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Valuing Candidates' Internal Promotions When Hiring From The Outside

As a senior executive search consultant, client companies’ hiring executives provide us the career characteristics desired within the outside candidates we’re retained to identify, assess, and land.   One qualification frequently expressed by CEOs, CHROs, and their senior executives, is that, “We’re interested in candidates whose own companies’ have promoted them several times.”   


Candidates possessing a pattern of internal promotions demonstrate confidence among those who know them very well – from upper levels of bosses to peers and subordinates – for their prior results and bankable reputations to tackle critical projects, elevate their functions, and optimize a business unit’s marketplace and financial opportunities.   The search consultant’s and client’s assessment will be a mixture of the trajectory data (such as title increases), various intangible conditions, and most importantly an in-depth understanding of the circumstances within the business at the time they were promoted and how they addressed and led a new team towards desired results.   


Internal promotions and career metrics can be quantified and even graphically represented from the individual to an employer’s leadership team.  What underlies a pattern of promotions?  Making diverse and predictable contributions, facing dynamic business and market circumstances, and meeting short and long-term organizational objectives. To understand a candidate’s promotions trajectory is to appreciate their merit and how those qualifications would mesh within a potential new employer’s leadership team and the organization’s culture.

The M.E.R.I.T. in Promotions

Motivate. Mentor. Modesty.

Envision. Engage. Empower. Execute. Being Ethical.

Results. Respect. Reward Others. Resiliency. Being Realistic.

Initiative. Inspiring. Inclusive. Industrious. Having Integrity.

Teamwork. Talent. Tactful. Demonstrating Tolerance.


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