Even though numerous studies and surveys have validated the importance of career advancement and employee consideration for internal opportunities, companies are still far behind on established internal mobility practices. A culture that encourages employee development, easy access to employee skill information, and transparent hiring practices are the foundations of encouraging internal mobility. However, only three out of every four businesses have even the most basic internal mobility programmes.
Internal Mobility refers to the movement of employees within an organisation, both laterally and vertically, across projects, skills, and geographical boundaries. The primary goal is to leverage talent and encourage opportunities for growth that align with the employee’s long tenure goals and organizational objectives. It may have been a difficult concept to grasp for some companies that had not invested in talent development before COVID. However, the necessity of transitioning employees between projects and skills, as well as the ability to upskill and relearn new skills for employees, has caused companies to recognise the ease, benefits, and new reality of talent acquisition and development.
Unlocking the potential of internal mobility and creating a culture that supports it is critical for retaining talent while saving time and money on hiring and improving engagement and morale. Internal mobility benefits both employees and companies alike. It is estimated that large companies lose more than $400,000 per year due to the costs of recruiting and training new hires. Through internal mobility, the employees are aware of the company and process, reducing the onboarding and training costs. The new generation prioritises career advancement when selecting employers, learning and experimenting with new skills to achieve their career goals.
Top methods to embrace a culture of Internal mobility:
- Ample developmental and cross-skilling opportunities
Employees must be provided with a platform and opportunities to learn and grow. Focusing on only the skills for which they are hired can limit internal mobility options. Employees must be given space to practise their learning through hands-on project assignments, developmental assignments, and cross-functional gigs. This can enhance growth opportunities and build a culture of internal mobility and talent sharing to further accelerate learning. The right way to cultivate internal mobility in a company is to democratise learning and provide them with the opportunity to choose their interests to grow by not limiting developmental options.
- Availability of employee skill database
The availability of an accurate employee skill database and the proficiency of employee capability of these skills are critical to the success of internal mobility. Launching the hiring policies and setting processes is futile if the company does not have the skill data to begin. Employee skills – both hard and soft – are difficult to maintain. Companies are now investing in AI-powered talent mobility platforms to automate the process and enrich the data. Employee learnings can be automatically reflected in their skill database with simple API integrations, providing this information to the hiring team.
Employees can either update their skills manually or through integrated AI solutions to their profiles by resume parsing. With the easy availability of skill information, the hiring team can match the job framework of each open position, which includes base skill and experience criteria, against internal employee profiles.
View EVA’s collaboration with UNDP on internal mobility to assign and mobilise talent based on skills.
- The easy talent movement process
A difficult talent movement can be caused by a lack of support from the functional leadership team and managers, as well as a lack of platforms and policies to support the internal mobility process. Educating the leadership team on the benefits of mobility practices and re-evaluating policies to support the new process to ensure employees are not pushed away from accepting the new role. Supportive managers who empower and suggest career options based on employee preferences, as well as coaching conversations that promote transparency in movement, can help to improve the mobility process.
- Transparent and equal opportunity hiring practices
Companies must review their hiring policies to ensure that mobility is incorporated. Hiring and selection practices must be re-evaluated so that internal employees’ skills can be searched against a position and that they can easily learn about and apply for positions. Active internal advertising of open positions via a company portal or intranet, as well as recommendations to employees who meet the criteria, can facilitate a transparent mobility process.
Companies can build a more diverse talent pool by actively encouraging internal development and driving equal opportunities to advance in careers. Systematic and continuous lateral and vertical internal mobility practices result in effective hiring and cost control. Matching employee competencies to job requirements, regardless of background, narrows the selection process to integral skills.
While companies are busy strategising methods to win the talent competition and focusing on hiring external talent, key measures must be taken to build and maximise internal capabilities. Mobilising internal talent is the first step to a build a culture of high performing employees. Check EVA, an AI-powered talent mobility platform to enrich your hiring practice.
Stats for reference:
- The most attractive part of an employer was the possibility of career progression: PwC’s Millennials at Work report
- 35% prefer companies that offer excellent training and development programs.
- 6% of companies believe they’re excelling at moving talent around internally: Deloitte survey
- 59% of companies say they are either doing a fair or inadequate job of internal talent.
- 94% of workers say they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers: LinkedIn report