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Hiring the "Perfect" Candidate or Promoting From Within?

Many times we’ve witnessed how owners can get fixated on finding the perfect candidate. They spend countless hours looking for someone who may not even exist because their expectations are too high for the skills and experience actually needed to do the job correctly. Possibly overlooking talent right in front of them.

We’ve found that the best results come from promoting from within; providing advancement opportunities to current employees, as well as providing leadership development training for them. Below we’ll go over the main factors on whether you should continue searching for the perfect candidate or if you should promote from within the organization.


The cost associated with finding candidates, conducting interviews, and on-boarding/training is significantly more compared promoting from within. When promoting a current employee to a higher leadership role, the main cost associated is providing the necessary training for the skills they will need for the new position.


Similar to the cost of finding the ideal candidate, the time required is significantly more compared to promoting from within. Time associated with recruiting ideal candidates, interviews, trial periods, and on-boarding is significant.

It does take time to train and develop the necessary skills in current employees, however when compared to searching for the perfect candidate, it is much more productive. Even if for some reason, no one could fill the position, you have developed the skills of your current employees. They will be capable of that much more in their current position. Overall, the time has a net positive impact on another individual.


When training a current employee, there is flexibility in the roles they can fulfill. It can be possible to have them switch between the current role and some time on their new position. This provides some flexibility so there is time to find the right person for their old position.

On top of this, several employees can be given trial tasks for the new position. This way, you can test to see who actually works best in the position. This allows you to go deeper than hiring a new employee, because you can actually test to see how well they do in a given role - allowing you to pick the best person for the position.

Familiarity With The Company

One thing that is going to take time to develop when bringing on a new hire is their familiarity with the company. When promoting from within, the values of the company have already been engrained in the employee. They know the best way to represent the company, how things work, and what it is like to work in the positions they now manage; something you just can’t get by bringing on someone new to fill the position.

Advancement Potential & Employee Loyalty

When a leadership development program is in place, and employees have advancement potential, they are more likely to stay with the company for a long time. They see there is a future with the company, and that the company also cares about helping them develop new skills and become better over time.

This can go a long way; both in productivity and quality, along with their loyalty to the company. If the company focuses on finding the perfect candidate instead of spending the money on developing their current workforce, the company doesn’t provide advancement opportunities for employees - and ultimately they see higher turnover because employees become bored or don’t feel like they are getting anywhere and leave.

So Should You Focus On Hiring The Perfect Candidate, Or Should You Focus On Employee Development And Promoting From Within?

This is a personal call, and varies from position to position. In general, our recommendation is to help your current employees develop their skills so they can fill the higher positions. Create a training or development program to help your employees get better over time and encourage them to push their boundaries. The results go beyond your bottom line - your company is bringing people up and helping them develop as a individual.