Internal promotion is a valuable, yet underutilized, tool to engage employees and managers in the recruiting process, provide career growth, and save on costs associated with bringing in external talent.

As I alluded yesterday, the content covered at Hire Minds was astonishing. The first session was an interview/case study of Chipotle restaurants and how they use internal promotions and development bonuses as incentives to bring in great people and move them up through the organization as they grow. The examples below are pulled directly from that session content.

Reduce employee turnover by 64%

When they started promoting from within instead of looking for talent outside the organization, turnover for salaried managers dropped from 52% to 35%, and turnover for hourly managers dropped a whopping 64% (111% down to 47%).

HR pros often wonder if we should share succession plans with employees in case something doesn’t work out and it demoralizes them. However, in this case, all of the employees know that they are eligible for leadership positions if they are willing and able to put forth the effort.

Pay managers to mentor new leaders

As an incentive for managers within the organization to train the next generation of leaders, Chipotle offers people development bonuses of $10,000 for managers who bring someone up into a managerial position from within the ranks of the staff. Because they are rapidly growing and expanding into new markets, Chipotle is able to use these bonuses to lure seasoned veterans out to the “front.” Because the areas grow quickly, it offers the leaders multiple opportunities to earn the bonuses.

When asked by the audience how often the bonuses were paid out, he replied that Chipotle paid out over $1 million in people development bonuses in 2010. That’s significant! The bonuses are structured where the referring leader receives half up front, and half after 6 months of solid performance from the new manager candidate.

How to keep recruiters busy if you start promoting internally

Everyone in the audience laughed when a recruiter stood up and asked where his job was going if the company achieves its goal of 100% internal promotions into leadership positions. The speaker told us that since the recruiters are no longer spending their time sourcing candidates for management/leadership roles, they are working directly with store owners to develop better hiring practices for their hourly workers.

I’ve said it before–I’m a fan of internal recruiting (video) if it’s possible. Anyone else?

Wow. I was only able to stay for half of the Hire Minds event presented by Snagajob, but it was a fantastic experience. I took notes throughout the day and shared sound bytes on Twitter when I could, but the Live Tweeting Paradox was in effect (okay, I just made that up, but it really does make sense). Usually when I attend an event I will share ideas that I’m learning on Twitter; however, when an event is particularly engaging or learning intensive, I have to stop tweeting and focus on the session. Ironically, some of the best sessions I’ve ever seen are the ones where I’ve shared the least on social media!

Anyway, in the next week or so I’m going to post on some big ideas I learned at the event. I met a great lady, Buzz, who also has her own comments on the event to share.

Later this week look for posts covering…

  • How to reduce employee turnover by 64%
  • How to pay managers to mentor new leaders
  • How to keep recruiters busy if you start promoting internally
  • What gardening has to do with management
  • Why competing for candidates on pay is a losing game

In short, the Hire Minds event was phenomenal. If you work for an hourly employer, you should 1) look at Snagajob’s offerings for employers as a way to find and screen qualified candidates and 2) talk with the good folks at Snagajob about how you can get into the event if you’re interested. It’s a small affair (~75-100 companies represented there), but there is amazing content focused specifically on the hourly employer segment.

Whew. I don’t travel that often, but the coming weeks are going to be quite busy. I hope to meet many of you at least once in this whirlwind, so check out the list below to see if we’ll be at any of the same events.

calendar of events

HR Florida-August 27-31

This is my first HR Florida excursion, but I’m really pumped to attend. From working with a few friends on the pre-conference Social Media Academy to having the time and topics to blog about throughout the duration of the conference, I am very excited about this experience.

Hire Minds-September 28-30

The good folks at Snagajob reached out to me about speaking on social media and I couldn’t turn them down. It sounds like an amazing event with a small, intimate group of incredibly talented individuals. I’m honored to attend!

HRevolution-October 2

I did a video a few days ago on HRevolution. If you want a ticket, it’s one of the cheapest events out there but has a consistently high rating from attendees. Definitely encourage you to check it out!

HR Technology-October 3-5

While I might not be able to stay for the entire event, I’m a geek/nerd at heart, so you know I’ll be in love with some HR technology. Working for a startup means that we’re always just one big proposal win away from needing something more powerful than Excel as an HRIS system. :-) I’ll be looking for some ideas and hope to meet some great people for the first time there.

In the midst of that is work, family, and volunteer stuff, so it’s definitely going to be a wild month, give or take a few days. So, how about it? Anywhere you’d like to meet? Feel free to shoot me an email!