Business owners and key executives are always looking for good talent and often ask if I would refer potential candidates. Although I ultimately agree to keep my eyes peeled for such talent, my mind always wanders to the question, “Why not simply promote from within?”

This is actually a misnomer. One either promotes an existing employee (promoting from within) or one hires an external candidate to fill a position (promoting without?). So, we’re really talking about promoting key employees versus hiring externally to fill a vacancy.

I’m a big fan of promoting employees. When properly planned and executed, it works wonders for employee morale and customer loyalty. It is less risky and less costly, especially compared to external hires that end up being a poor fit.


Need more reasons? Employees already know your customers, your values, and how the organization works. There’s tremendous value stored in the institutional memory. External candidates generally have no idea about these factors and may never fully adapt to your culture. Employees who see the potential for growth within the organization are more loyal to the organization and convey their feelings to customers. Conversely, employees who only see a dead end send negative vibes to customers.