Since the pandemic hit, talent mobility has been discussed a lot more frequently on the HR side of the internet, which is a huge step forward. However, you would be surprised to hear that internal hiring has only increased by 10% since 2015.
Benefits promised by talent mobility
We love growth, but these rates seem a bit slow for the incredible benefits promised by talent mobility. Could it be because conflict arises when one manager wants to recruit from another’s team? Where do you draw the line, and how do you tackle sticky situations? Continue reading as we dive into the contradictory field of talent mobility
Even though hiring new talent brings exciting possibilities, it is obviously also expensive and time-consuming. The business needs to run a campaign, go through initial selection, possibly a few interviews depending on position and then…
Oh no, you are not done. After hiring, here comes training, which ensures some of your best talents have to be off work to become teachers. And do not get us wrong – getting new coworkers on board is fantastic and should definitely stay in your schedule, as creative employees are waiting to be found!
But it might be a good idea to slow it down a bit. If you are short on people in managerial positions, higher-ups, or new departments, why not skip a step and just utilize the talent you already have? This is how the talent mobility theory came to be, and it is currently towering over all other methods aiming to develop businesses.
What is talent mobility?
It would be fairly familiar to most, but here’s a shorter explanation: Talent Mobility is filling new roles with existing employees from other departments, functions, or teams. Talent mobility is a practice that can be used to fill new roles with current employees. This practice has the potential to help companies grow their talent pool and provide employees with opportunities outside of their day-to-day job duties. By doing this, you can avoid the competition with other companies for the most in-demand professional skills and qualities while also improving the work experience at your own company.
There are many benefits of talent mobility, including increased creativity, enhanced cross-departmental knowledge, and better employee engagement. The main reason for implementing this type of program is that it can be difficult for companies to find adequate talent externally. Talent mobility then becomes the best choice for filling new roles with existing employees from other departments or teams within the company.
To start off: Stop traditional hiring for a bit
It does sound easy to freeze hiring for a moment – all your HR team will need to do is stop that branch of their incredibly busy work life for the time being. Nevertheless, introducing a lack of an activity is the first step, and it is an important one. Since it is so effortless, it will make your Talent Acquisition coworkers feel like they are starting off on the right foot: they have already achieved something without even trying…
Imagine what they can accomplish by putting some effort in! We are getting somewhat off-topic, but: In outstanding leadership, it is all so important to motivate your colleagues and bring out their best in a gentle, almost invisible way.
Now back on track! Instead, what you need to do is engage in Internal Hiring. According to Linkedin’s Global Talent Trends 2020 report, there is an array of positive effects associated with internal hiring programs, including but not limited to: higher employee retention rates, improving new-hire productivity and significantly reducing the time needed to get workers on board.
By letting your already excelling employees apply for different positions inside the company, you contribute to one of the most crucial factors to job satisfaction! You probably thought of it already, and it is the ability to grow within the company while developing new skills and getting a hold of more opportunities than ever before. Sounds so exciting!
Developing a strategic approach to talent mobility would be dictated by what the employee wants and aspires to specialize in. If we think about it, there are not that many businesses that let workers speak up about their career goals and move up the ladder in a quick and easy manner.
Consequently, you could manage one of the businesses that offer real and honest growth, thus improving the company’s internal corporate culture and attracting more capable professionals from your field.
To make that awesome vision a reality, there would need to be a specific place/colleague workers can go to share their aspirations and desire to upskill. To begin with, it might be a good idea to introduce an Upskill Champion in one of the departments that the workforce can turn to if they want to take the initiative and develop their qualifications.
By doing this, you’ll be able to receive a report detailing what part of your workforce wants to develop new skills, what kind of skills, and what their career aspirations are. Quite exciting material to look into! Afterwards, you will know what direction to go for talent mobility programs and the needed learning so that employees are happy and your business is developing.
What have other companies focused on improving?
Well, it is definitely tightly related to what realm your business venture is in, but what seems to be mainly attended to is virtual systems and digitalization.
For example, when examining their workforce, AT&T found that almost half of the current employees did not possess the STEM skills that the company would require in the near future. The senior executive vice president of HR commented that they could have started a whole new hiring campaign to get the IT and software engineering talent they need, but that would have been both expensive and inadequate.
After all, what do you do with all of your loyal employees who are also great at their jobs? Upskill, that’s what. They started an initiative for all workers, namely an internal career portal. By collaborating with several online learning platforms, the company successfully made it, so the workers who want to apply for new positions can also acquire all the needed skills. A great decision was made by a fantastic HR team!
It does sound pretty cool being able to move talent around the company to fit everyone’s needs and desires. But we have until now left a great figure out of the equation – the manager whose team the employee’s leaving to move forward. In fact, Linkedin’s Talent trends report found that 70% of talent acquisition specialists cited reluctant managers as an obstacle for internal mobility.
And, if we look at it from this perspective, we might have to agree that one employee leaving their workgroup to join a new one has the potential to wreck the whole team! Moreover, a lot of companies instruct their leaders not to try and recruit current employees. Does this mean we see the best employees as belonging to their team first and the company second?
To combat this conflict, it is crucial that the problem is tackled from its very beginning. The fact that workers see themselves as distinct groups is okay and will always be the case to a certain extent.
However, when the barrier between ‘us’ and ‘them’ in terms of corporate teams becomes too thick, the issue arises – managers being reluctant to let go of their top performers is only a mere symptom. To bypass it, we need to treat the disease of separation and intergroup alienation. Let’s put this into perspective that is easy to grasp!
If you go to work every day to only visit your own office, sit at a table only with your teamies and not branch out – then you would be devastated to find out Peter is taking a new position in finance and you will not work together again.
Yet, if you go to work and know everyone, you feel the warmth of colleagues from different teams and have a close-knit relationship with different people across the entire building… Then Peter is not going somewhere far away, he is staying within the company, and you can still see each other and interact.
In both cases, you do not have to let him go – but in the first example, it does feel like it because everyone’s horizons need broadening. In most situations, a corporate culture where everyone is exclusively concerned with their own work is toxic and inhibiting talent mobility is just one of its manifestations.
In such cases, we strongly advise looking into company-wide team-building events, cross-department collaboration, and fun initiatives such as contests and bake-offs.
Virtual team building is a great way to engage with everyone – not to mention there’s a magic box and team-building canvases that can do all the prep work for you! Anything of the sort will make it possible for colleagues to meet each other and communicate with people they have not had prior contact with.
Now that we have identified the origin of the ‘managers not wanting to give up talent’ issue, it seems like internal hiring is, after all, an excellent method to improve a company’s employee experience and boost productivity. Not to mention how cost-effective it could be! A lot of people hate math, maybe rightfully so – here is how scary it can get:
When it comes to employee turnover, the losses can be massive if an experienced worker decides to leave. The business loses on their efficiency, client relationships if it is a customer-facing role, institutional knowledge, etc. Moreover, more funds need to be invested in finding and training a new employees to take their position. In fact, a study by Employee Benefits News found this whole endeavour could cost 33% of a new hire’s annual check. And you know what the top reason for leaving was?
We are not even finished, and there are other sneaky costs too… On average, it takes about 8-12 weeks to hire new employees, plus the training period until they get into the role comfortably enough to be productive. This results in about 3 months of revenue the business will lose on top of the costs that need to be covered.
Thus, it is much easier, efficient, and adequate to take good care of your own workforce instead of dealing with the vicious circle that is turnover and hiring; whoever first thought of talent mobility did crack the code! It is up to businesses to implement it and cultivate an exciting workplace culture employees will be happy to participate in. Good luck!
Yes, turnover is sadly something we cannot prevent, but it turns out we can control the rates of it – 41% of employees will stay longer at a company with high internal mobility versus companies with low internal hiring.