Promoting From Within: 3 Traits to Look for in Your Ideal Candidate

Turnover isn’t just problem. It’s almost becoming an epidemic, with the number of people quitting their jobs reaching an all-time high in 16 years. In fact, nearly three million people have left their jobs every month since June 2017.

Part of the problem is management. After all, people often leave managers, not companies. And no amount of money or benefits can compensate for promoting the wrong person — but that’s a story for a different day.

What I really want to talk about is the other factor causing people to ditch their employment digs: career opportunities — or lack there of, really. Twenty-nine percent of people cite this as the main reason for leaving a job, which is why it’s so important for you to learn how to recognize which of your team members are in need of more challenging work — that and a promotion, of course.

If you’re able to identify your top performers, and then take action immediately, you may just catch them before they head out the door. Here are the three things to look for when choosing a team member to promote from within:

Taking the lead

Anyone who doesn’t rely on his or her job title to take the lead is often an employee deserving of more responsibility. They’re comfortable rallying the troops and collaborating with not just your team but others in the company. If you don’t promote them, trust that a competitor will.

Just remember that not everyone is cut out for management, which is why you want to provide more that one avenue for career growth. Look for ways to promote staff in other ways. For example, you may have someone on your team who’s capable of managing projects or processes. He or she is just deserving of a promotion as any other employee.

Taking ownership

We’ve all seen those employees who seemingly eat, sleep, and breathe their work. They act as if they own the joint — not in a bad way, that is. These are the people who will become real advocates for your company and should be rewarded for it.

Again, I’m not talking about a management position here. But if they’re able to promote your “brand,” and genuinely love working for your company, their enthusiasm can be infectious, which can certainly help build trust and loyalty among your ideal customers.

Taking risks

Now, I’m not talking about just any old risk. Hell, I risk my pocketbook any time I send my kids to the store. Without fail, they bring back more than what’s on the list. What I want you to keep an eye out for are those employees willing to risk a little friction by telling you what you need to hear, not necessarily what you want to hear.

If they’re comfortable enough to share their ideas and opinions with you, they’re also comfortable enough to challenge the status quo. In other words, they may be able to take your company in directions you never thought possible. They’re also empowered to take action — even when that action isn’t popular but necessary. Reward these people in some way. Otherwise, someone else will.

Promoting from within is a great way to build and grow your company from the inside out, but this isn’t to say there won’t come a time when your internal talent pool runs dry. When this happens, it just makes good business sense to bring in someone from the outside than to promote someone ill-equipped for the job.

We always recommend striking a balance between internal and external hires. If you’d like to discuss how to strike this balance, please feel free to contact us today. We’d be more than happy to sit down and help you decide whether an internal or external hire is right for the role you’re looking to fill.