Should You Promote from Within, or Recruit New Talent?

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should-you-promote-from-within-or-hire-new-talentWhat’s the best way to fill an open position in your organization?  By promoting from within, right?  Everyone knows that your existing talent base provides individuals who are familiar with your organization, your structure and your mission.  So, it would seem to make sense that selecting an outstanding performer to be promoted to a higher position would be the best move.  Less recruiting time and expense, less training time and expense – that’s a win – win!  While promoting from within does have definite advantages, it must be done with thoughtful consideration, or your organization will find itself a victim of the Peter Principle.

The Peter Principle was originally introduced by Dr. Laurence J. Peter in 1969.   The concept essentially states that people tend to be promoted up to their “level of incompetence.”  In other words, employees will be promoted through the ranks based on their demonstrated competence until they reach the inevitable point where the requirements of the new position exceed their level of competence.  While the principle was originally introduced as a satirical piece over 40 years ago, the danger of this happening is a definite reality.

If an organization doesn’t utilize effective succession planning, recruiting and training techniques, they can find themselves with managers who just don’t quite measure up.  A recent poll found that nearly 50 percent of employees who left their jobs cited bad managers as the primary reason.

Does this mean that organizations should always seek outside candidates for positions?  Absolutely not!  It’s just imperative that each position be filled with the right candidate for the job – and determining who is the perfect fit takes more than just looking for the best performer currently in your organization.  If you’d like to learn more about avoiding the dangers of promoting from within, join our e-learning event on Thursday, May 25, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. Central:  The Dangers of Promoting from Within.

Contact the author directly at sue.rodzon@staffone.com.

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