The idea of talent mobility (or internal mobility) has been around for a long time, but many HR and business leaders are just beginning to discover the true benefits of a well designed talent mobility program.
The truth is that internal mobility has never been more important than it is now. Employers are facing a unique set of challenges in the talent market today – skills shortages and gaps, increased cost of living and hiring, unprecedented attrition, and fierce competition to attract and hire top talent.
A talent mobility strategy backed by AI has the power to help address these talent challenges.
Why is internal mobility important?
Internal mobility comes with a lot of benefits for businesses (and employees), but one that tends to stand out to employers is that it can be the foundation of a great retention strategy.
According to our latest Talent Index research, 50% of today’s workforce are still considering leaving their jobs in the next 12 months – despite the uncertain economy. After the surge of the so-called ‘Great Resignation’, continuing to lose valuable talent at an alarming rate could be a devastating blow for employers.
Talent mobility opens the door for your existing employees to find and apply for open opportunities within your organization. For the employees who are already considering leaving (or for those who are generally disengaged), a new internal job opportunity might be enough to encourage them to stay.
Internal mobility allows employees to get the new job they want, without having to go through the new-hire onboarding process with another company. When employees are re-engaged in this way, they are much more likely to feel valued by their employer and stay with the company for a longer period of time.
Talent mobility can also provide significant cost-savings for the HR and Talent Acquisition functions – a benefit your CEO will appreciate. A robust internal mobility strategy helps increase recruiter efficiency. With the right tech and tools, recruiters’ jobs become easier and they can do more in less time.
Filling open roles with internal hires is also much more cost-effective than hiring externally. Research shows that external candidates command higher salaries than internal candidates – and external hires have also shown to underperform in new roles when compared to internal hires. Internal hires also come with organizational knowledge, which puts them several steps ahead of external candidates who will need to build up their knowledge of the company from scratch and will take significantly longer to get up to speed.
Aside from cost-savings, internal mobility is important because today’s employees genuinely desire internal career and development options – 38% of the workers we asked said these options are something important that they look for in an employer. When organizations have this type of program, it can serve the company as an additional employer branding tool. Today’s talent wants to work for companies who offer career progression and professional development opportunities.
While many things can contribute to retention problems, neglecting internal mobility might just be the root of the retention issues companies are facing.
What are the types of internal mobility?
Talent mobility can come in lots of shapes and sizes, but there are a few main types of internal opportunities that employees and employers should be familiar with.
The first is a lateral move within the organization – this could be an employee moving to a role with a new team within their department, or it could be an employee taking on a new role in a completely different area of the business.
It’s really important that employers are aware of the skills their employees already have, because you might have the perfect fit for an open role within your business already. And if they have become disengaged in their work, they may be excited at the opportunity to take on a new role that better suits their skills and career goals.
The second main category of internal mobility is vertical moves or promotions. When organizations have open roles at the manager or director levels (for example), it can be tempting to simply hire an external candidate who has the qualifications needed to do the job. But that can take a long time, and cost the organization lots of money. Many companies miss the opportunity to identify existing employees who have the potential to be quickly upskilled and step into those open roles.
When employers invest in their employees’ learning and career development in this way, those employees become more engaged and less likely to leave the company. And like we mentioned earlier, internal hires cost less than external ones – it’s a win-win for the employer and the employee who gets promoted.
The other main category of talent mobility includes short-term projects and gigs. A huge part of development and internal mobility is helping employees grow and setting them up for success in their careers. Short-term projects and gigs are a great way to do that. For example, if an employee is interested in applying for a new full time role, the company needs to be able to identify the steps that employee needs to take to be ready for a new role, and then help facilitate that growth.
These opportunities expose employees to new areas of the business and help them develop the skills they need to reach their desired career directions. A program like this presents a win-win scenario for both the employees and managers – employees get to upskill and prepare themselves for a new role and managers get to bring new skills to their teams and exchange skills with other managers across the organization.
How do you manage internal mobility?
All internal mobility programs (regardless of which type) aim to achieve one overarching goal – to unlock the true potential of your workforce.
A crucial part of this is to know what skills your employees already have and what their career aspirations are. For instance, if you have an employee who is interested in a vertical move within their department (or even a lateral move to a different department), as an employer, you need to be able to help them through the steps it will take to get them ready for the role that they want. Internal mobility isn’t something that can be turned on and off like a switch – it takes a coordinated effort between hiring managers, the Talent Acquisition team, and the right technology to set these internal candidates up for success.
If this part of the process is forgotten, recruiters are likely to continue hiring external candidates who may seem like the “best-fit” on paper, when in reality, an internal candidate might do a better job with just a little extra training and development.
Another huge part of managing internal mobility is having the right tools to identify and track employees’ skills and development overtime. This allows employers to more easily fill open roles with internal talent who possess the skills that are in-demand. But this is no small feat and it takes a well thought out strategy, dynamic data and the right technology to build and sustain a successful internal mobility program.
An AI-driven Talent Marketplace is the best and most innovative way to improve and manage internal mobility programs. With a Talent Marketplace, organizations can increase efficiency, improve overall workforce agility, reduce time-to-hire and cost-per-hire, and increase employee engagement and retention – all within one intelligent platform.
A high-quality Talent Marketplace helps align skills with business priorities and serves as an internal Talent Pipeline that your recruiters can access anytime they have an open role to fill.
And eventually, by truly knowing your internal talent and successfully moving them to new roles within the organization, you nurture valuable relationships with these employees. When employers make the conscious decision to look at internal talent to fill roles first, those internal candidates are the ones who will become advocates for your employer brand – helping reduce your recruiting costs even further.
When you know your talent well enough to understand the capabilities each of your employees has, you are able to look internally before you make a Talent Acquisition plan. With a strong understanding of skills and potential, you can truly get the most out of your existing talent – making your hiring efforts less reactive and costly.
Beamery offers a sophisticated Talent Marketplace, powered by explainable AI, which helps enterprise organizations conquer their hiring challenges and engage and retain their top talent over time.