As a supervisor, I continuously debate the merits of promoting from within versus hiring from the outside. Of course, promoting from within has many benefits that are hard to overlook. Giving employees the opportunity to learn, grow and advance is paramount to maintaining top talent, leveraging potential and being committed to the success of our people. On the other hand, bringing in individuals from the outside offers fresh perspectives, learnings from other organizations and can bring to new life to the chemistry of a team.
I recently read an article from Inc. Magazine titled “The New World of Open-Source Mentoring” that seemed to bridge the best of both worlds. The article describes the process of using external mentorships, in which employees are paired up with a more seasoned expert at an outside organization. This allows the employee to discuss best practices, challenges and gain an outside perspective from someone who has “been there, done that.” Such a resource can serve to steeply reduce the learning curve and get employees up-to-speed quicker. On the flip side, mentors have the opportunity to give back to budding professionals and share their knowledge and experience.
As a result of the article, we recently paired up a teammate in a new role with a mentor from one of our client organizations. I’m looking forward to seeing their relationship unfold and the learnings we gain. It also serves as a reminder of all of the resources that are available through the relationships we build and the power that can come from leveraging them.
To view the article on externships from Inc. Magazine, click on the link below.