VP of Marketing: The Risks of Promoting Internally

VP of Marketing

The dominant wisdom in hiring says that it is always better to hire internally. And while there are certainly advantages to promoting an existing employee, there are disadvantages as well. Plus, there are distinct benefits that come from making an outside hire. Here are a few factors you should consider before committing to a candidate:

  • No Reputation – If you hire internally, your new VP already has a reputation within your company. It may be a positive one, but no one is loved universally. Old grudges and gripes could create friction when the new VP tries to lead the efforts of people who used to be co-workers.
  • More Respect – Unfamiliarity with an outside hire has the added benefit of conferring your new VP with respect starting on day one. Your employees are more likely to listen closely and buy-in to someone they don’t know and are eager to impress.
  • Less Drama – When you promote from within, you often end up picking one person over another, or many others. That understandably leads to bitterness on the part of the losing candidate(s). That bitterness can quickly lead to resentment, disengagement, office drama, and turnover. Your recruiting strategy may have the unintended effect of throwing your staff into turmoil.
  • New Perspectives – Someone from outside your organization brings with them a fresh perspective on your clients, industry, and operating model. That can quickly revitalize organizations that are currently stuck in a rut. An inside hire is more likely to focus on ideas you’ve already tried or rejected.
  • More Selection – You probably only have a few current employees you would consider for the VP position, and they might all have glaring deficiencies. Focusing your search externally gives you access to a much larger pool of candidates, and allows you to look for professionals who perfectly match your profile of the ideal VP.
  • Fewer Interruptions – Promoting from within may streamline your VP search, but in the process opens up another hole in your staff. That vacancy will put your in a compromised position until it’s filled, and probably force you to recruit externally to find a replacement. This kind of interruption is especially unwelcome when you’re trying to grow your business and improve the way you operate.

This list highlights one of the paradoxes of recruiting: The obvious or expected staffing decision is not always the right one. The companies that consistently excel at recruiting are not the ones that fall back on tradition and subscribe to tired HR strategies. They are the ones bold enough to commit to a dynamic talent search.

The good news is that an external executive search doesn’t have to be time or labor intensive when you have a partner in the process. Rely on the resources and expertise of Artemis Consultants to help you find your next VP.

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