Middle Managers "Stuck" After Sixth Year

September 20, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A study from Management Recruiters International, Inc. (MRI) found that, on average, a middle manager in the US remains in middle management 6.3 years.

According to an MRI press release, most surveyed companies said that if a middle manager in the US was not promoted to senior management within 6.3 years, then that person would be considered a “career” middle manager. The time period for middle managers in the UK to advance before being considered “career” middle managers is 4.7 years.

The study also found that after six years, in both the US and the UK, opportunities for middle managers to advance to senior management are greatly reduced. HR directors or executives interviewed for the study from both countries, though, said that “career” middle managers are critical to the success of the company, according to the release.

Other findings of the study mentioned in the release include:

  • 58% of UK candidates for middle management will inquire about opportunities for advancement during the interview process, compared to 41% of US candidates.
  • Respondents from both countries prefer to fill senior level management positions from within. Only 23% of US respondents and 11% of UK respondents said they consider a candidate from outside the company to be more attractive.
  • On average, respondents expect a junior candidate to remain with the same company for 2.4 years in the UK and 3.2 years in the US. For middle-management candidates, that figure rises to 3.5 years in the UK and 4.1 years in the US, and senior candidates should remain at their current position for 4.5 years in the UK and 5.2 years in the US.

MRI conducted telephone interviews of 200 HR directors or executives each from the US and the UK. MRI is a management search and recruitment organization. The company’s Web site is www.mrinetwork.com .