Should you promote from within your small business or hire from the outside? That’s a question you’ll probably face at some time – if you haven’t already – as your business grows or if someone leaves creating a vacancy. While your inclination may be to explore candidates outside the business, there are a lot of reasons to look at those on board.
For starters, hiring from within can save you a lot of time as well as money since you may need to advertise or use a professional recruiter. More important for the long run is the message you send to your team about opportunity. When you demonstrate your commitment to providing a career path, you’ll find your team more enthusiastic, more loyal and more inclined to give their all to help your small business get ahead.
There are other advantages to promoting from within. An employee is already familiar with your small business policies and procedures – anywhere from HR issues to the use of personal mobile devices or flexible working — so there is no time lost on an orientation process. Also current employees have already established relationships within the company and understand your core values, which avoids disruptions that are bound to occur as someone new integrates into the company.
Promoting from within requires having the right people in place when opportunities arise. Here are some things to consider to be prepared:
Hire the right people: In order to hire from within you need to have the right people on board. Spend whatever time it takes for your recruitment effort. Make sure your advertisements are on target, clearly identifying what the tasks are and what qualifications and experience you require. Make sure styles and temperament or personality fit with your culture. As an example, an individual contributor will not fit well into a very team-oriented, collaborative work environment.
Identify potential: Evaluate the team you have in terms of drive, desire to learn and take on more responsibility and interest in the business. Find out what motivates these individuals, what plans they have for their growth, and how they see their role in your small business. These are people in particular you want to nurture by providing encouragement and guidance. Look for opportunities to challenge these individuals and find special assignments where they can hone their skills so they are ready to step up when you need them to.
Special training: Training should be an ongoing initiative at your small business to keep (see: Training your small business team within your budget). Certain individuals who have potential to take on more responsibility running the business as you grow may need additional or specialized training, whether it’s in a technical area or leadership. Make sure to provide whatever is necessary.
There are times when you may have to look outside the company to fill a position for specialized skills and experience. But in the long run, it pays to nurture your team and promote from within to build a strong and lasting culture.