In the past two weeks, I have been sharing my insight on the recruitment challenges of growth companies. In part 3 of the series, I discuss the benefits of promoting internally:
3. Promote don’t hire
As the organisation grows, new roles and positions must be created. These generally fall into two categories.
First are those roles that demand some specialist competence and experience that is not found within the existing workforce.
Second are those positions that are essentially more senior management roles for functions that already exist, albeit in emergent form, and where some basic competence already resides in the organisation. In this context, consider promotion over hiring.
Ambitious, self-starting, driven young individuals are drawn to start-ups precisely because there is an opportunity to assume responsibility, pioneer a role, and simply ‘do stuff’. The self-learning opportunity is immense. Passion trumps experience. These individuals are what make start-ups tick. In many ways, they define the culture. They should be encouraged and rewarded.
In many cases, they may already be fulfilling the part, if not all, of the role you envisage. Give them the role before you give them the title. When they demonstrate the ability, talent, and energy to go further, promote them. That is the reward for working in a start-up – to gain more experience faster.
Find them mentors that can support them in tackling their most critical challenges. Look for mentors in your ‘circle’, and that includes tapping members of your board. While they won’t play the role themselves, ask them to suggest someone in their network. Get them to pull a favour. Mentoring works. Use it.