“We have to fill the position of sales manager that has become vacant. Juan could be a good candidate: he is efficient, organized and has good relationships with his colleagues. The downside is that he’s only been with the company for two years. Begoña is another possibility. Although his popularity is much lower, he has a lot more experience and knows the company like the back of his hand. The last option would be to appoint someone from outside our company.”

Very often entrepreneurs and managers have to face a situation like the one described above. A vacancy, several candidates and an important decision. A transcendent choice that must be carefully considered and not rushed into. One mistake could cause us to lose a lot of money and reduce the team’s effectiveness. Most often, the employer chooses to choose between internal candidates. He knows them, he knows how they work and how far they can go.

How do you make the climb?

There are a number of options when it comes to making this decision. In some cases, large companies often ask for the help of their HR department. Or even hire the services of an outside consultant in search of greater objectivity. According to Miquel Bonet, author of the book find your life“Large organizations choose this modality to find out if there is a suitable candidate after defining the skills and abilities required for the position through an internal selection process (tests, interview, etc.).”

In many other cases, however, the decision is usually made by the manager responsible for a particular area or, in SMEs, by the employer himself. In both cases, four important checks should be carried out:

  • Curriculum Analysis. It is necessary to review the CVs of the candidates for the position. It is checked whether these employees have sufficient knowledge and experience to fill the vacant position.
  • Review and comparison of their achievements in the company. It is important to examine what contributions you have made to the company and what your level of commitment is. In this way we find out if he is a person with initiative and a desire to improve every day and therefore has merits to move up in the company.
  • analyze skills. Not all employees have the same qualities, nor do they have the same professional gaps. For this reason, it is interesting to see what good and bad skills the applicants bring to the advertised position. But that’s not enough. We must verify that these characteristics match the profile we are looking for.
  • Study your maximum bet point. Usually the position requires certain skills or abilities that the candidate does not already have. At this point in the analysis, it is necessary to assess whether he is able to improve and in particular what effort he would be willing to learn what he is lacking in order to fill the position with guarantees.

guidelines to be observed

Employer should not think about choosing the best employee at any given time, but choose the best employee for the vacant position. So that there are no errors, it is important:

1. The Peter Principle. This is none other than the one who says “Everyone reaches the limit of their own incompetence”. Bonet explains the principle using an example: “Many wrong decisions are made because this principle is not observed. In the business world, it is common for promotions to be proposed from Sales Manager to Best Salesperson because they are the ones who know the product, area and company best and often help their peers. But they don’t think that the good salesman usually works alone, isn’t very organized and doesn’t like reporting and control too much”.

2. Imagine the effect. We have to imagine if the appointment will affect the behavior of the chosen candidate and his relationship with his colleagues. Sometimes an affable clerk becomes a stubborn tyrant in the office.

3. An acceptance test. Before making a decision, it is advisable to discreetly explore with a few team members how well known the candidate is and how well their colleagues value his professional skills and what effect his appointment would have. A special circumstance exists when the employer knows months in advance that there is a will be vacant. In these cases, there are those who will conduct a test to test the skills and leadership qualities of the person they wish to test. This essay consists in giving him a responsibility in a specific project and on a provisional basis. The result provides data that can be decisive in the selection.

4. Support the winner. For Bonet, “it is good to highlight the qualities of the chosen one through work meetings and assign him a specific role in them. In this way, many can be convinced that the decision was the right one. But you also need to consider the unchosen and remind them that there will be other choices.

Mistakes you should never make
To think that the one who knows the most is the best. Knowledge is only part of the qualities to be tested. There are factors like experience or the ability to solve problems that are also important. Don’t forget that a promotion means a position of greater responsibility.

Discriminate against everyone, especially because of gender.

  • Not listening to all or most employees or team leaders before making a decision. Although you’re the one who has the final say, it’s useful to know what others think of applicants for the new position and the role they can play in it.
  • Believing that age, high or low, is the most important thing.
  • Once the candidate is selected, give them half trust. It is important for him to feel that they trust him to the maximum, even if later the employer knows about his work and controls his actions.
  • Consider the emotional component. When choosing the best candidate for the position, do not let your feelings get the better of you.
  • Appointing an individual to the position by recommendation or for other non-professional reasons.
  • Stop considering that luck counts too. Everyone finds their own.

Internal promotions, by merit or by seniority?

Merit Promotions


  • Good training and knowledge of the employee can lead to better fulfillment of the new position.
  • Motivated and enterprising employees can be rewarded for their excellent performance in the new position. In addition, such employees are good idea generators.
  • The desire to do things and work well and consequently achieve the best results is stimulated.
  • Companies that use this type of promotion hire their employees based on their suitability for the position rather than their ability to advance.


  • It is difficult to objectively and impartially measure a person’s skills and merits.
  • The manager or employer may reward their favorites with high ratings, and not necessarily the best employees.
  • Conflicts or problems may arise between workers competing to be considered the most valuable by their boss or supervisor.
  • The fact that merit is very difficult to assess can lead to some unlawful discrimination simply because she is a woman, has a different nationality than that of the company, or is very young.

Promotions based on seniority

  • Employees perform varied tasks until they reach higher positions. Cycling through different roles within the company provides an experience that can be good training for promotion.
  • The use of this type of promotion in the company avoids misunderstandings or frustrations among other colleagues, since it is clear from the beginning who will fill this position.
  • The candidate for the vacant position does not need to win the sympathy of his colleagues or superiors, since everyone knows what his strengths and weaknesses are, even if he does not want to play this new role.
  • These more enterprising employees may not want to “wait their turn” to get the positions they want.
  • Motivation to work to the best of one’s ability is not encouraged.
  • Visions and innovative ideas that a minor can bring would not enrich the company. Qualified people would be hired in lower positions.

company management