I’ve spoken with my manager about promotion because, I believe, I make the grade and “don’t ask, don’t get!” He’s generally supportive of this and spoke with, amongst others, HR to discuss the process. What they came back with strikes me as odd:
- My manager must make a business case for the promoted role to exist, within the team.
- The promoted role must then be advertised (internally), available to everyone to apply.
I’m familiar with this process in the context of horizontal movement within an organisation. However, for vertical movement — within the same job class (i.e., senior to principal, with no management responsibilities) — it seems strange.
Both points cause my manager (and others) a lot of work; putting together a business case and then the expensive process of, essentially, recruiting (albeit internally). He’s not against doing this — for which, I’m grateful — but, quite understandably, it’s something he’d rather avoid. I feel, if this goes ahead, I’d be somewhat in his thrall.
The second point is apparently done on the pretext of fairness. I don’t buy this point at all: people are either worthy of promotion or they aren’t; the fact that someone else within the organisation could gazump your bid feels, actually, unfair. Moreover, it would require me to go through a recruitment process; with the work of application writing, interviewing, etc. I’m not against this, but I feel promotion should be awarded on the basis of demonstrable ability. If I have to go through the entire rigmarole of recruitment, I might as well try other organisations that may be more attractive.
To be clear, I realise that I’d have little (but not necessarily zero) competition, so the risk of gazumping is low. However, does that not just make the process a bit of a sham, wasting a lot of people’s time? There’s something not right about this and I can’t quite put my finger on it.
EDIT I should add that the timescales for all this are completely undefined. I have been told that, at a minimum, my manager would apply for a mid-year pay bump (but not promotion) next year. This is partially because of the pandemic, but it nonetheless feels like I’m being strung along.