There are many reasons why you would choose to promote from within your organization. Logistically, it makes a lot of sense – you can save a ton of time and energy. Not to mention, there is an inherent risk of bringing in someone new whose skills and personality you only have a cursory understanding of (experience on a resume does not always translate into real life).
If you promote from within, that individual will have already proven their worth and commitment. It also demonstrates that you recognize and reward good work and loyalty to the company, which can positively impact employee satisfaction levels.
All of this sounds great, of course. And while there is a compelling argument to first look for members of your current team to fill a new opening, there are also some things that you need to watch out for. Internal promotions can sometimes go horribly wrong, both within the recently filled position and amongst your team as a whole.
Keep these three points in mind, and you can help make sure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Focus on Skills, Not Length of Employment
It might feel like the right decision to fill a senior sales or research position with the member of your team who has been there the longest, but you need to be taking performance into account (as well as potential). After all, the goal needs to be continually growing and strengthening your team. Concern for the right fit demonstrates that your company prioritizes – and rewards – results over tenure.
Do Not Forget to Onboard
One of the biggest mistakes hiring managers make when promoting from within is to forget that this employee may not actually have all of the skills or background for their new position. The tradeoff is that they will already have valuable institutional knowledge and be familiar with your company’s procedures. It is essential to have a formal onboarding because it signifies that this is a new position and comes with a new set of responsibilities and expectations.
Communicate to Your Team
The most significant risk of choosing to promote someone internally is that people will ask “why not me?” or “why him or her?” If someone sees your decision as being unfair, they might lose some of their motivation or start feeling resentful. It would be best to let the entire team know why their colleague is receiving a promotion and what this new position means for the rest of the team regarding delegations and reporting hierarchy.
The Alpine Group