There are some serious advantages to promoting from within your own company. In fact, most of the time it is the better decision, because studies have revealed external hires tend to score lower on performance reviews and are more likely to get fired. This is in addition to external hires costing more. If internal promotions is something your organization wants to seriously pursue, this guide will go over the important considerations when promoting from within as well as how to set up an internal promotion program.

Weigh The Pros and Cons

While there are many benefits to promoting from within, there are also some drawbacks. Examples of these drawbacks include hurt feelings among employees who feel they deserved the promotion over their peers, in addition to potential creative stagnation. The benefits, however, include lesser recruiting costs, less of a learning curve and overall employee satisfaction in knowing their company is invested in growing their careers. For these reasons, your company should make a solid effort to prepare employees for advancement and promote from within.

Discuss With Executives

Depending on your role at your company and your position in management, you may have to answer to others about a strong push towards recruiting from within. This is a focus that requires some planning and effort to ready employees for internal promotion, so the topic should be discussed at length among the managers and executives. You need to come up with an internal promotion program proposal, explain the benefits and acknowledge the concerns. Once upper management is entirely on board and everyone is in agreement on how to proceed, you can take action. These programs generally need the full support of management to be implemented uniformly and successfully.

Build A Culture Of Advancement

You can start building a culture of advancement by talking about development early and often. This can be started as early as the hiring and training process, when you can discuss advancement opportunities. This will aid in hiring the right people in the first place, which is a critical part of having a good employee pool to promote from. Mentorship programs are highly effective in training and preparing employees for more important roles later. Mentorships can also help your company create a succession plan to lessen the chaos when an upper manager quits or retires.

Give Employees (Who Want It) More Responsibility

If employees show initiative and ask for more responsibility, there are ways to give it to them. How they handle these new responsibilities can determine if growing their career at your company is truly ideal. These leadership activities can help both department heads and the employee determine if a role of greater importance is right for them. If that employee continues to show promise, then it might be worth it to promote them. Having such a “trial period” is invaluable for hiring from within because it lets everyone try out the situation before anyone commits to it.

Consider External Candidates

It would be folly not to consider outside candidates, even if you are strongly leaning towards promoting someone from within. You want what’s best for your company and your team, so it’s worth it to consider all your options. Just be careful not to hire externally too much when trying to establish an internal promotion program. Doing so will obviously undercut your efforts and sour how your employees feel about your promises of advancement opportunities. Remember that in most cases, private companies are not required to post job listings externally, but if collective bargaining or contracts exist, you might have to, so understand the rules before proceeding.

Follow Up

Once you have begun promoting from within, the next critical step is to follow up with promoted employees after a few months and see how they are doing. Listen to their concerns and address their needs – encourage open communication and honesty. You want your employees to succeed in their roles both for their own benefit and for the sake of the company as a whole.

Promoting from within may seem straightforward, but there are some important aspects to consider if internal promotions are going to succeed. You want to do it well in order to have the best outcome. Leverage this powerful practice to grow your company.


Author Bio:  Jeremy is a tech and business writer from Simi Valley, CA. He’s worked for  Adobe, Google, and himself. He lives for success stories, and hopes to be one someday.