Promoting from Within: Works for Chipotle, it Can Work for You

by / Wednesday, 24 September 2014 / Published in Small Business Hiring

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Chipotle is a massively successful business by anyone’s estimation, and as revealed in an article by Paul Petrone that appeared on LinkedIn, one of the key pillars to that success is their powerful hiring and onboarding process. It’s their process that allows them to take entry level employees at a fast food chain and get dedication out of them which allows them to strive and build long term career goals within the organization. The motivation is that at the end of their career path, someone who begins their career earning $9 an hour will be making $87k, creating a clear incentive to stick around. In addition, there are incentives in place for managers to promote from within, meaning that those who are eager to learn will be sought out and trained more intensely by their superiors, creating the means for them to progress more rapidly with the right training. It’s a catalyst for hands on training and involvement at every level, and it is something that small business owners should seriously think about when defining their own corporate structures.

Promoting from within can save you time and money. The hiring process is currently one of the biggest sources of anxiety facing business owners, who feel that they are ready to grow, but don’t know where to find the level of talent that they are looking for. In true small business fashion, when the resources needed to progress simply aren’t there, the answer is to create them yourself. Not only can hands on training for your employees make them more effective and help to mold them into the talent that you might not be able to find externally, it adds to their sense of belonging to your organization and the prospect of advancement is enough to reduce turnover, another major hiring related issue that can cost businesses a lot over time.

Make the prospect of advancement a draw when recruiting. There are plenty of talented new members of the workforce each year, and with high levels of competition for many entry level jobs, small business owners have an opportunity to bring the best talent on board their organizations from the beginning of their careers. Make the fact that your business has room for ambition in employees a draw during your hiring process. Not only will this attract more applicants, but it will also tend to attract those who are interested in the long haul contributions that they can make to your organization with the expectation that they can grow to be bigger and bigger contributors to your mutual success.

Enthusiasm is a quality that is immediately perceptible to your customers. Having invested employees in your ranks can make a lot of difference in terms of the quality of customer interactions that you get. A happy, dedicated employee will interact with a customer in a much different way that one who is simply there to collect a paycheck and get out. Since customer service is one of the pillars of running a successful business, keep this in mind when deciding who to hire as a customer service rep and how to provide incentives for them.

Photo Credit to Eran Sandler on Flickr

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