Your employees are one of your most valuable resources. Your workforce powers the daily functions of your business. It helps you to continue to expand and develop your strategic plans through the contribution of the insights and talents of your staff. That is why it is important to learn as much as possible about your employees and to know their strengths and weaknesses, along with their ability to learn and implement new skills.
Knowing your workforce also helps you identify employees who are most likely to succeed when they are promoted to new positions. There are several ways to identify these individuals. Avery Augustine, writing for “The Muse,” notes that it is more than just “meeting expectations” — it is about looking for the right attitude and a commitment to professional development. Adam Toren advocates for a strong sense of personal responsibility, as well as a solutions-oriented approach.
While these so-called “soft skills” are certainly important, when you want to know whether an employee is a good candidate for promotion, you will need to understand their skill set. Skills assessment testing should be central to any company’s employee development program. Not only do skills tests help you to better target workforce training while avoiding redundancies, but they also provide a more complete picture of your employees’ skill sets, potentially revealing candidates for advancement.
Why Promoting from Within Is Better Than Hiring from Outside
When you are looking to fill a position, you will often be faced with the question of whether to promote a current employee or hire an outside candidate. While either option can lead to a qualified candidate, there are several advantages to promoting a member of your current workforce.
First and foremost, hiring an outside candidate is generally more expensive. According to a survey by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, employers end up paying outside hires almost 20% more than internal candidates even though they generally provide worse results. These candidates are 61% more likely to be laid off or fired and 21% more likely to leave for another job.
However, there are reasons beyond the budget to prefer internal candidates to fill open positions. For instance, promoting employees goes a long way toward retaining members of your workforce. When your workers believe that they have the opportunity for career advancement, they tend to remain loyal and will work hard to position themselves as reliable, hard-working employees.
Promoting from within also offers the benefit of familiarity. With an outside hire, there are many unknowns. While you can get a sense of their abilities during the interview process through skills testing, you never know how they will fit into the workplace until they begin.
When you promote an employee, they already have a level of comfort and familiarity with the corporate culture, and they will be more likely to adapt seamlessly to their new role within the company.
How to Identify Promotion Candidates with Skills Testing
As mentioned before, skills assessment tests should be a valuable part of your company’s employee development program. Thanks to the wide range of Skills Testing available through eSkill, you can evaluate the knowledge and skill level of your employees in many different categories, which allows you to pinpoint any gaps or areas in which individuals need improvement.
Skills tests help you get to know the strengths and weaknesses of each member of your workforce, and that clear, quantifiable picture of your employees is a valuable tool in measuring the potential of each person.
This information is important for two reasons. First, knowing each employee’s strengths can help you to better tailor their responsibilities to their skill set, especially if their skill level is well above the demand of their current position. Secondly, it identifies which employees may be close to having the necessary skills for promotion, especially when they only need to bolster one or two skills to a necessary level for advancement. You may even decide to promote that employee, allowing them to focus on honing their new skills after they start in their new position.
Perhaps the most overlooked value of skills testing is that it minimizes unconscious bias when it comes to internal promotion. Because the information on eSkill’s Skills Assessment Tests provides quantitative data, it can be used as an unbiased metric for determining an employee’s abilities, separated from personal relationships and other determinants that can unconsciously color perceptions. In other words, skills tests can be a great way to level the playing field.
The Bottom Line on Promoting from Within
While it is certainly possible to find quality external candidates to fill open positions in your company, the advantages of hiring an internal candidate are clear and convincing. Not only will you likely save money by promoting from within, but you will also avoid having to bring a new employee into your existing corporate culture, which can be a hit-or-miss prospect.
Interested in Using Skills Tests to Identify Promotable Employees?
Learn more about eSkill’s library of customizable Skills Tests and the ways that they can help you identify candidates for career advancement. Request a demo today.