A successful business hinges on well-constructed teams. Your ability to select the right team members is key to success. This includes choosing who to promote, and ensuring they fit the right role and team. While it may seem straightforward, there are important factors to consider. These help determine the best candidate for promotion.

There’s a formula to identify the ideal person for any job. This makes answering “Who should you promote” more straightforward. You start with a baseline to find the right person.

In this article, I’ll provide tips on identifying the ideal promotion candidate.

1. Assess their personality

Many managers or Human Resources Directors often promote the people who have seniority without taking into account whether their personality even makes them a fit for the new role. They’ve paid their dues, after all.

Well, it’s important to take this kind of thinking out of your promotion strategy. Instead, look into becoming CPI certified so you can make a scientific assessment of the traits of the people that you have as your candidates for a promotion.

This way you can make an unbiased assessment about whether the job is even a good fit for them based on their strengths and even their weaknesses.

For example, if you do your personality assessment and find that a person has traits that would make him or her a good leader, and the role you are looking to fill is managerial, then this is a logical person to be promoted. On the other hand, if the role is a client-facing one and the candidate has great interpersonal skills then this is another example of a good fit.


Some people work hard with their heads down, a valuable trait in many cases. However, for a leadership role, hard work is just part of what’s needed.

Look for perpetual learners when considering promotions. Their subject of interest doesn’t matter; even an enthusiasm for ancient Greek history is notable. Their love for learning shows openness to new ideas. These individuals are more curious and seek innovative solutions to problems.


Many employees struggle with feedback, often becoming defensive. However, some embrace it as a learning opportunity. Though rare, these individuals do exist in your company.

Those who welcome constructive criticism use it to find better ways of working. They recognize when their methods aren’t effective and appreciate guidance for improvement.

During employee evaluations, note who applies feedback to enhance their work. These are the candidates for your shortlist.

4. The self-starter

Some of the most valuable people in your company are those who can get a lot of work done with minimal supervision. They don’t need their hand held to figure out how to get a project from point A to point B.

These people can problem solve and see the way around obstacles without having to ask a manager for help. It seems like a shame to take them away from a role that makes your business run more efficiently, but they should be considered for promotion as this trait can help them find ways to get the most out of any situation.

When they find themselves in a role with more responsibility they will likely relish it.