Article: The Counsellor - To do or not to promote young talent

Performance Management

The Counsellor - To do or not to promote young talent

Age should never be a criterion for promotions rather performance level should be the focus
The Counsellor - To do or not to promote young talent

Rapid promotion of younger staff can cause problems among older, experienced employees if the young promotees are not ready or mature enough to deal with the senior staff


CASE 2: Banks are promoting junior hires in a bid to retain them and stop rivals from poaching them. With talent in short supply and businesses growing faster, companies in emerging markets are promoting employees faster than the normal process of more than five to six years it takes globally to move up a level. With promotions, pay has also risen. While it is laudable that younger employees are being given senior roles, is it advisable to do so? The staff may be young but they are also inexperienced. Also, it would lead to considerable heartburn among older employees. What should companies do in such instances?

For promotions and growth, age should be the least important criterion. The most crucial criterions will include skills, capabilities, knowledge and the wisdom to perform the role for which the person is being promoted. Promotions should not become the retention tool but must remain a method to fill a vacancy. A person who is not ready to perform well on the role, which is being offered to him/her, is sooner or later bound to fail. We have to keep in mind the principle of “right person for the right role”.

Today, the corporations are growing at a faster pace than talent. Due to acute shortage of talented professionals, some corporations may adopt tactics of accelerated growth without the accompanying accelerated developmental initiatives, which is dangerous in the long run. Young fast trackers, who are not ready are themselves, are likely to burn out fast and damage the organization in multiple ways. Talent shortage in Asia’s three largest economies viz. China, India and Japan, are getting worse by the day. In such an environment, the enterprises have to adopt innovative talent retention strategies, accelerated growth programs of the key / top talents, which will enable them to acquire the right skills and knowledge at a faster pace.

Rapid promotion of younger staff can also cause problems among older, experienced employees if the young promotees are not ready / talented / matured to deal with senior staff. My experience tells me that older employees can quickly accept the younger leaders if the latter can prove their capabilities by excellent results.

One has to take a holistic long-term view of the talent shortage and not adopt the gimmick of the fast growth without the associated critical aspects of development and preparedness of the people on the growth trajectory.

Read full story

Topics: Performance Management, Strategic HR, #HRMetrics

Did you find this story helpful?



What are the top work tech investment focus areas for your company currently?

2 months free subscription

Subscribe to all new People Matters HR Magazine


And Save 59% plus Two months free

Subscribe now

What is your strategy to augment employee well-being?

READ the November 2021 issue to know from global leaders how to integrate well-being at work