Myth of the Month Dec 19: Hiring for Tomorrow

Ok: this isn’t a myth, it’s a little bit of expensive thinking.


Quite often, when we’re talking with MDs and Chief Execs about the need to bring someone new on board, we hear comments like:

‘let’s bring her on as Lead Engineer and if she’s good we’ll look to making her Engineering Manager in a year’s time’


‘we like to promote from within and Jim’s been our top salesperson for three years running so we want to make him Sales Director’.

Why is that expensive?

  • Because the attributes of a good engineer are quite different from those of an engineering manager: ditto salesperson from sales manager. So: what makes them good at their present role is a completely different set of attributes to the ones they’ll need in their new leadership role.
  • Because even if you’ve used personality assessments or other diagnostics to make sure the person you want to promote has the requisite traits for the post you’re promoting them into (and far too many organisation’s don’t do this, to their cost), they have no experience in that role so they’re going to learn it on your dollar – making potentially expensive mistakes; taking longer to deliver than someone who has already worked out what the role requires and cut their teeth elsewhere.


We’re not saying don’t do it: we’re saying don’t assume it’s a cheaper or safer option. Especially if your business is growing fast, you may not have the time to take this approach without it impacting negatively on your bottom line. It may be a better decision to find a good external candidate who, although probably more expensive, can eat for breakfast the role you need them to fill.

Getting the ‘right’ hire into a small business is critical – especially if you’re hiring in preparation or response to significant growth. If you would like to use diagnostics to assess a candidate’s personality, ability or emotional intelligence, giving you a much better chance of getting the right person and avoiding a wrong ‘un, give us a shout: we’d be happy to have a no-obligation discussion.