Canadian Treasurer

August 8, 2012

New survey indicates less than one-third of management positions filled from within  

TORONTO -- To fill management positions, companies are more likely to look for talent outside rather than within their own ranks, a new survey from Robert Half Management Resources suggests. Chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed said that, on average, 29 percent of management roles in their departments were filled by internal candidates.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Management Resources, provider of senior-level finance, accounting and business systems professionals on a project and interim basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and includes responses from 270 CFOs from a stratified random sample of Canadian companies with 20 or more employees.

CFOs were asked, “What percentage of managerial positions within your accounting and finance department are filled by candidates who were promoted from within?”

The mean response was 29 percent.

David King, Canadian president of Robert Half Management Resources noted that 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 organisations, along with the resources they invested in hiring and training these professionals.”

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

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

2.       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.

3.       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.

4.       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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