Internal promotions: What do businesses look for?

There are many benefits to an external hire – new ideas, fresh perspectives and an added dimension to the business. However, the process of finding another employee from outside the company is becoming trickier, further highlighting the trend towards internal promotions.

With this in mind, businesses have to create a fine balance between not affecting the productivity of the team and promoting the right person. Get this wrong and it could upset workforce morale and slow business processes down.

This was recently the subject of a Robert Half Management survey of 200 advertising executives. Researchers asked the respondents what factors they considered when promoting professionals to management positions.

Based on the results, the majority (53 per cent) indicated that they search for candidates who show strong motivational or leadership skills. This factor was by far the most common with the next consideration, interpersonal or soft skills, only registering with 19 per cent of those polled.

Other responses included strategic business expertise (13 per cent) and technical expertise (8 per cent). It was interesting to note that just because someone had spent a lot of time at the business didn't mean they were more likely to be promoted. Just 7 per cent noted this as a major factor in their decision.

Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group, explained that leadership positions require someone with many skills.

"Being an effective manager means more than giving orders and making sure projects are completed on time," she said in a February 5 media statement.

"Leaders must inspire their teams and boost employee engagement to steer their companies to greater heights."

Leadership is usually a strength that develops over time, so professionals not showing true potential now still need to be considered. Investigate what people do well and relate this to the overall needs of the organisation.

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