The business world is a fast moving beast. Things change, job roles develop and people move around. As we go through this process, it’s likely that we will experience an age old career dilemma. Do we chase the next big opportunity when a carrot is dangled or do we develop and grow with an organisation that we have invested time getting to know?
I suppose an important factor in this depends less on what you are doing now, and more about which company or organisation you are doing it for. Some may question if you stay in one place, are you developing, growing and adapting? Or standing still? For the purpose of the thought, let's assume it fits the positive profile - developing, growing and adapting.
So what I find strange is when companies are in growth mode, they do not adopt a philosophy of; better the devil you know. By this I mean giving priority of an opportunity to the people you already have within the organisation and making sure people that chose to stay, are not standing still.
All things being equal, an internal candidate should have the same chances as an external candidate. However, in my opinion, internal candidates take precedence, they deserve the first shot at opportunity. It just makes sense. They know the company and the company knows them. It sends a strong message to the rest of the team about loyalty and development. Granted, it’s not without its risks. You take a punt with an internal candidate that they will step up to the challenge. You commit to assisting their development and coaching them to the next step on the career ladder. With external candidates you won’t need that degree of coaching but time will instead be invested in teaching them about your business. Its visions, values, history and future direction. So which is easier to teach?
I had my first job running a dealership at 25 because someone took a punt on me. I hope I made it pay off so it’s a shame it seems to be more the exception now. Perhaps because we are too caught up in ‘experience’. I can’t count the number of times I heard “they haven’t got enough experience”. That’s just a cop out. Yes, taking a punt on the ‘devil you know’ can be risky but I can list more examples where it has been the right decision and created a loyal, driven team member than where it didn’t pay off. Loyalty that lasts 25 years or longer in many cases.
Our doors are by no means closed to new talent though. At our current rate of growth, it would be impossible to fill all our vacancies internally. We are moving into new territories and replacing a lot of agency support by creating highly skilled in-house teams, so if a job does get advertised externally, rest assured the playing field is certainly a level and equal one. Plus once you’re in our team, we are committed to developing team members and creating great opportunities for career development. Our graduate programme has also bought it some real innovators with a fresh take on things.
So while we are avid believers in better the devil you know, the number one team is a diverse and varied talent pool, one that I’m particularly proud of. Do you believe in better the devil you know?