management position or to promote an employee into a larger role with more responsibilities, consider the employee’s ability to handle ambiguity and stress in their current position.


With today’s competitive employee marketplace, if and when you can, promote from within! Be willing to go the extra mile providing additional training and support, mentoring, and clear and consistent goals for the new role; trust your instincts and look for the 5 characteristics we’ve listed.


Happy Promoting!

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