How To Promote Internally (And Why)

“I didn’t see that job advertised. Seems like the boss’s pet got the job.”

“I wish someone told me why I didn’t get that job in the supply chain department. I thought the interview went very well. They just dropped me an email to say I was unsuccessful even though I work in the same building with them. Why can’t someone talk to me?”

These are some of the comments that you would have heard around your workplace. If you are a manager, you would not like to hear these comments or have disgruntled employees.

This article is written as a guide to help make internal promotion more transparent and fair.

There are a number of great reasons to promote internally

  • The promoted employees are able to pick up their new responsibilities faster as they are familiar with how things get done in the organisation.
  • They will have a proven track record of cultural fit.
  • It helps in development and retention of talent.
  • It adds to the reputation for the organisation as a great employer.
  • How do you make an internal promotion transparent and fair?

Always advertise the position internally

Advertise the position publicly and allow enough time for people to apply for the job. If you
make it a token box ticking exercise, employees will know that straight up. Advertise with
the right intention and be open minded about the potential candidates.

Invite all candidates for an interview

Make sure all candidates have a fair and equal opportunity to put their case forward. That means you will need to conduct similarly structured interviews and interact with candidates equally. Employees are not fools and will know if the interview is genuine or if it is a facade.

Get feedback on your preferred candidate

Before you make the final decision ask for feedback from trusted peers or senior leaders who have interacted with your candidate. This gives you fresh perspective and may yield some
interesting insights about the employee. Make sure you evaluate your decision in lightof these insights and are comfortable that you are hiring the best person for the job. In
reality, there may be instances where internal politics favour one candidate over the other.

Do your best to make the right decision within these constraints by putting forward a well thought out case for your preferred candidate. Hopefully, that will win the day. If not,
you will have to be pragmatic about the decision while ensuring you have built in some safeguards to make the appointment work for you as the hiring manager.

Give feedback to all applicants

Consider what you would tell the unsuccessful candidates. Provide them with constructive
insights. This way they are clear about what they should improve on to develop their careers.
It may seem a waste of time to you. But your reputation will be enhanced and you will gain
the goodwill of others through your actions.

Support the new appointee

As a hiring manager, the new appointee’s success is your success. Ensure that you
support them by providing mentoring and training. Build their confidence to excel in their
new role.

As you can see, promoting internally does take some time and effort. Doing it in a transparent and fair manner will enhance your reputation as a good leader. You’ll also have the benefit of committed employees who will work well for you.

Good luck with the next internal promotion!

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