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When filling open roles, what is your company’s hiring approach?


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from over 240,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

When filling open roles, what is your company’s hiring approach?

  • We always try hard to hire and fill from within first: 66%
  • We give a cursory look within but often hire externally: 28%
  • We never look at internal talent and always go external: 6%

You’ve got the talent, but are they ready? A significant portion of your hires are coming from within. The obvious benefits here are the person is a known quantity and they fit with your culture. The unknown we forget to consider and prepare for is they are an unknown quality in terms of how they’ll perform at the next level. Just because they were a good individual contributor, that doesn’t mean they’ll be a good manager. Nor a good manager a good director, and so on. What are you doing today to prepare these leaders for tomorrow? Training and developing them after you’ve put them in the new role might be too late. Don’t just build a succession plan and leave it at that. Actively find development and skill building opportunities for these next-generation leaders before you put them in that next level role.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He’s the author of three leadership books: “One Piece of Paper,” “Lead Inside the Box” and “The Elegant Pitch.”