Promoting vs. Hiring – Pros, Cons and Which is Best?

When it comes time to hire for an open position within your practice, whether due to turnover or growth, you have two primary options. Recruit someone from outside or promote someone from within. There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these options, and the route you choose to take will ultimately depend on your specific situation, but here are a few things to keep in mind that may help you to make a more informed decision. 

Internal Promotion – Pros

One of the biggest advantages of hiring from within is that it improves retention, which can subsequently boost your bottom line. If you’ve established KPIs to measure your team’s performance, you’ve probably already identified those employees who are excelling and would likely be ready to take on a more challenging role. 

Internal promotion is not only beneficial for the employee being moved up the ladder, but it’s also been known to improve morale across the board. This is because when other team members see that high performance and dedication are routinely rewarded, it’ll inspire them to work harder as well. 

Promoting from within is also a more cost effective way to build your team. When you tap into your existing staff to fill new roles, you’ll save some on recruiting expenditures, like posting on job boards or working with a hiring agency. 

Lastly, having an established relationship with internal candidates can shorten the hiring process exponentially. The sooner you can fill an open role, the sooner you can be back to full force.

Internal Promotion – Cons

The most obvious downside to hiring from within is that by filling one position, you essentially open up another. So, while one job opening is filled, you’re then faced with backfilling the other one. The good news is, if the role you’re promoting from is more entry level, filling it may be easier and faster than trying to find someone for a more senior level position.

Promoting from within can also hinder the opportunity to generate and implement new ideas, since existing employees may already be set in their ways. If you’re interested in shaking things up and would like to invite new perspectives, it may make more sense to hire externally.

Another negative side effect that can arise as a result of hiring from within is that while it can motivate high performance, it can also create more competition, which can impact your practice culture. When employees feel they need to compete with each other, it can cause conflict. It can also create frustration amongst team members who may feel they’re qualified for the new position, but don’t get promoted.

Finally, an internal promotion policy can result in a sense of impatience. If employees feel they can only move up the ranks when someone else vacates a senior position, they may begin looking externally for career advancement   opportunities, which can cause you to lose great team members.

External Hiring – Pros

Even the most successful businesses can benefit from fresh new ideas and differing perspectives – especially when seeking growth initiatives. By going outside your existing team to fill open roles, you’ll enjoy access to these new perspectives and ideas. 

Another advantage of hiring externally is that doing so gives you access to a much larger pool of candidates. In many clinics, especially smaller ones, there are only a few available team members to choose from when promoting from within. Hiring externally eliminates this limitation.

Lastly, with external hiring, there is less of a chance of internal competition, conflict and resentment. Your existing team members won’t feel pressured to compete with each other, which can lead to a more positive, team-centered dynamic.

External Hiring – Cons

Leveraging external sources to fill open positions can be more costly than promoting from within. For instance, you may have to spring for advertising fees to publish your job openings. Of course, finding a great employee can make this a fine investment.

Hiring externally can also take longer than promoting from within. That being said, if you don’t have the available resources or need to fill a role quickly, working with a hiring agency can cut down on this time investment tremendously – especially one that is experienced in the veterinary field and has an existing talent pipeline.

Tapping outside sources for new team members can also impact culture, as it can be difficult to glean personality from a resume or interview. That said, partnering with a recruitment company that specializes in cultural fit, like Dream Team Elite, can eliminate this issue. 

The bottom line is, there are a number of benefits and drawbacks to both promoting from within as well as hiring externally. Weighing these pros and cons against your practice needs and goals can help you better determine which option makes the most sense for your situation. 

Still not sure whether you should tap into your existing team or look outside to fill that latest opening? Our experts can help you decide which method would be best, whether it involves us or not. Get in touch with our dream team builders today!

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