Helen Giles, Managing Director
This is often a good plan for the most senior roles where great people do move from organisation to organisation or even across sector to get exposure to more challenges or to increase their salaries.
It’s not such a good idea when you are looking to recruit staff or junior and middle management posts.
In reality, although there are plenty of honourable exceptions, very often people transferring at the same level are doing so because they have plodded along at that level for years and haven’t the initiative or capability to do better.
When we are recruiting we see as our primary pool extremely bright, committed and enthusiastic people currently operating one level below the job to be done. Or at least people who are moving to an organisation where there is much more scope and stretch in a post ostensibly at the same level as their old one. These are the people who will be hungry to learn and achieve, will learn quickly, and with some initial coaching investment from their manager will soon become your high fliers.
The downside is that if after a few years there is no further career progression for them within your organisation, they may well leave. But we’d rather have a star that shines brightly and contributes amazing energy and initiative for a short spell than the burnt out Steady Edward or Edwina who treads water with you for years on end, busy underachieving.
If you currently look for a stretch of experience in a similar role in your candidates, just remember that 5 years’ experience can be 5 years’ bad experience. Look for the people with little or no experience at that particular level of job but have the core competencies and potential that will prove to be the life blood of your organisation.