Should You Hire Externally or Promote from Within?  

Hire externally or promote internally?

Should You Hire Externally or Promote from Within?  

When you look around your teams, you know who your star performers are. Those you can rely on, who find solutions rather than problems, and just crack on with the job rather than finding reasons not to. Of course, these colleagues are likely on your radar for promotion.  

If you have people in your team who are the polar opposite of this, then hopefully, you’re already addressing it. However, there are most likely colleagues or team members who sit somewhere in between. They are no problem in the business, they do their job perfectly well, but you aren’t sure whether they are ready for the next step. 

It’s one of the oldest management dilemmas. Do you promote from within or hire externally?  

What’s your preference?  

If you are growing your business and looking to recruit or replace talent, then it’s worth asking yourself the following questions: 

  • Looking at your team, are you comfortable with your current staff positions? 
  • Have you had conversations with your team members to find out if they are comfortable and what their ambitions are? 
  • What is more important to you – loyalty and stability or bringing in new ideas and talent? 

Alongside considering these questions, maybe your mindset is influencing your decisions. Have you had your fingers burnt with recruiting externally before, so much so, you always prefer to promote from within? Maybe you’re finding it too difficult to find the right people or the most skilled, exciting talent to join your team, so you find it less risky to stick with what (and who) you know. 

There is a lot to unpack here. Let’s focus on a couple of the key points. 

Understand staff motivations 

This picks up on the question ‘are your staff comfortable in their positions’? You might feel they are happy and comfortable, but there could be any number of things going on. Perhaps they are struggling and barely keeping their head above water. Or they could be too comfortable and not feel challenged enough, but not see areas for development. These colleagues could be discreetly looking elsewhere for their next move. 

Take the time to understand each team member’s current situation, whether they are looking for additional responsibilities, training, or content with their current role. 

After having these conversations, if you feel staff engagement is lacking, start considering what rewards and training programmes you could introduce to help develop your staff. After all, if you can avoid external recruitment and training costs, why wouldn’t you invest in your existing team? 

Be careful of preferential treatment

If you are confident in your decision to recruit externally, then go for it. Job vacancies are at an all-time high, and plenty of candidates are on the market as our collective confidence is being restored. However, keep in mind that because there is a high level of competition for the best staff you need to offer an appealing package to attract the best people.  

Starting salaries are also increasing across all industry sectors in a bid to woo candidates. The knock-on effect of this is that preferential treatment alienates existing colleagues. A recent survey reported in Global Recruiter magazine showed that nearly half of employees had witnessed new hires receiving preferential treatment over the last 18 months.  

Worryingly, almost half (45%) say they have discovered that a new hire is getting paid more than them for comparable work.  

These grievances are prompting existing colleagues to resign and move elsewhere. If this happens, you are essentially filling a leaking bucket. Ensure you have a level playing field and avoid treating new staff members better than your existing team. This doesn’t just apply to starting salaries. Think about your wider package, including rewards, training and benefits. 

Improve your staff attraction 

If you want to both motivate your existing staff and attract the best talent on the market, you need to stand out. You need to show how much you truly value your employees in terms of their input, loyalty, and overall health and well-being. Essentially, you need to show you care. 

Introducing a rewards and benefits programme that offers incentives such as discounts at high street stores, fuel cards and fuel discounts (who wouldn’t appreciate this right now!), online GP services, mental health hotlines, discounted gyms, free eye tests and so on could make a significant difference.  

It’s a genuine way to show you think about your staff beyond the hours they are with you. You value their well-being and want to give something back to thank them for their loyalty, regardless of whether they have been with you for 2 months or 20 years.   

Contact Remus Rewards to discuss employee rewards and well-being packages. 

Remus Rewards

Remus Rewards, a division of People Value Limited, is an REC, FCSA and APSCo Business Partner, a TEAM Service Provider and a market leading provider of reward and loyalty solutions. We specialise in providing solutions to the contractor and temporary labour market across the UK. By using our cloud based reward technology, businesses can improve their proposition, performance and increase engagement, morale and loyalty. Take advantage of savings on high street shopping, including 7 major supermarkets, eating out, special rate cinema tickets, discounted gym memberships and our Fuel Card which offers discounted fuel at over 35% of the UK motorway service stations.