Six Ways to Incentivize Internal Talent Mobility at Your Organization

by | Jun 6, 2022 | News

Every organization is experiencing hiring pains that are not going away anytime soon. Not only is it hard to recruit new employees, but it’s increasingly hard to keep the ones you already have. Much of this is driven by current employee drift due to a lack of internal talent mobility.  Many current employees are looking for opportunities elsewhere because they don’t feel they have a path forward at their current company. 

There are a number of reasons that this is occurring, such as: employees reevaluating their work/life balance, what employees want in a career, or current job openings (or a path to get to them) not being clearly visible  

With the inevitable coming together of talent acquisition (TA) and internal mobility, TA teams and talent management (TM) teams have to work together in order to overcome these challenges. TA teams can no longer rely solely on new sourced candidates to fill open positions, and TM teams need to embrace TA as part of the strategy to give a streamlined path for current employee growth. 

Many TA teams, instead of continuing to look outward, are looking inward, and embracing a new mindset of internal mobility. It’s critical for organizations to keep the talent they have, as there is a massive amount of institutional knowledge and team moral at stake. 

TA teams can, and should, tap into this stream of internal candidates to fill open positions, without the sometimes-negative view that an internal candidate still leaves an open role to fill. Internal talent mobility has become an increasingly important tool to help employers better navigate the talent crisis. This is a no brainier when it comes to employee experience and retention.  

 Internal talent mobility 

Internal talent mobility is the movement of current employees to new opportunities within the same organization. These opportunities include new job openings, special projects, and other organizational openings. Embracing internal talent mobility initiatives has a number of benefits to the organization, and to TA/TM teams. These include: 

  • Keeping current employees, and the institutional knowledge they possess. This leads to better business outcomes, better team moral, and a better employer brand.  
  • Internal hiring has the highest conversion rate of all candidate sources. That means organizations can reduce hiring costs through internal talent mobility. According to a study from Lever, internal candidates have a hiring rate of 22% as compared with 6% for referrals and 1.1% for sourced candidates.  
  • Not only are internal candidates easier to convert, internal mobility initiatives keep employees satisfied and engaged so they’ll stay with the company longer. A study from SHRM found that employees who were promoted within three years of being hired had a 70% chance of staying with the company, and employees who made a lateral move had a 62% chance of staying. Employees who did not change jobs internally only had a 45% retention rate.  
  • Internal talent mobility is good for employee morale, as well. Employees get to develop and learn new skills, which is a benefit not only to them, but to the organization as a whole. With a limited supply of technical talent, reskilling your existing workforce is an effective way to fill the talent gap. Additionally, organizations are able to keep institutional knowledge that otherwise goes walking out the door when an employee leaves for another company.  
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As beneficial as internal talent mobility programs are, TA and TM teams often struggle to implement these programs effectively within their organizations. Many programs have a very low adoption rate by employees, simply going unused. But there are a number of concrete ways to ensure that employees and HR departments embrace internal talent mobility programs.  

Here are actionable steps to improve the ability of TA and TM teams to capitalize on existing talent.

1. Launch an official internal talent mobility program 

An internal job board or marketplace may not always be enough to incentivize internal talent mobility, and often goes completely unused and unseen. Simply sharing information about an open position may not be enough to get an internal candidate to apply. To better empower existing employees, you can establish a robust, easy-to-use internal talent mobility program. 

This helps to enshrine a process for moving internal talent throughout the organization. A program driven by intelligence can be a game changer, making it easier for employees, TA, TM, and hiring managers to see the right opportunities/candidates for them. 

2. Encourage internal talent 

Internal candidates may not believe that they have the skills or experience for a certain position, or they may not want to be seen as disloyal to their own department. Sodexo conducted internal research and found employees were competent for open positions and developed a program that encouraged referral hires where employees could refer themselves for the position. TA and TM teams can encourage hesitant internal candidates to apply for open positions, and give them to tools to do so. 

In many cases, TA and TM teams should look for potential—as opposed to existing skills and experience—when evaluating internal talent. MojoHire can take the guesswork out of this, matching people-to-jobs and jobs-to-people, presenting the best foot to both to best fit to employees and hiring managers.  

3. Implement rotation programs 

It’s no secret that employees can become stagnant and bored in their positions. This boredom is only amplified when managers and employers don’t give a clear path of how employees can change and grow in their current roles. 

A solid mobility program based in intelligence, an internal rotation program where employees switch between projects and responsibilities every few weeks, months, or years, and other data backed programs can help fight off this stagnation. This nonlinear career program gives employees experiences they never would have had otherwise, which keeps them engaged.  

Related link: Career pathing is obsolete. Here’s what to do instead.

4. Remove barriers for TA teams 

Talent acquisition teams face several barriers when attempting to hire internal talent. One major barrier is the systems used to evaluate candidates. Unfortunately, TA teams often do not have much say when they choose their applicant tracking system or human resource management system. 

To combat this, executive leadership should work closely with key TA and HR teams to outline their needs. Integrating internal employees into the equation of open reqs within the ATS and HRIS is a simple solution.  

Related link: Clunky HR tech stacks: The struggle is real, but there is a better way  

5. Improve the candidate hiring experience 

Striving for positive hiring candidate experiences is beneficial for internal talent mobility programs. If you leave a great impression on internal candidates, you build goodwill and improve employee morale. These internal candidates are company representatives and take your hiring process experiences with them. Not to mention this can lead to more referrals. 

However, internal candidates will not always receive a job offer. If an internal candidate does not receive the job, management needs to take time to carefully explain why that employee was not chosen. Explaining the corresponding deficiencies can help the internal candidate understand where they have to grow in order to qualify for the position. A partnership with TA and TM here helps ensure internal candidates, hired or not, receive the best candidate experience possible. 

6. Embrace advanced technology 

Talent acquisition and talent management teams need novel technologies to uncover internal talent that remains hidden. MojoHire helps companies discover internal talent through artificial intelligence, automation, user experience, and other methods. This intelligence platform gives you access to all of your HR data through a unified and ergonomic user interface, enabling your team to easily and instantly surface qualified talent (whether internal or external) that would be overlooked and ignored. 

The best part about using MojoHire is that its technology-agnostic architecture sits atop any existing HR stack and makes it simply work better and smarter, sparing you of the need to replace any of your legacy systems. 

Embracing internal talent mobility can help organizations navigate a lack of available talent, improve moral, and keep the talent you already have. Building internal talent pipelines is not an easy task, but with technologies such as MojoHire, employers can leverage artificial intelligence, existing systems and data, and automation to efficiently fill talent gaps.  

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