Retain Key Staff by Career-Pathing

Published: February 15, 2021

By: Evelyn Milani

Keep great people by being aware of promotional opportunities and inherent qualities

As a recruiter, a large majority of the candidates I interview say that they want to make a career change so they can “grow in their job”. Curious by nature, I always ask “what does growth look like for you?” Nine times out of ten, the candidate responds with “I would like to grow into a management role.” When I probe further, I usually find that the candidate really doesn’t want to become a manager but doesn’t know that there are other options available for them so they opt for a management position.

Career-pathing is an option for smart managers and companies that understand the importance of providing new challenges and growth opportunities for their staff. It is easier to back-fill a junior position and promote someone who has domain experience and has proven themselves effective and eager to learn than it is to recruit a brand new employee into a new role.

The trick is to assess the strengths and core competencies of your teams and lay the groundwork to promote your staff based on those core competencies. Consider engaging your HR department to assist you with the tools and techniques to evaluate your team. A long-time client (and friend) loved the fact that as the Service Desk Manager, her department was used as the company springboard for promotion. She hired right, and over time, her staff was tapped to promote to roles in Network Engineering, Information Security and sometimes even Application Development. The retention of great employees for that particular company is sky-high as a result of the promotional opportunities that exist.

If you are a manager, you can start by evaluating the best talent on your teams and assess the inherent qualities exist that can cross over to promotional opportunities.

Administrative Assistant or Office Manager can likely grow to a Project Coordinator/Project Manager. Inherent qualities to look for: organized, efficient, results-oriented, communicates at all levels, gets things done quickly and accurately.

Desktop Support or Service Desk can likely grow to an Application Support, Network Analyst/Network Engineer, Information Security Analyst. Inherent qualities to look for: strong problem-solving skills, analytical nature, tinkerer, root cause analysis, procedures and process-oriented, compliance.

Business Analyst or Data Analyst can likely grow to a Business Intelligence Analyst or BI Developer. Inherent qualities to look for: digs deep in disparate systems, sees patterns, analytical problem-solver, applies critical thought.

Marketing Associate can likely grow to a Product Manager. Inherent qualities to look for: understands the impact to the customer, features, messaging, cadence.

Application Support Analyst can likely grow to a Software Development role. Inherent qualities to look for: analytical, understands the business need, technical problem-solver and troubleshooter.

These are but a few examples of career-path options for people you already have in your organization or if you are seeking a new career, you may be well-suited to stay with your current company and seek out new challenges.

If Avanti can assist with your job search or help you hire high impact talent, please drop me a line! [email protected]