With over 25 years of experience in HR, I’ve seen firsthand the benefits and challenges of promoting from within a small business. Let’s dive into what this process looks like, and how to effectively manage it.


Understanding the Concept of Promotion from Within

Promoting from within is a strategy used by many businesses to fill higher-level positions in their current workforce. It recognises the value and potential of existing employees.


The Pros and Cons of Internal Promotions

Every decision in business has its advantages and drawbacks, and internal promotions are no exception.


Benefits of Promoting from Within

Cost and Time Effective: Hiring from within saves on recruitment costs and reduces the time spent on the hiring process.

Boosts Morale: It can significantly boost employee morale and motivation, demonstrating that hard work and loyalty are rewarded.


Disadvantages of Promoting from Within

Limited Perspectives: It might limit the influx of fresh ideas and perspectives that new hires could bring.

Creates Vacancies: While it fills a higher position, it leaves a vacancy at the lower level.




The Role of HR in Facilitating Promotions from Within

As an HR consultant, I’ve played a crucial role in facilitating internal promotions.

Identifying Potential Candidates – HR’s role is crucial in spotting talents within the organization and grooming them for higher positions.

Developing Employee Skills for Future Positions – Through training and development programs, HR can equip employees with the necessary skills for their potential roles.

Managing the Internal Promotion Process – HR oversees the process, ensuring it’s fair, transparent, and devoid of favouritism.


Case Studies: Successful Internal Promotions in Small Businesses

Real-life examples can better illustrate the impact of internal promotions.

Case Study 1

Company A, a small tech startup, regularly invests in its employees’ skills development. This led to their junior developer eventually becoming their lead engineer.

Case Study 2

Company B, a family-run business, promoted their accountant to financial manager, recognizing his in-depth understanding of their financial workings.


internal promotion


Making the Decision: When to Promote from Within

Knowing when to promote from within can be tricky. Look at factors such as the individual’s performance, potential, and the company’s current needs.


Here are my top three tips to improve your internal promotion strategy:

  • Establish a clear career path for employees
  • Regularly provide feedback and training
  • Make the promotion process transparent


Promoting from within is a powerful strategy for small businesses. However, it needs to be done right, with a focus on fairness, transparency, and development.

Remember, the key is to balance the need for growth with the need to reward and retain your best talent.


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