Does moving up mean moving on?

Less than one-third of management roles in finance filled from within, according to survey of CFOs
||Last Updated: 08/14/2012

When it comes to filling empty desks in management ranks in the finance department, employers are more likely to look outside the company for talent, according to a recent survey of Canadian CFOs.

On average, CFOs said 29 per cent of management roles in the accounting and finance departments were filled by internal candidates, found the survey of 270 CFOs at firms with at least 20 employees by Robert Half Management Resources.

David King, Canadian president of Robert Half Management Resources, said external searches are essential when roles call for skills and experience that don't currently exist in the company. However, a continued inability to promote from within could indicate deeper problems, such as inadequate training and a lack of knowledge transfer among staff.

"Companies that regularly overlook internal talent for promotions are likely to put staff morale and retention at risk," King said. "Senior managers should take the time to groom future successors. Otherwise, they may lose skilled talent to other organizations, along with the resources they invested in hiring and training these professionals."

Grooming the next generation of leaders

Robert Half Management Resources offered the following tips for grooming the next generation of leaders:

Begin with the interview: Evaluate every candidate for management qualities and potential, even for non-management openings. Hire with a long-term mindset.

Expand the review process: Solicit input from other departments when conducting performance reviews. This will give you insight into the employee's performance and reputation with colleagues outside your immediate chain of command.

Manage expectations: Be open with staff about opportunities for advancement and what skills and experience they need to reach the next level. Provide clear, honest feedback on a consistent basis.

Invest in training: Ongoing professional development is a "need to have," not a "nice to have" for companies that are serious about retaining employees and promoting from within.

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