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Recruiting Hacks

Internal Mobility: A Guide For Growth

As a business manager or HR professional, you want to attract and retain top talent. Don’t you? At the same time, your superstars want unlimited access to learning and development opportunities. They continuously look for new prospects for their careers.  


Not to mention, after the global pandemic, talented people seem less concerned about leaving their job. If we look at the ‘Great Resignation’ stats, 4.35 million people quit their jobs in February 2022. A study from IBM’s Institute for Business Value found that 1 in 5 workers voluntarily change their jobs in 2021.  


In such circumstances, organizations can’t overlook the significance of internal talent mobility. Rotating employees into different roles is a highly effective but underutilized technique in organizations today. A culture of mobility is a sign of a healthy organization and leads to increased collaboration, improved innovation, better department cooperation, and stronger cohesion. 


In this post, we’re going to explain internal mobility, its importance for your company, and best practices.  

What is internal mobility?  


Internal mobility refers to the movement of employees within an organization to different roles or positions. It is a process where you give your employees the opportunity to take on new challenges, develop new skills, and gain diverse experiences within the company.  


Internal mobility can occur both vertically, where employees move up the hierarchy of the company, and laterally, where employees move to roles with a similar level of responsibility and authority. 


By fostering a culture of internal mobility, organizations can tap into the potential of their workforce, create a more engaged and motivated team, and drive innovation. The benefits of internal mobility are numerous, including increased job satisfaction, reduced turnover, and the development of a more diverse and well-rounded workforce.  


Additionally, a mobile workforce can lead to improved collaboration and communication, stronger relationships between departments, and a more cohesive and dynamic organizational culture. 


Importance of internal mobility for organizations today  

A report from Gartner reveals that companies with limited opportunities for internal career growth face an annual cost of $49 million due to employee turnover. Meanwhile, the research discovered that employees brought in from outside had a higher rate of departure compared to those promoted internally, yet received 18-20% higher pay.  


These stats aptly highlight the importance of offering meaningful career progression opportunities within the company to retain valuable talent and minimize the cost of turnover. Here are some advantages of moving your talent internally:  

  1. Reduced costs  


We understand that bringing on new hires often involves incurring additional expenses such as job advertisements, training, and relocation. You can easily avoid these costs by promoting from within and investing in existing talent.  


However, if you don’t have proper onboarding measures and multi-measure assessment tools in place, there is a risk of hiring the wrong people. Nevertheless, offering growth opportunities to current employees can help you greatly reduce turnover and provide a cost-effective solution for filling positions. 

  1. Improved retention rate  


Better talent retention is probably the leading factor that increases the importance of internal mobility for companies today. HR professionals widely recognize the value of internal recruiting and retaining top talent, with 94% reporting it helps retain their most valuable employees, and 81% noting it improves retention in general. 

  1. Powerful employer brand  

Creating a culture of mobility is one of the powerful ways to boost your employer brand and attract top talent. By offering employees opportunities to grow and develop within the company, you show a commitment to your employees' career progression and create a culture of growth and advancement.  


As a result, it enhances the perception of your company as an employer brand and attracts job seekers who are looking for long-term career growth and development. Internal mobility not only enhances your employer brand but also develops a well-rounded and diverse workforce that drives innovation and business success. 


Internal mobility best practices  

Internal mobility comes with certain challenges such as lack of information and manager resistance. The following best practices will help you face these challenges more effectively:  

  1. Evaluate your internal mobility policies to ensure consistency  


To effectively improve your mobility culture, it is crucial to assess your existing HR policies and procedures. This includes having consistent internal mobility policies and making sure they are effectively communicated to all employees.  


Your employees must be aware of your internal mobility policies and career development opportunities. Show support when they want to move internally. Most importantly, your HR department must be able to understand the internal talent pool. Besides, your managers must encourage and promote internal mobility.  

  1. Build an internal talent marketplace  


Have you implemented a cutting-edge talent management platform to gather, manage, and assess your employee information, such as skills and qualifications? If not, it’s time to take a step back and implement the right technology to support your growth goals.  


The primary objective here is to match employees with the right opportunities within the company, rather than simply filling job openings with available candidates. This leads to a more engaged and fulfilled workforce, and a more efficient and effective talent management process for the organization. 

  1. Develop a progression framework  


A career progression framework, also known as a development framework, is a comprehensive map outlining the skills and abilities needed for employees to advance within a company. This crucial tool supports internal mobility by providing employees with a clear understanding of their growth potential and the steps required to reach their professional goals.  


Organizations may choose to implement a single overarching framework or craft separate frameworks for individual teams. The framework should detail all levels of the company hierarchy, including job titles, and specify the competencies necessary to attain each level. 


Related: The Race To Retain Employees: What Should You Do To Win? 

  1. Promote skill-based internal hiring  


To eliminate bias in the hiring process and open up new opportunities, managers can use skills-based hiring. This approach focuses on matching the required skills to job tasks rather than considering the candidate's background or past experience.  

To effectively implement skills-based hiring, companies must have a clear understanding of their employees' skills and areas for development, which is where a talent mobility program comes in. This program helps provide transparency of internal talent and quickly identify potential candidates for internal job openings. 

Closing thoughts  


The success of your business greatly relies on the ability of your employees to grow within the company. Both you and your employees benefit from internal mobility as employees can advance their careers while the company can attract and retain top talent with ease and speed.  


In today's job market, it's especially important to focus on internal mobility to fill positions when hiring is difficult. To truly make internal mobility a success, it needs to become an integral aspect of your company's culture.