Hiring a supervisor from outside the company can present a variety of disadvantages. Even the most qualified individual likely has ingrained traits from his last employer that can be hard to overcome in a new managerial capacity. Additionally, it can take time for a new supervisor to come up to speed, particularly when he is unfamiliar with the new small-business environment, which often can be close-knit in nature.


One disadvantage of hiring an outside supervisor is that existing employees may resent the fact that the company went beyond the existing ranks to find a supervisor rather than promoting from within. This can be especially damaging if other employees were vying for the position or thought they were the natural successor for the role. Animosity toward a new supervisor can make it difficult for a small group to bond and accept direction from a new leader.

Learning Curve

It takes time to come up to speed on a new job, and learning about the corporate culture while in a supervisory position can take additional time. This is especially true if the new outside supervisor opts to radically change the management style that previously was in place. Not only does the supervisor need time to become acquainted with the business and its employees, staffers also need to come to an understanding of how the new boss operates and what performance expectations he brings to the table.

Ingrained Habits

Professionals who have been in supervisory roles for a significant period of time may initially appear to be the most highly-qualified people to put in management positions. However, these individuals also are likely to have deeply ingrained habits that might not necessarily mesh with your small-business environment and may be difficult for you to change. For example, if your small business allows employees to work at their own pace through flexible scheduling, and your new supervisor comes from an environment where people were accountable for every minute at work, the transition can be difficult. Employees can feel pushed and the new supervisor ignored, which can lead to conflict in the workplace.

Decreased Productivity

Small businesses typically operate on thin profit margins. Any significant disruption to the productivity of the workplace can have serious financial consequences. An outside supervisor who isn’t a good fit with your existing culture and workforce has the potential to cost you money and potentially make you lose valued long-time employees.