Promoting from Within: Don’t Just Trust Your Gut

Business HandshakeWhen it comes to employee-related issues, there’s one element you may think about, but rarely talk about: promoting or not promoting your employees from within. With many factors impacting both the company and employee outcomes, the decision to promote from within or not often feels complex. Yet, when deciding on these moves, many companies just do a quick gut check and plunge into a decision.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Using the Profile XT assessment tool, your company can make the smartest decisions about promoting from within. Many think of applying this type of assessment tool only when making new hires, but the beauties also lie in its flexibility, strength and usefulness when promoting your current employees to higher positions within the company.

Consider the data from the book, Good to Great by Jim Collins: of the 11 “great” companies’ leaders, 10 had been promoted from within. Mr. Collins is also credited with coining the comment “get the right people on the bus.” Now more than ever, it’s important to use objective data to make employee-related decisions.

Big picture, consider these points on promoting from within or not:

– Promoting from within a company boosts morale and helps keep productivity high.

– New employees can see the potential for growth when your company promotes from within.

– If your employees know there is a potential career path within the organization, you are less likely to lose promising staff to another organization.

– Employees are more likely to take advantage of organizational training and educational opportunities if they know these activities can improve their chances of promotion.

– Companies often completely underestimate the time it takes for new employees to get up to speed when they don’t or can’t promote from within.

– After two years, the performance reviews of the external hires caught up to the internal promotes, but, sometimes a new employee has already moved on or gotten laid off before hitting that mark.

– Outside hires’ strengths often depend to a large extent on their former firms’ resources, their networks and their colleagues. There are some exceptions, like when star employees moved together with their teams and switched to much better firms as a group.


When deciding to promote from within or not, contact us to discuss the Profile XT assessment tool. It’s tough to resist the allure of a superstar, and it’s challenging for businesses to build up a pipeline of employees who are suitable for promotion. Owners and managers should know the pros and cons of bringing in talent from the outside and that, sometimes, it can pay to nurture and promote from within.

For more information on promoting from within using the Profile XT assessment tool, contact us today.

The Cost of Making the Wrong Hire

services1As your company grows, the imperative to build your team with new and productive members becomes a top priority. Hiring the right person is a process that takes a plan, a system, and The Profile XT® tool that you can use in the interview process.

The cost of making the wrong hire can only be detrimental to your company. While the adage that it is better to hire too soon rather than too late is true, the path to hiring needs to be a clear one which avoids the cost of making the wrong choice.

According to a survey conducted by Career Builder, 41% of companies say that a bad hire in the last year has cost them at least $25,000. This statistic is alarming for businesses everywhere. Typically, businesses feel that a loss of money is the worst result of making the wrong hire. However, when speaking about the “costs” of making a wrong hire, a lot more than money can be lost.

Hiring the wrong individual can be detrimental to your business because of the potential loss in productivity. The amount of time managers and HR professionals spend training the wrong hire can interfere with time that could have been used to accomplish other tasks. Career Builder also reported that 40% of companies lost time due to recruiting and training another employee.

It is important to consider your current employees, as well. The company’s culture can be negatively affected when a wrong hire joins your team. According to a survey conducted by Robert Half, 60% of hiring managers and HR professionals said bad hires do not get along with current employees. Ninety-five percent of financial executives surveyed agreed that a bad hire can somewhat affect the morale of a team. Again the question arises: do you have a process, system, and assessment tool to promote from within?

The hiring process can also be strenuous at times, so strenuous that businesses often seek professional consulting to assist with hiring. Jeff Miller has a reputation for counseling businesses on best practices. His years of experience as a business coach and hiring professional can help guide you through the process to ensure that you’re making the extra effort to acquire the best talent. To get started, please tell us a little more about yourself and we’ll set up a time to start the conversation.

The Hiring Process

hiring process“Hiring the right people takes time, the right questions and a healthy dose of curiosity. What do you think is the most important factor when building your team?”  – Richard Branson in, “Hiring the Right People”

So what is the most important factor when building your team? Maybe it’s experience, dedication, personality or a combination. Recruiting is a skill that is handled by a Human Resources department in larger companies. For growing companies or those just starting out, you can save time, money and stress by using our assessment tools to help find the right candidate.

What are assessment tools?

Assessments help you uncover consistent, objective information about yourself and your employees’ needs that enable you to make smarter hiring decisions moving forward.

Using the PXT Assessment Tool, we can measure how well an individual fits specific jobs in your organization. The “job matching” feature of the PXT is unique, enabling you to evaluate an individual relative to the qualities required to successfully perform in a specific job. It’s used throughout the employee life cycle for selection, employee orientation, managing, and strategic workforce planning.

When business suddenly picks up, it’s tempting to rush into posting a job ad, or worse, hire someone who turns out to be the wrong fit for your company. Take the time to detail your needs, assess the requirements and expectations of the position, as well as setting future goals. By doing so, you’re opening up the possibility to hire internally––which saves you money––while eliminating a large pool of applicants.

Are you asking the right questions? There’s no better way to find out information, but if you’re asking the wrong questions, you may end up with a jaded view of the applicant. Try mixing informal questions with more difficult, work-related questions that pertain to your needs. By doing this, you’re making an assessment from all angles, not just professional. Keep in mind that you should be asking current employees similar questions––this helps give an idea of what is needed from a new applicant.

Have you ever wondered what new employees think of your company? Hopefully they have as good of an impression of it as you do. When hiring, don’t just sell the job, sell the company. Give applicants an idea of what you’re all about––culture, office environment, benefits––so they know what to expect coming in.

Lastly, stay focused. If you want to attract top applicants, cast a wide net but also know where to look. Using social media is a great way to attract talent. LinkedIn, for example, allows employers to reach a large number of people but in a very controlled way. This year, spend less time sifting through countless resumes and focus your search from the start.

Hiring is a major process of the business cycle.  Let it be a means to increasing your company’s growth. Along with the Assessment Tool for hiring, it’s never a bad idea to consult an expert to guide you through the process. Jeff Miller has years of experience as a business coach and can help guide you through the process. Please tell us a little more about yourself and we’ll set up a time to start the conversation.

Three ways to successfully grow your business

Costello: Well, then who’s playing first?
Abbott: Yes.
Costello: I mean the fellow’s name on first base.
Abbott: Who.
Costello: The fellow playin’ first base.
Abbott: Who.
Costello: The guy on first base.
Abbott: Who is on first.
Costello: I throw the ball to first base, whoever it is grabs the ball, so the guy runs to second. Who picks up the ball and throws it to what. What throws it to I don’t know. I don’t know throws it back to tomorrow–a triple play….”


There may not be a more classic and beloved comedy sketch than Abbott & Costello’s “Who’s on First.” In the business arena, however, the sketch’s comedic outcome is not so funny. Unchecked and chaotic growth has led many an organization, large and small, into the dead end/crash-and-burn reality that without structure, there can be no sustainable growth.

With that in mind, consider the following three essentials for successful growth:

1. Developing an Organization Chart

An accurate and up-to-date Organization Chart is essential for businesses to grow in a coordinated, planned, and structurally sound fashion. It is one of the first projects we work on with new clients.

Understanding who does what, who reports to whom, and what the lines of communications are is how growth happens in a functional and progressive way. It is the true road map of understanding the path you are currently on and what the milestones along the way will be.

What’s really interesting is that for the most part, all organizations are structured the same. We all have operations, sales and marketing, accounting, office management and administrative tasks and responsibilities. The boxes in our charts are the same.  In the case of small businesses, it becomes even more critical to ask— how many times and in what boxes is his or her name? It becomes quite revealing when that visual goes up on the wall. Only when you see all the functions you are preforming and how many boxes your name is in, can the path to growth shed some of its haziness and clarity set in.

2. Developing Job Descriptions

Once the Organization Chart is complete, the next step for true growth is developing job descriptions (sometimes referred to as position contracts) for every position.  In his book, Three Signs of a Miserable Job, Pat Lencioni makes the compelling case that feelings of irrelevance, anonymity, and most importantly, a lack of accountability are what define professional unhappiness.  Job descriptions are key to addressing all three, particularly the latter.

Job descriptions clearly defines the job and who reports to whom, further reinforcing the proper lines of communication, and it also allows for the development of a performance matrix or key performance indicators. Job descriptions should also address how each position 1) makes the business money and/or improves efficiency, or 2) costs in money/efficiencies. Perhaps most critically, job descriptions address and set team expectations.

3. Implementing Hiring Assessments and Tools

At the end of the day, any company is only as strong as the team running it — from the CEO down to the last box on the organization chart. And the reality of today’s world is that hiring a mistake and having that person leave or be terminated will cost you a minimum of $25,000 in money, time and training. Implementing the right hiring assessment will help ensure that you’re developing a team that is the best fit for your organization. Here’s why:

A recent Harvard University study found that companies who use psychometric job matching assessments (such as ProfilesXT) on job candidates during the hiring process secured a 75 percent success rate. More traditional methods such as interviewing or resume checking garnered much lower success rates (10 percent and 26 percent, respectively).

Beyond the hiring process, assessments are a critical part in the arc of responsible, planned, and structurally sound growth. Jim Collin argues in From Good to Great that it is not only critical to have the “right people on the bus,” but also to make sure they are sitting in the right seat. Have you experienced having a great employee who has bought into the corporate culture and is a great team member, but is underperforming? That person is probably sitting in the wrong seat. An assessment that might allow for a strategic repositioning of that person within the company can be quite powerful. They also allow for more growth from within.

In closing, there is no safety in staying static. This point cannot be understated and is true both for individuals and for business organizations. In reality, one could argue that in business there is no static position. There is constant change, which leads either to contraction or growth. Costello’s final comment is “I don’t care” to which Abbott replies, “He’s our shortstop!”  Be sure to keep the bases on your company covered with the right team member, no matter what their names are.