Internal mobility describes the movement of employees within an organisation from one role to another. There are two types:
- Lateral mobility is where an employee takes on a new role at the same level as their current role, usually with different responsibilities or in a different business area
- Vertical mobility is where an employee tales on a new role at a level above their current role, usually with additional responsibility
Filling roles by implementing an internal mobility strategy for your organisation can be a cost-effective way of filling critical skills gaps, whilst boosting your employee retention and reducing turnover rates.
In this article, we outline some of the key benefits of internal mobility, along with advice on how to get the most out of your internal mobility strategy…
Key Benefits of Internal Mobility
Reduce Hiring Costs
Hiring internally will reduce the money you spend on posting job adverts externally, running recruitment marketing campaigns and locating strong talent. In today’s highly competitive job market, employers are having to do more to attract talent, including offering more competitive packages with higher salaries. Salaries given to external hires are almost 20% higher than those given internally, so hiring from within may mean you won’t have to ‘bid’ for the right candidate.
Save Time and Resources
Sifting through large volumes of external applications is a time-consuming process, as is the selection process. For roles you need to fill quickly, hiring internally means you’ll be looking at fewer applications, and can access talent almost immediately. You’ll also save time on initial training and onboarding and may be able to compromise on things like notice periods.
Find Employees Who Are a Cultural Fit
Finding potential employees who would fit in well with your company culture is one of the biggest challenges in recruitment. When hiring internally, you’ll have access to employees who know and already work well in your workplace environment. If a current employee is looking for a career move within your organisation instead of somewhere else, then this is also a good sign that they’re the right for your business.
Improve Employee Retention
According to research by LinkedIn, organisations with good internal mobility retain employees almost twice as long as organisations who don’t. Employee intent to stay is also 33% higher at organisations where internal mobility is encouraged. If you want to improve your retention, having an internal mobility strategy proves that you can offer employees a full career, rather than just a stepping-stone.
Putting Together an Internal Mobility Strategy
For internal mobility to work effectively, you’ll need a strategy in place to ensure it’s something that everyone in the organisation is aware of and has access to, and to allow it to become part of your company culture. Here are 5 things to consider when developing your strategy…
Make it Accessible
Encourage internal mobility at all levels of your organisation rather than just focusing on the highest performers. Pay attention to employees with high potential, or those with the skills to fill critical gaps from the ground up. Internal opportunities should be easily accessible to all, regardless of their background or role within the organisation.
Build a Skills Inventory
Make sure you’re keeping track of your employee’s key skills and interests as this will help you to identify skill gaps and employees who have the potential to thrive in multiple areas of the business. Not all roles can be filled so easily internally, so this will also help you to see whether an opportunity needs to be advertised more externally.
Encourage managers to gather this data from 1:1s and performance reviews and ensure it’s collected when new hires join the organisation.
Give Employees a Say
Just because an employee already has the skills to thrive in one job, this doesn’t mean that this is where their passion lies. Instead of losing a good employee because they don’t enjoy their role, create an environment where they can openly talk about how their interests are evolving, and which skills they’d really like to develop. Only 18% of employees feel their employers have a good understanding of their skills and interests – would you rather they discussed these with you, or with another manager elsewhere?
Create Opportunities for Mentoring and Skill-Sharing
Make learning a central part of your organisation. Consider offering mentorship or shadowing schemes at every level to encourage employees looking for a career change to make the move within the business. You could even create a platform for employees to share tips or resources that helped them develop a skill or be hired for a specific role. Make your encouragement for internal mobility clear and make lateral moves just as possible as vertical ones through making skill-sharing and learning more accessible.
Make Internal Mobility Part of Your Culture
Putting internal mobility at the forefront of your company culture is good for attracting new talent as well as retaining existing talent. Job seekers are becoming increasingly drawn to opportunities with good career development, so make this part of your organisation shine.
On Johnson and Johnson’s career page, they have a dedicated section for career growth which includes an interactive timeline showing an employee’s career journey. The timeline is even colour-coded to demonstrate which segments of the business the employee has worked in, showing both lateral and vertical progression. This is just one example of how you can showcase your internal mobility to appeal to external candidates too.
Why is Internal Mobility so Important in 2022?
51% of Learning and Development professionals believe internal mobility is more of a priority now than before COVID-19, particularly amongst Millennials and Gen Z and those whose career paths were disrupted due to the pandemic.
For Life Science recruiters and hiring managers, placing a bigger focus on internal mobility may be key in tackling the great resignation and retaining top talent in this candidate-driven job market.