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The benefits of promoting from within

4 min read

By Elsbeth McSorley

Before sending out that job ad to the masses, look from within your company for potential candidates

When looking to fill a position, those responsible for hiring often face a similar dilemma: Hire from outside the organization or hire from within. Each situation is different and the needs to fill a job can also vary, but there are some general rules of thumb when deciding when to look at outside candidates and when to look at inside candidates. Although outside hires bring in new ideas and perspectives, and are carefully selected with your exact specifications in mind, sometimes you can find exactly what you’re looking for in your own backyard.

High Success Rate

Generally speaking, an internal hire is more likely to succeed in a job than someone from the outside. An inside hire probably understands what the expectations of the organization are, and perhaps more importantly, understands the culture of the organization and the long-term goals. Six months after the hire, the internally promoted person is hopefully moving the mission of the organization forward. It is possible that six months after the hire, the externally promoted person may have discovered he/she isn’t really a good fit to the organization. Internally promoted people are more likely to fit in and get up to speed on the new position and its responsibilities faster.

Greater Productivity within the Organization

Theoretically, if many people within the organization believe there are people already employed with the company who are qualified to do a job, but someone from the outside is hired, morale is hurt. People who see others from inside the group passed over begin to wonder why they should work hard if they’re going to have to leave their jobs in order to advance their career. In these situations, a person who is hired from the outside often has a small window to prove to currently employed people that they deserve the job rather than the person passed over internally.

Teamwork.jpgFaster Hiring Process

The people responsible for hiring have seen examples of work that the internal candidates have done, the internal person understands the culture, and the internal person understands what the job entails. Hiring from the outside requires a more thorough vetting process, more interviews, and finally, a leap of faith. No matter how well vetted and how good interviews are, the outsider is still unknown. Some outside hires will fit in with the organization while others will never be able to reach their full potential because they just don’t gel with those already there.

Frustrated_employee.jpgLess Expensive

Unless there is a posted salary schedule, the internally hired person typically will not be paid as much as an externally hired person. A company has to pay more to have the person with the right amount of work experience, education, and training, as well as finding someone willing to leave a job and take a chance on a new job. The internally promoted person will often take the job with a smaller percentage increase in salary. Sometimes, they take the promotion from a sense of loyalty or prestige, so they are willing to take less salary than externally hired people. The externally hired person probably already has a job, so they can turn down a good package if it’s not better than what they are currently receiving. The other job savings are in recruiting expenses. It’s often much less expensive to hire from within.

Each situation is different. Sometimes it is best to promote from within, sometimes it is better for the organization to hire from the outside. Take a careful measure of the expectations for a position, then hire the best candidate, whether they come from the inside or from the outside.

Can’t decide whether to hire from within or look to an outside candidate? Learn how to make the right hiring decisions with our eBook, Streamline Your Hiring Process.

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Elsbeth is the content and community manager at PI.

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