When your organization has a management position to fill, you may not have to look far to find the ideal candidate for the job. Promoting from within is an affordable solution and can also save time and resources. “By offering promotional roles to internal candidates, employers foster a sense of loyalty, engagement and long-term satisfaction by allowing growth from within .” While there are many great reasons to promote from within for managerial vacancies, there are also some disadvantages. Keep these pros and cons in mind if you are thinking of promoting from within your organization:
Pro: Seamless Transitions
Transitions can be a challenge when you’re bringing a person into a job. The time spent bringing an outside person up to speed about your corporate culture, policies, and day-to-day operations is considerable. A current employee is already familiar with what is required for success in your organization and understands the company’s goals, mission, and vision.
Pro: Proven Fit and Loyalty
An employee who has been in your organization long enough to be considered for promotion is proven to be loyal. The fact that the employee wants to stay rather than taking his or her skills elsewhere is a testament to the quality of the work environment. The employee is also known to be a good fit for your company and will likely have many strong working relationships within your organization and with your business partners and clients.
Con: Negative Emotions of Other Workers
When former coworkers see the employee moving up the ladder, these coworkers may feel jealous. Some may even become hostile and actively make the situation difficult. If more than one employee applied for the position, the candidates who did not get the job may feel disillusioned and unwilling to work with the person who was promoted. If the promoted employee will be managing his or her former coworkers, relationships could become tense and difficult.
Con: Same Skill Set
When retaining the same employee, your organization is not gaining any new skills, knowledge, or experience. If the management position requires a skill that your otherwise highly qualified employee is only moderately competent at, you could be missing out on an outside person who is well-developed in that particular area of expertise. As The Society for Human Resource Management explains, bringing in skilled external workers to meet the demands of a strategy shift or difficult corporate turnaround can be especially beneficial .
When you have dependable employees who already fit in well with the corporate culture of your organization, on-the-job training can help you to retain them when they wish to advance into new roles. On-the-job training benefits the employee as well as your organization by saving you money and expanding the employee’s skills – according to a survey of almost 4,300 workers by Sh!ft, 74% felt that they weren’t achieving their full potential at work . Consider these ways in which on-the-job training helps to boost retention of your most valuable workers.
Increased Retention of Information
When you provide on-the-job training in an environment where the employee already works, the employee is more likely to retain the information. During the training process, employees will see how the new skills and knowledge fit into what needs to be done in their existing job or in a future role that they wish to fulfill. Your employees will even have the chance to practice their newfound skills in the work environment, which further increases their retention of the information.
Direct Application to Job Functions
On-the-job training ensures that your employees learn skills with direct applications. Instead of studying abstract concepts in a classroom that seem far removed from the actual job, your employees will see how the knowledge and skills can be put to use to enhance their productivity, efficiency, or effectiveness. According to this workforce research, your staff members may even find that they enjoy both the training and their jobs more as they progress through the training process . When a person enjoys his or her job, he or she is more likely to stay with the organization.
One of the biggest complaints of workers is that they do not receive detailed, frequent, or useful feedback from their managers. According to PwC, nearly 60% of survey respondents reported that they would like feedback on a daily or weekly basis—a number that increased to 72% for employees under age 30 . Having both positive and constructive feedback encourages your employees to continue doing a great job and lets them know what needs to be improved. On-the-job training boosts employee retention by providing enhanced feedback. Throughout the training process, your employees will receive immediate feedback about their understanding and application of what they are learning.
When people are engaged with the community and participate as citizens, the entire world benefits. Even at the organizational level, volunteering within the community helps to build a stronger corporate culture. As you develop your company’s goals and human resources programs, consider these ways in which you can build a stronger corporate culture through organizational volunteering.
Increased Employee Engagement
Organizational volunteering helps to boost employee engagement with your company. Engaged employees are happier at work and in their overall lives. Happy people are more pleasant to work with, listen better, and offer more positive interactions with coworkers, managers, and clients. According to Open Source Learning, organizations with engaged employees enjoy a 16% increase in profitability, an 18% increase in productivity, a 12% increase in consumer loyalty, and a 60% boost in the quality of the work that they perform .
Enhanced Social Capital
Social capital is a concept that addresses how the community sees your company. When your employees are volunteering on behalf of your organization, your name gets out there. The community sees your organization as a positive influence on the community and as an entity that is invested and cares about the people and neighborhood. When your employees see that the organization they work for is viewed positively and thought of as an asset to the community, this strengthens your corporate culture. Studies have shown that socially tied workers have higher levels of trust, are less likely to be opportunistic, and are more likely to cooperate and share information . Your employees will gain pride in your organization and will feel that they are making a difference both at work and in the volunteering that they do as a part of it.
Shared Information and Skills
Organizational volunteering can also boost your corporate culture by allowing your employees to help each other develop and strengthen their soft skills. For example, sorting donations at a food bank and loading them onto shelves allows employees with strong organizing skills and stacking skills to help others. Volunteering in a community garden allows your skilled gardeners to share their knowledge of fertilizers, compost, and seeds with the rest of your staff. The sharing of information and uplifting of skills strengthens relationships, which can extend into the workplace.
When your organization has job openings, you may find that the applications include a slew of recent college graduates. As a human resources manager, you might be unsure of whether or not to take the risk of bringing aboard a recent graduate. Employers say they’re planning to hire slightly more fresh college graduates this spring than they did last year (5.8% more), according to a preliminary survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers . Keep these pros and cons of hiring a new college grad in mind the next time your company needs to fill a staff vacancy.
Pro: Modern Skills
One reason to hire a new college graduate is that they are often familiar with current technology. New graduates are typically adept at navigating through complex software, apps and hardware. They may not need to be instructed on how to safeguard confidential data on their work-issued smartphone, tablet or laptop if they are already familiar with doing this. Recent college graduates are skilled at choosing the right piece of technology to do a certain task. Many college graduates also have relevant skills such as strong communication, a multilingual background and a broad foundation through their coursework, volunteer work and past related projects.
Pro: Salary and Benefit Expectations
Because recent college graduates usually have a shorter work history, they can be given a lower benefits package. Compared to a person who has worked for a decade or more, a new graduate may not expect a generous benefits package that includes things such as family health insurance or weeks of paid vacation. New graduates also command a lower salary compared with experienced workers. Enthusiastic graduates will often be happy to begin on a probation period or a paid internship, meaning you have some time to assess their abilities before committing to putting them on a full time salary . The smaller salary and benefits expectations may make it more economical for you to hire a recent college graduate.
Con: Less Experience
New college graduates have less overall work experience. This means that they may not have developed the specific skills that your job opening requires. As a result, your current staff members may have to take time out of their busy schedules in order to bring the new hire up to speed. However, this may also be true for people who have spent many years in the workforce. Less experience may mean that new hires are more open to doing things in different ways, including the way you prefer.
Reputation management is an essential part of what human resources and marketing managers must do in order to build great teams and maintain employee loyalty. An organization’s reputation affects how potential applicants view the firm. Reputations also have an effect on how people working for the company feel about their employers. According to a recent Glassdoor survey, 84 percent of survey participants would consider leaving their current company if another company with an excellent reputation offered them a job . By taking the time to proactively brand your organization and build strong human resources teams, you can help to build loyalty within your organization.
Daily Experiences in the Organization
A big part of proactive branding is ensuring that an employee’s daily experiences are positive. Your human resources teams will need to set the tone for the culture. When a company’s values are in line with the individual employee’s values, he or she is more likely to have a positive experience at work every day. Proactive branding at work should be included in the mission and vision statements as well as workplace policies. One positive branding message could be, “To treat every person with respect.” This sort of positive messaging is actionable and inclusive.
Focusing on Improvement
Admitting that your organization could use improvement is a great step in proactive branding. Working on improving how your organization does things gives every person a goal to work toward. Because improvement never stops, the idea that there is more to be done motivates employees to stay on at your organization. As employees see that work they are doing is improving your company, they will maintain their loyalty to your brand.
Integrating Brand and Business Strategy
Proactive branding should be intertwined with your overall business strategy. This means doing some brand research to see what people inside and outside of your organization think. The way that the top talent outside of your organization feels about you will have direct impact on who applies for jobs and who wants to initiate business relationships. Allowing your employees the ability to anonymously make comments about the business culture will help to build loyalty. Your organization can use that information to work toward maximizing internal resources and keeping your most talented employees on staff.
Telecommuting began to rise in popularity within the past decade when fuel prices soared. While it immediately benefited employees who would no longer have to spend hundreds of dollars per month to fill their gas tanks, human resources managers also began to notice benefits. Telecommuting is a growing trend – about 40% of U.S. employees are working remotely either full time or part time . If you are considering implementing a telecommuting policy at your organization, keep these pros in mind when making your decisions and setting up the rules of your telecommuting program.
Employees who work from home may be able to start their workdays earlier and end later than they would if they had to commute. They may also experience fewer distractions, such as conversations at the water cooler or disruptions from coworkers chatting rather than working. On the other hand, employees who work at home may become distracted by household chores, the doorbell, television, and spouses or children who are also at home.
When employees work from home, your organization may be able to cut on some costs, such as utilities, office supplies and furniture. A typical business could potentially save up to $11,000 per employee per year . When telecommuting employees do come into the office, they may be able to use shared work areas. This might even allow your organization to be housed in a smaller space. Keep in mind that you may have to reimburse your employees for their work-related internet fees, pay phone bills for work calls and provide them with a laptop so that they can do their work from home.
Employee Loyalty and Retaining Staff
The flexibility of being able to telecommute may help to increase the loyalty of your employees. Employees who have young children may appreciate the ability to work from home on days when their childcare center is closed or when their child is sick. You may be able to retain your staff by offering the option of telecommuting one or more days per week. Your employees are sure to enjoy the time savings and experience less stress from not having to drive in weekday rush-hour traffic. The savings on gas and wear and tear on cars also benefits your staff, who may decide to stay with you for these benefits.
When your organization has a management position to fill, deciding how to hire for the opening can be a challenge. Promoting from within is often faster than looking outside of your organization. However, hiring from outside provides you with greater access to potential employees who may have a wider range of skills. However, there are many reasons to consider both options.
Promoting From Within
When you open up a management position to your current staff members, promoting from within can reduce the amount of time the position is vacant. There will not be a need for routine human resources activities such as checking on the applicant’s resume or references. This can reduce your hiring costs. Hiring from within means that you are already familiar with the employee’s personality, skill set and experience level. A study from Kelly-Radford found that senior executives fail, in general, 34 percent of the time when hired from the outside versus 24 percent when hired from inside your organization . Promoting from within helps to boost employee loyalty, allowing your staff to do their best because of the potential to move up the corporate ladder.
Recruiting From Outside of Your Organization
Even if there are qualified candidates for a management position within your company, there are many reasons why you might want to consider outside recruitment. Bringing in a fresh perspective allows your company to increase its range of skills. Recruiting an outside candidate may also be easier on supervisors and staff who might otherwise develop a contentious relationship with internal promotions. Top talent is attracted to companies that are using best practices and offer the opportunity for growth, not companies that always want to stick with what’s safe and comfortable . A new person may have more experience or relevant technological skills than the people you already employ. Outside recruitment allows you to capture the best talent from applicants locally, regionally and even internationally.
A positive corporate culture does more than keep management happy and demonstrate success to shareholders and investors – it also helps to retain the employees who make the organization successful. The 2016 Deloitte Millennials Survey said employees that stay within their organizations for at least five years are more likely to report a positive culture than others . It’s important to pay attention to employee turnover, as the average cost of a lost employee is approximately 38 percent of the employee’s annual salary . By building a better corporate culture, you can keep the top talent and experience within your organization.
A strong business culture is established upon a foundation of shared priorities. One way management can show that the concerns and priorities of the staff are important to them is by watching their pronouns. Rather than referring to employees as “them” and “they,” management can use inclusive pronouns such as “we” and “us.” Managers should also listen to employee conversations. When the staff members refer to themselves as a part of the organization, this indicates that the corporate culture is strong. An inclusive vocabulary allows for the development of shared priorities at all levels.
Successful business cultures also include listening. “When leaders share ideas and updates with their employees, open communication becomes second nature, and everyone feels equally invested in the company’s overall goals .” All management, from the lowest-level manager to the CEO, must spend time listening to the concerns of employees. Once concerns are heard, this gives the management the opportunity to present a thoughtful solution to the problem. Problems can be solved through respectful discussions and regular feedback to ensure that solutions are working for everyone. When ideas are heard and considered, everyone on the team will feel valued and more satisfied with their work.
Develop Bonding Opportunities
When your employees feel like they belong at your company, they will want to stay. Bonding activities as simple as walking meetings provide your staff with something to look forward to. Bigger events such as office potlucks and charity collections allow everyone to come together for a common cause. Even competitive contests can be fun, such as a contest for the best holiday decorations or the most over-the-top Christmas sweater. Bonding can also be done through shared activities. Consider having an employee volunteer day in which everyone in your organization works for a charity such as the local food bank or cleaning up a school playground or park. These simple activities allow employees, managers and leaders to come together and appreciate each person’s unique set of skills. Every person’s contribution has an exponentially positive effect on the whole organization.
Successful organizations include Human Resources as part of their strategic planning team. HR, as a partner in the company’s plan, can execute recruiting and employee retention plans, develop timelines and assist in budgeting for new hires. Ensuring that the talent pipeline contains an adequate number of qualified candidates requires workforce planning.
Identify Critical Skills
Identify critical jobs – jobs that must be performed well for the company to succeed. These positions often reside in the conduct of everyday business rather than in upper management. They could be new positions and skills based on future company initiatives. Companies need to identify, attract and develop candidates for the critical skills pipeline.
Assess Talent Pools
Now that you’ve identified current and future skills requirements, take inventory of what you already have. Once you’ve identified the critical skills the company needs, create a profile of the ideal employee for that position and take a look at current employees that could fill critical roles and those who should be included in the critical talent pipeline. Use the profile to identify external candidates as well.
Perform a Gap Analysis
When HR is part of the strategic planning team, they become aware of future plans to upgrade a computer system or to open new warehouses. Many of the initiatives mentioned as part of a five-year plan will require specific talent and staffing requirements. The qualifications and number of positions required to support future business development and the current expertise will expose the gap in staffing.
Track Development of Internal Employees with Critical Skills
Those candidates that fit the profile for specific critical skills should be offered development in order to reduce the chance of turnover and to make them more valuable to the company. Regular assessments can provide an indicator of critical skills development.
Create an External Critical Skills Candidate Pipeline
External candidates with the required skills and competencies should be viewed as potential hires for critical roles. The staffing challenges that come with new technology or economic fluctuations can be successfully managed with a well-tended talent pipeline.
The debate between education and experience is one of the oldest in the hiring book, and it’s still relevant today. According to Glassdoor’s U.S. Employment Confidence Survey, 82% of U.S. college graduates said their level of education has been an asset to their careers . Instead of wrestling between absolutes, start asking different questions. Every position has its own unique needs, and the right person for the job could come from either end of the spectrum.
The Benefits of Less
Never discount an applicant simply because they lack either education or experience. Taking on candidates fresh out of school with little experience gives you all the benefits of a freshly educated, malleable mind that can grow to exemplify your organization’s values. A candidate with little education but a mountain of experience will bring intuition and insight only the battle-hardened can boast.
Rather than treating education and experience as broad subjects, look at the details. An applicant whose qualifications are specialized in the field you need is invaluable to a team and is often a better choice than someone with a more extensive but non-specialized background. The specifics may also reveal unexpected perks, like training that would benefit a major project your organization is working on or alternative viewpoints that add extra value to a candidate.
Consider Your Current Team
If your applicants will be working closely with other people, identify the gaps or imbalances in your current team and look to fill them. If your current staff is heavy on experience, bring in someone with a more extensive education. If your staff is well educated but lacks experience in the type of project you are about to undertake, choose someone with the right practical skills.
Seek a Middle Ground
When it comes down to it, academics and practical skill are equally important, and having a balance of both is ideal. Remember that you can use seminars and other training programs to polish otherwise perfect candidates with a few gaps in their resume.
As applications come across your desk, give education and experience equal weight. Hone in on specific skills and think about the assets you are lacking. Striking a balance will always serve you well.