Should companies focus on growing and developing talent from within the organization, or source that process externally from a broader candidate pool? One corporate philosophy that has always resonated with me is that a company must not only get the right people on the bus, but they must put those people in the right seats on that bus. This analogy typically is applied when discussing lateral movement within an organization, but I challenge you also to consider this idea when evaluating performance and succession management.
Developing talent and promoting from within the organization will provide essential benefits to any growing business. Reduced overhead and improved financial performance will be achieved when experienced and tenured employees are seamlessly transitioned into expanded roles, minimizing the need to mentor and train new external recruits. Day-to-day operations continue as they did previously, ensuring internal resources and focus remain firmly on business goals and initiatives, rather than on administrative tasks. In addition to eliminating the need for new-hire onboarding and orientation, pre-existing employees also have a clear understanding of existing business relationships with clients, customers and vendors. The complete knowledge and understanding of these sensitive and vital relationships will promote organic solidification with such external stakeholders.
In addition to these quantifiable benefits, there are many other tremendous and compelling benefits to focusing succession planning internally, including increased motivation, trust and loyalty. Evaluating employees for more senior roles within the organization will act as a strong motivating factor and potentially promote a higher level of productivity and quality of work. Many studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between the level of trust an employee has in his or her employer and the quality and quantity of work performed. An understanding that performance is being evaluated and successes are being recognized by leadership will motivate employees toward continual development, resulting in a more qualified and driven employee population.
Before planning future staffing initiatives, ask yourself where your organization stands in relation to the following areas:
Are there active employees in your workforce who possess the skills required for advanced roles and positions?
Are the resources and time available to develop and train entry level employees to meet the needs of mid and upper level positions?
Can your organization afford low productivity in senior positions during the transition and learning period required when hiring external candidates?
Are guidelines and standards set for current employees to become eligible for a promotion?
Additionally, determine if the following developmental programs are in place (or if you’re willing and able to implement them):
Entry level training programs
Continual education and learning programs
Cross or inter-departmental training
Executive mentorship initiatives
Future manager/leadership training
Recruiting and hiring doesn’t have to be an onerous process, especially if you’re able to continually develop and promote the talented people within your organization. Working with an HR Outsourcing company or Professional Employer Organization (PEO) often can help with both recruiting and development of internal talent through training.
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