Hiring from Within

Chapter 3 75-76 Lead With Love  By: Gerry Czarnecki

Entering leadership ranks will quickly put you into the business of assigning staff. If you already have people working for you, when a vacancy comes up in your organization the natural tendency is to fill the job from within. Promoting from within has all of the obvious benefits of offering growth opportunities to existing staff while at the same time allowing you to deal with people you know. Looking outside your own department to elsewhere in the organization usually will provide you with a staff member who’s better known and understood than someone outside the organization might be. However, your lack of personal knowledge will still exist. Eventually, you will be relying on an “internal reference.” Since the primary reference will probably be a former boss, you can expect the internal source to be more candid than an external source. Obviously, you should also look to other staff members in the organization to help, including the human resources department. Management personnel who have solid objectivity and sound evaluation skills can be very helpful, but you must refine your own interviewing skills so that you can make your own judgments as well.

 Keep in mind there are also risks to hiring internally. Some of your staff may be falling short of your expectations. If that is the case, reassigning them is like moving the deck chairs on the Titanic—it will not save the sinking ship nor will it help the organization as a whole. Make certain you are not transferring another leader’s failures to your  department. In addition, the fact that an internal candidate is doing an admirable job in a current assignment could bias your view on the new opportunity. Make the judgment based on the job skills you have concluded are critical for success in the specific position you need to !ll and not on how a candidate has performed in another job.

 Weak performers cannot be accepted in the long run. If you have internal candidates who have demonstrated the capacity to achieve mediocrity, then you need to consider the merits of new blood. New, aggressive talent added to an established team of slow and mediocre performers can energize the entire team. The impact of new energy can cause a team to find a new life and a new vitality. Of course, the new team member may also be influenced by the lethargic old team and become mediocre, but it is less likely.

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