The Benefits of Hiring & Promoting Insiders for Open Jobs
The Wall Street Journal last week had an article I thought made some excellent points. “Why Companies Aren't Getting the Employees They Need” published October 24th discussed the frustrations that companies and hiring managers are facing in trying to find the right person to fill their open positions.
One of the main points in the article is few companies hire from within to fill open positions. They site an interesting statistic: two-thirds of all positions are filled by people hired from outside the company; which is a dramatic increase from twenty years ago when that number was closer to 10%.
I’ve been a financial consultant in Southern California now for over ten years; and my job is to go into companies and provide whatever accounting or finance resources they need. One very large area that generates my consulting assignments is what we call “gap assignments.” That’s filling in for an open position and keeping the work moving until the company can hire a new employee. So, much of my career has not only been in doing different and varied jobs for clients; but I’ve also gotten to see “up close, from the inside” how different companies handle hiring.
I found The Wall Street Journal’s statistic of two-thirds of hires are from the outside “stunning,” but my professional experience has also found it to be shockingly “true.” I can count on one hand over my ten years consulting the number of times I’ve seen positions I’m gapping (usually in a management role) filled by an internal person.
So, let me direct this to hiring managers, Human Resource professionals, and job seekers applying to internal positions: it’s so much more helpful to hire from the inside and promote than go to the outside, and here are some reasons why.
The internal person has already proven themselves.
Who do you think you know better: someone you’ve known for two years because you’ve worked together, or someone you’ve known for two hours because you interviewed them and read their resume? People who already work for your organization are “known commodities.” You know their habits, their dedication, their character, and their skills. You should also know how they handle new challenges, take constructive criticism, and work with others. No matter who comes from the outside, the organization is new to them. The insider already knows the organization, deadlines, internal contacts and resources, as well as the culture of the company. These are all things an outsider needs to learn when they start, but it’s “baked in the cake” of a current employee you decide to promote.