The talent market is heavily competitive at the moment – making it incredibly difficult, and time consuming, to recruit top talent. Rather than always looking to hire from the outside in, it’s important to ensure you’re not discounting those who already work for your organization – they may already have the right skills and experience that you’re looking for.
Benefits of internal mobility
There are many advantages to having a culture where employees are encouraged to move around internally – but the biggest one is employee retention. According to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2020 report, employees stick around 41% longer at companies that regularly hire from within.
By hiring someone who already works for your company, it means the whole recruitment process will be faster, and cheaper. From an onboarding perspective, there will be less of a learning curve because the employee will already be familiar with the mission, vision, ways of working, and will likely already know many of their key stakeholders.
Embracing an open culture
When companies have the type of environment where career paths are openly discussed between employees and leaders, it allows employees to feel comfortable sharing when they are thinking about doing something new. This also gives leaders an opportunity to help the employee, by suggesting ways they can build up certain skills or get particular experience – while getting a heads up that they may need to soon backfill the employee’s role.
An example of best practice is at Salesforce, where employees have access employee engagement scores across each manager’s team so they can see which internal opportunities look most enticing.
Rather than building out a full internal mobility program, one option is to encourage employees to go on short-term secondments internally – such as 3 or 6 months long in another department. This gives them the opportunity to gain new skills and experiences, with the benefit of knowing they’ll be returning to their home role.
Like any talent attraction strategy – there are risks and challenges to be mindful of.
With internal mobility, often, people managers don’t want to let go of their high performing employees and lose them to another team. However, if you think about the big picture, it’s better to have that employee still work for the organization, than for them to leave and work elsewhere.
Another risk is for the internal candidates who aren’t successful getting the role. If they were a flight risk before, now they’re certainly a flight risk. This is where it’s important for the leader to have an honest and transparent conversation to understand what the employee wants to do next and to map out a succession plan of how to help them get there.
Next time you’re recruiting – take a look at the talent you’ve got right in front of you, they may be the best candidate after all.