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Promoting from within may enhance retention

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For those who've been eyeing that next rung on the corporate ladder, a new survey may signify good news.

In a nationwide poll, developed by Robert Half International, 57 percent of executives surveyed said their companies are more likely to promote from within than they were three years ago, according to a news release from Robert Half International.

The staffing firm, which specializes in the accounting, finance and information technology fields, commissioned the study from an independent research firm. The poll included responses from 150 executives with the nation's 1,000 largest companies. (See chart at right.)

"Formal 'promote from within' policies demonstrate a visible commitment to rewarding superior performance, which in turn can enhance retention efforts and increase morale and productivity," said Max Messmer, chairman and chief executive officer of Robert Half International, in the release.

"In today's highly competitive hiring environment, candidates are more concerned than ever about having clear, attainable career paths with continuing challenges and opportunities for learning," he added.

However, Messmer also cautioned employers that "Forcing the practice of promoting from within when the experience or skill set does not exist internally can be counterproductive. A search outside the organization may be necessary, and managers must weigh their desire to offer staff advancements against immediate job requirements."

The value of promoting within was nevertheless confirmed in a recent, related study developed by the company. Executives surveyed said that the No. 1 reason employees resign from positions is the feeling that opportunities for advancement are limited, the release said.

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