I don't use this site too much but majority of searches online haven't really clarified so I thought I'd make a post about this just to get a few possible answers.
I work in the operations department of a UK-based limited company that develops and delivers qualifications domestically and internationally. We recently lost several team members due to impromptu promotions in the busiest summer season and due to pickiness from upper management/HR these lower positions remained mostly absent and caused major issues both in workload and quality (it became very normal to do 12+ hour work days and pick up on work through the weekend). Fortunately the overtime was compensated and temp staff hired to alleviate any major issues.
At the tail-end of the busy period a new colleague was hired (I'll just call him "nuguy") fresh graduate from a Russell Group uni and quite mild and softly spoken. Most of the mess caused by understaffing had been cleaned up by this point and it was quite easy to forgive a lot of his mistakes as work became more and more manageable.
Busy periods in this job are very clearly defined due to examination periods, and what followed this was a long period of low activity for several months. Within this period a job opening higher up in the company for a marketing executive was offered and of the candidates that applied for the job, nuguy received the promotion and over 25% raise from his initial salary.
Now I didn't apply for this job (not a fan of marketing) and I have no issues with this guy himself if he has the legit credentials for this. I'm relatively new to office environments as my previous experience is more freelance and I'm admittedly quite naive when it comes to office etiquette and recruitment procedures. What I am wondering is if it's normal or even remotely common for a company to do something like this. The reason this generally raises eyebrows for me is:
He joined this company 3 months ago and has done very little actual work, nor has he reached a point where he could confidently go through a single busy period or provide sufficient training for his replacement. He has yet to complete his probation period and it's really hard to assess his style as an employee (especially under pressure). I'm not certain he could even get a decent reference.
Other colleagues who have been at the company 1-2 years longer than him and were even on company-sponsored marketing courses were overlooked for this promotion when interviewed. True, if the other colleagues were unsuitable candidates to a large degree I can understand, but I feel with internal promotions seniority and investing in loyal workers should have some significance.
There may be several other factors that contribute to this decision, but what I really want to know is if this is standard procedure and if you have come across fresh graduates immediately getting promoted after accepting lower positions.
Tl;dr: Is it normal/reasonable for a new employee to get promoted to a higher position after 3 months, even if they haven't fully been integrated into their current role and have little to no experience?
Sorry for the ramble. Thanks for all your help!