Hire from Within or Look Outside for New Talent?

Sometimes, companies like to promote people from within. It sometimes makes sense: after all, other employees will see that hard work is rewarded, and it improves morale and creates a culture that encourages going the extra mile. However, there are some challenges to hiring from within that need to be addressed in the hiring process.

Hiring is not simply recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding new employees. The process reaches throughout the employee’s tenure with the company, and any challenges encountered in the hiring process likewise extend throughout the employee’s term.

Nearly every company measures the performance of their employees through productivity, but it needs to be managed through clear expectations. Otherwise, employees cannot be optimally productive. Meanwhile, productivity and performance raise a hiring issue: if management is overseeing an unproductive employee, it could be because the company is letting poor performers stay on board. This becomes a productivity and morale drain and is an argument for looking outside the company for new talent.

And while employees do not respond well to favoritism, treating all employees in the same way is yet another mistake made during the hiring process that spreads through an employee’s tenure. Employees are individuals and need to be recognized based on their performance and productivity, particularly considering each employee’s role. This actually increases productivity because employees not only understand what the company expects but underperforming employees can be identified and mentored.

Some may say that promoting internally is the easiest way to fill positions, but it does not always lead to great results, particularly when promotions are based on seniority. It is entirely possible to have a senior employee who is excellent in his current role but is not qualified for a promotion – or does not want to become a manager. This usually results in an ineffective manager who feels like he is herding cats: disgruntled, annoyed employees who are not going to listen. It becomes a domino effect that leads to more employees leaving the company, opening up new spots that need to be filled.

Yes, hiring and promoting from within works if it is done properly, with an internal qualification and vetting process similar to the initial hiring process. This helps companies find the right internal candidates for the job. Instead of just choosing the most senior person, companies need to treat internal candidates as if they were external: examining their accomplishments and qualifications, as well as checking internal references.

How to Attract Top Talent: Get the eBook