Internal mobility – the most under-valued hiring channel?

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Internal mobility – the most under-valued hiring channel?
Darren Topping

Internal mobility – the most under-valued hiring channel?

With the skills gap widening, we examine how organisations can take advantage of existing talent to fill open roles.

In 2020 LinkedIn pegged internal mobility as one of their top 5 talent trends for 2022, stating that ‘upskilling, reskilling and investing in your current employees has never been more important’.  What’s interesting to note, however, is that Glint’s latest Employee Well-Being Report revealed that only 20% of employees believe they can reach their career goals in their current workplace and have their manager’s and organisation’s support to do so. It’s clear that employers are, for the most part, struggling to take advantage of the talent already existing within their organisation and employees are also sometimes oblivious to their potential career paths within a company.

So, why is recruiting internal talent so important?

Traditionally, (and only in some organisations I stress!), internal mobility can be seen as an administrative exercise and a box-tick exercise before a company can open a role to the wider external market. In reducing internal recruitment in this way, however, companies are missing out on some incredible benefits that extend beyond simply filling a role.

Firstly, employees stay, on average, 41% longer at companies that invest in internal hiring. Once employees become aware of internal hiring paths a cultural shift is signalled and the workplace becomes more than merely the host of the current - a place to build a career. This enables companies to retain their best, most driven, and potential-laden employees – employees that you already know align with the company culture. What’s more, hiring in this way means that employees are able to upskill and adapt to new positions, meaning that your whole team, and the company at large, suddenly becomes much more agile and cohesive with employees already knowing exactly how their colleagues’ role’s function and therefore, how to work better, together. Not only this, but your company will have developed a significant competitive advantage in the face of tough hiring markets and candidate shortages.

What lessons can we learn about internal mobility?

Internal mobility can be enhanced, and kick started in a variety of different ways from simply extending the same courtesy and tone that you would with an external candidate to an internal candidate, to setting up entire programmes dedicated to the practice.

Indeed, Head of Global Talent Acquisition and Mobility at Uber, Paul Lawrenson, has been quoted saying ‘whether it’s an internal or external candidate, people should have the same opportunities,’ and this philosophy is reflected in the fact that that 30-40% of Uber’s hires are internal with 20% of their recruiters focusing solely on internal channels. Uber achieved this through the development of an entire programme based off internal mobility including an internal gig platform in which employees can apply for short-term assignments within other teams. A programme like this could be easily replicated and enables employees to get a taste of other roles within the company as well as extending their networks.

Internal mobility is not simply about filling roles, however, as Talent Acquisition will have to work more holistically with the added dimension of acting as career coaches. Unsuccessful candidates will still have their previous positions and will also need support after being turned down to avoid attrition. Having Talent Acquisition provide feedback and direction after the process will also ensure everyone remains feeling part of the team with the opportunity to growth within the company.

Very simply, cultivating internal mobility can begin with the interpersonal, learning more about your teams and their aspirations. Having said that, there are also software and technology developments which can aid your company in building a more internally mobile practice.

Use recruitment technology to your advantage

There are also some fantastic software and technology developments which can help your company build a more internally mobile practice.

At Lorien we use OpenBlend, a career progression tool, to keep track of our employees’ career goals, their aspirations, and their work-life balance; this is with the knowledge that 94% of employees say they would stay in their current position if they only had support to learn and grow. The software helps us to nurture continued growth and upskilling as well as ensuring we allot time to have conversations about career aspirations, taking the pressure off of employees to find the right moment. Not only are we striving to develop and grow our own internal recruitment channels, however, but to bring this mind-set into the other workforces we interact with, with the knowledge that 94% of HR professionals believe that internal recruitment is key to retaining the most valuable talent.

There are plenty of other tools that can aid companies in broadening their internal recruitment channels. Gloat, another platform, aims to make companies more agile and adaptable through AI technology which tracks employees’ skills, experiences and career goals to help uncover hidden talent. The platform takes a two-pronged approach, offering both workforce intelligence and then the capability to move and relocate this talent efficiently and effectively. Fuel50 also uses AI, promising a 60% increase in talent retention and a 55% improvement in mobility with their ‘hyper-personalised marketplace,’ which continually alerts employees as to new opportunities available to them.

Skillsize takes a different angle, offering you the capability to break down candidate’s hard and soft skills and then match these to potential roles within your organisation that math this candidate’s potential, giving both hiring and candidate a potential career path that they previously would not have been aware of.

Deloitte, Forbes and LinkedIn are just three of the names signalling the importance of internal recruitment in development, with the latter noting that ‘unsurprisingly the early adopters of this shift [to internal recruitment] have come from the technology industry’. So, if you’re finding it hard to fill a role, or are looking to begin making the shift to a more flexible and streamlined workplace – consider improving internal mobility options.

Are you wondering how you can make the most of this potentially under-valued recruitment channel? Reach out to me here to learn how you can access your hidden talent, improve internal engagement, and optimise your resources to spend more time on growth, and less on attrition.


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