Quality hiring is essential to client and agency success. It is normal to want to hire staff the team can get along with. I believe it is critical that team members share the same organizational beliefs and values but a strong team consists of team members who challenge and complement each other. A team of “Yes Men” is prepped for failure. Team members should bring different strengths, experiences, and skill sets to the company and not consist of carbon copies of each other. Creativity and innovation cannot exist in a stale work environment.
As you know by now, March is National Social Work Month. In the field of Social Work (as in most other human services professions) remaining with a company for a significant amount of times generally leads to a promotion. It’s pretty safe to say that if you stay with an agency (or even in a career field) long enough you will rise up the ranks. (I believe this contributes to the numerous continuing education ‘supervision’ courses.) There are pros and cons of this hiring practice.
There are benefits to companies when hiring from within:
- Less costly and shortens the hiring time
- Staff person knows the work and understands the client base
- Staff person already has relationships with the team
- There is already an awareness of the culture of the organization
- Decreased need for training on office policies and procedures
Some of the cons to promoting internally include:
- Transition may be difficult for new manager and team (friendships and boundaries)
- New manager may not have appropriate leadership or management skills
- Smaller pool of qualified applicants
- Other staff may not see potential for growth
- Expected to keep things the same
An example could be a therapist who is now in a supervisory role and does not or will not require staff to complete billing paperwork or case notes in a timely manner. Marketing, fundraising, and evaluation are also areas that can become a transitional challenge.
A strong manager is:
- An expert in their field
- Available to train and teach
- Receptive to feedback
- Committed to staff development
- Committed to personal growth
- An advocate for their team
- Respectful and honest
I am accepting organizational consulting projects in the following areas:
• Recruitment and hiring
• Staff retention and development
• Volunteer engagement and management
• Partnership development and community outreach
• Needs assessments, strategic planning, ethical marketing, and smart growth
• Program development and management
Nicki Sanders is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager. She has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and over 15 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a training and professional development company. Packaged For Success provides career coaching to college students, entry-level job hunters, and experienced employees seeking a promotion. Packaged For Success also offers communication and productivity improvement training for employees and supervisors and provides consultation on building sustainable, impactful, socially responsible community programs.
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