Today's Companies More Apt to Promote From Within, Survey Shows

MENLO PARK, CA -- The climb up the career ladder may be a little easier these days, a new survey suggests. Sixty percent of executives polled said companies are more likely to promote from within than they were three years ago.

The national poll was conducted by an independent research firm and developed by Accountemps, the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. The survey includes responses from 150 executives -- including those from human resources, finance and marketing departments -- with the nation's 1,000 largest companies.

Executives were asked, "Are companies more or less likely to promote from within than they were three years ago?" Their responses:

More likely 60%
Less likely 24%
No significant change 15%
Don't know    1%

"During times of low unemployment, job hopping can be perceived as a faster, easier path to career advancement," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Managing Your Career For Dummies (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). "But employers value loyalty, and the best growth opportunities often are internal, particularly among those firms that recognize the morale and productivity benefits of promoting from within."

Messmer advised professionals seeking to advance to make their ambitions known. "Busy managers may not be aware of individual career objectives, so employees should clarify these goals and enlist their supervisors' support in achieving them."

Messmer offered additional tips for landing a promotion:

  • Know what's required. Identify the skills and qualifications necessary to reach the next level. If those in similar positions possess certain professional certifications or academic degrees, you'll probably need to acquire them, too.
  • Take on new tasks. Voluntarily assuming added responsibilities shows you're motivated and want to develop new skills.
  • Make your boss look good. If your work makes your supervisor shine in front of his or her managers, your value -- and your advancement potential -- rise considerably.
  • Build your interpersonal skills. All other things being equal, those who are well liked by their peers and supervisors tend to climb the career ladder fastest.
  • Prepare a successor. Mentoring a coworker to eventually assume your role will make it easier for your firm to promote you.

Accountemps has more than 325 offices throughout North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and offers online job search services at

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