Internal Mobility: Are You Overlooking Your Greatest Talent Pool?

As companies everywhere continue seeking top talent for post-pandemic recovery and to build for the future, they’re smart to first understand what they already have within their own workforces. They need to decide who can be upskilled, reskilled and deployed, versus immediately shopping for talent outside the organization. 

7 Common Missteps with Internal Mobility

Not understanding why people leave their jobs. Most employees leave their jobs because of opportunities elsewhere. If your company can show employees a clear career roadmap and growth opportunities down the road, they may feel compelled to stay.

Not realizing your top talent is in high demand. With the new work-from-anywhere reality, recruiters are now scanning the entire nation (and even the world) to find the best talent. That means your company’s top talent is a target. Actively focusing on internal mobility is the best way to keep them in place. 

Taking too narrow a view of functional roles. When employees leave a company, a large percentage (about 30-40%) go into totally different roles. For example, a marketing person may jump into sales. Or an HR person may transition to finance. It’s smart to realize that many employees are open to cross-functional moves—so don’t write off these possibilities.

Avoiding employee check-ins. The best way to stay up-to-date with employees is to keep your finger on the pulse. By doing engagement surveys, periodic pulse checks, open development conversations and 360-degree feedback sessions, you can tap into your employees’ perceptions and aspirations for career growth pathways, which can encourage internal mobility.

Failure to post jobs internally (or providing ample time to apply). Sometimes companies post jobs externally without ever posting internally, which precludes internal applications and causes frustration from would-be applicants. Other companies post jobs internally, but don’t give ample time to accept applications. By the time the job posts on LinkedIn or Indeed, it’s often too late for employees.  

Not encouraging employee referrals. Generally, hires from employee referrals improve the quality of candidates who apply, reduce hiring time and costs, and increase retention rates. According to Jobvite, 47% of referral hires have greater satisfaction and stay longer with companies. 

Focusing too heavily on today (and ignoring the future). Many companies are so attuned to their immediate business needs, they fail to consider whether their current workforce can help them achieve tomorrow’s strategic goals.

     Promoting talent from within provides a number of valuable benefits: 

  • It drives engagement and retention. Actively recruiting internally sends a powerful message to employees that you care about their professional development. This helps build a culture of trust, which in turn increases engagement and encourages retention.  
  • It offers a broader perspective. The ability to look at internal and external talent pools together provides big advantages in understanding how to hire efficiently and cost-effectively.
  • Hiring is quicker. Screening calls and executive interviews aren’t always necessary when hiring internally because recruiters and hiring managers can easily find out about an employee’s performance. This minimizes your hiring stages and speeds the recruiting process.
  • It shortens onboarding times. Everyone needs time to settle into their new jobs, but current employees have a head start: they are already acquainted with your processes and company culture.
  • You’ll save money. Drawing on internal talent, you can avoid the cost of job board fees, sourcing costs or payments to hiring agencies. Some statistics show that external hiring may cost 1.7 times more than internal hiring. 

Considering all the good that can come from hiring internally, why don’t more organizations do it? Or have more success? Oftentimes, it boils down to several common missteps that can result in missed opportunities.

The Bottom Line
If you’re seeking top talent, you’ve likely got more options within your walls than you know. To optimize internal mobility, you need the skills, cutting-edge reporting tools and talent acquisition team that knows how to navigate the process to keep these valuable employees feeling appreciated, engaged and committed to growing with you.