bearded man adjusting his tie hoping to be hired internally

Hiring is often cited as one of the most challenging parts of growing a business. When it comes to building your business dream team, right people-right seat decisions are rarely black and white.

For example: when a new position is created, it’s quite common to have a “right person” on your existing team. This person shares your core values and really wants the opportunity, but falls short on getting it or having the capacity to deliver what the position requires. The question becomes: should you invest time and resources to develop that person or fill the position with someone outside your team?

Isn’t the answer obvious?

Should You Hire Internally?

Many business owners and managers might argue that this is a no-brainer. Opportunities for advancement should always go to the right people who are already on your team, right? Filling a seat with someone who has exhibited core values alignment must be better than starting with someone you don’t know. And moving someone internally may create an opportunity for another person on your team. Shouldn’t that be considered? Don’t you run the risk of losing good team members by not offering them the opportunities?

Slow down. Before racing into important people decisions, consider doing three things that will increase the probability of better outcomes:

Define the offering

Clarify the following aspects of the position:

  • Functional responsibilities for the seat
  • Measurables that must be delivered
  • Support and compensation that you will provide

Make sure you know exactly what you need from the seat and when you need it. Clarify your window of tolerance or the time you need to get someone fully functioning in the seat without compromising your vision. Aim to hire and develop someone within that window of tolerance.

Post the opportunity

Post the position both internally and externally to produce a list of viable candidates. Then follow the same careful hiring process with each candidate, internal or external, to select the best person for the position. Be sure that your choice is based on shared vision and GWC, not feelings of entitlement.


Put your development plan into action to verify that you have the right person in the right seat within the timeframe initially specified.

Hire the Best People

To achieve a great vision, you must get really good at filling your bench with great players. Every business is competing with you to hire the best people. The three actions above will position you to make better decisions for your business. And when you’re competing for people outside your current team, these steps will help you to win more recruiting contests.

These three steps are simple, but you must slow down and do the work within each step. When you don’t take time to do the work, you will likely make decisions that will cost you thousands of dollars, and maybe your business.