What is internal mobility, and why is it important?

Today, businesses face many challenges. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect companies and industries globally, the Great Resignation, low unemployment rates and growing skills shortages have created an intense and highly competitive talent market.

Companies require the right hiring strategies to safeguard their present and future. However, acquisition alone is not enough to access the talent required. To fuel growth, innovation and stability, businesses must tap into their existing workforces to identify and deploy employees with the right skills and motivation across their operations.

For many businesses, internal mobility may be the answer to solving their recruitment pain points and satisfying skill gaps. Therefore, this article will investigate internal mobility and why it is vital for businesses today. We will explore:

  • What is internal mobility? The definition and why it is necessary for an evolving working environment.
  • Furthermore, we will look at the potential benefits to a business created by internal mobility.
  • From saving time and money to future-proofing your workforce, internal mobility supports the growth of employees and business value.

What is Internal Mobility?

 Internal mobility is the movement of employees across a company, both laterally and vertically. Moving current employees between roles, teams, or departments is valuable in providing further opportunities within a company. 

For organizations, internal mobility enables them to keep pace with the demands of a modern business landscape. In a competitive job market, many believe the future of recruitment is agile, and businesses cannot expect to hire enough people to satisfy existing skill gaps. However, internal mobility supports businesses in building a more robust, versatile workforce.

Internal mobility provides employees with professional development, building their networks and business knowledge whilst growing their skills and versatility through on-the-job experience. In addition, internal mobility enables businesses to secure and develop their existing talent to drive innovation and deter high-performing employees from looking for roles elsewhere.

However, although 76% of businesses see internal mobility as critical to their future, only 40% have implemented the necessary framework.

Therefore, this article will hopefully highlight why you should invest in an internal mobility program. 

What are the benefits of internal mobility for a business?

Save time and money during recruitment

Recruitment processes can be expensive, time-consuming and disrupt productivity. According to a Gallup report, replacing employees with an external candidate can cost one and a half times the individual's salary. However, if businesses implement internal mobility, they avoid the need for external recruitment processes. As a result, internal mobility reduces the time needed to source a viable candidate and the money spent on marketing or other recruiting costs. Additionally, it helps decrease onboarding because employees are already aware of the organizational culture and day-to-day operations.

Furthermore, using existing talent to fill positions also ensures that you have a candidate who is already aligned with the mission and values of the company. So, avoiding any costly errors that see a candidate leaving shortly after being hired because they did not gel with the new role or company. 

A tool to attract talent

Today, employees and job seekers alike are seeking opportunities to grow. They pursue roles that offer them the chance to upskill and acquire a sense of fulfillment from their work and the results they achieve. 

Businesses with internal mobility programs are becoming highly popular among workers. Moreover, the support of employees' professional development and the chance to experience new things outside of their expected role has become an attractive pull to potential candidates. Thus, helping businesses attract ambitious candidates who bring a growth mindset to create future success.

A reputation as a business that supports talent to learn more about themselves and pushes them to reach their potential through internal mobility can attract and secure great talent. 

A change in the nature and demands of the workforce

Just as consumer demands are constantly evolving, so are the needs of employees. Today, following a shift in workplace demographics, Millennials and Gen-Z are soon to become the dominant age groups across the workforce. Therefore, businesses must adapt to satisfy workers' changing nature and needs.

On average, today's employees stay with companies for a shorter time. However, as they seek the freedom to experience different roles, careers and growth opportunities, with 94% of workers saying they would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers, internal mobility can be vital for retaining younger generations of talents.

The ability to offer employees vertical and lateral moves across an organization meets the workforce's demand for upskilling and embracing new opportunities. In addition, the chance to move between different roles or departments maintains interest, passion and excitement for employees, thus maintaining engagement and commitment to their job and company.

Although careers no longer follow a typical linear path, businesses must adapt their practices to ensure they can appeal to talent. Through internal mobility, they can channel their employees' willingness and hunger to learn in exciting ways, rather than competing in an open talent market where demand is fierce.

The importance of retention

Today, employees are less satisfied with their jobs. Globally, the employee engagement rate is 20%. Therefore, businesses must find solutions to maintain engagement and prevent a mass exodus that may impact a business's ability to grow.

An internal mobility program supports the nurturing and retaining of your best employees. It provides workers with a chance to grow their skills, embrace new professional challenges and see them become an instrumental part of the organization.

For employees, the ability to experience different business areas can answer their needs as workers. In addition, the ability to trial and find roles that they are passionate about and build holistic knowledge of business processes supports their growth.

To support employee growth, it is vital to have a system that supports employees in achieving their professional ambitions. Internal mobility serves the crucial purpose of helping employees find what they want from their careers and align with their aspirations without leaving the company.

For many, a lack of career progression can be the catalyst for their leaving a role. Internal mobility can help improve your staff's retention by offering employees development opportunities without having to job hunt or risk being unemployed and the financial insecurity that may entail. Additionally, 81% of Talent Acquisition professionals surveyed in the Global Talent Trends 2020 report agreed that internal recruiting improves retention.

When employees understand the possibilities available to them within a business, it can help to improve their engagement, productivity and, most importantly, their desire to continue working in their job. For businesses, stability and avoiding turnover can have significant benefits. Furthermore, the freedom offered to employees to try new roles may help to find your next business leaders or innovators.

Prepare your business for the future

Businesses already forecast future performance and operations, but in light of rising skills shortages and low unemployment rates, they must prepare to meet their future hiring needs. With an internal mobility strategy, businesses have an opportunity to leverage and grow their existing teams. Previously, businesses' focus was on replacing people and skills. As a result, they sought to fill existing positions rather than consider how they could utilize their time and resources to drive the company forward.

By contemplating the future direction of your business and the rising skill gaps, they can create a plan for how they can meet their future needs. Through internal mobility, companies can redeploy their employees to address demand changes.

 Internal mobility allows organizations to use existing employees to solve current and future needs. Understanding what your business and industry may look like can ensure you have the skills and personnel ready for the challenge. 

For businesses, it allows them to build development plans to strategize how to utilize their employees' talents and give them opportunities to reskill and upskill. For example, to improve their proficiency with new technologies.Looking to the future can put your business in a great position. By understanding what you need, internal mobility can help leverage existing employees to rise to these challenges and discover untapped potential that may drive the business's future. As well as improving your employees' engagement and avoiding stagnation.

Why internal mobility could be the answer to your hiring needs

The competition for talent increases daily. However, internal mobility may be the solution to answer businesses' demand for exciting, versatile talent. Using existing employees and focussing on their potential to work in various capacities can help organizations adapt to the reality of the hiring market. Businesses must realize that their most significant talent source is their existing workforce. The new world of work requires a level of agility achievable through the development and empowerment of employees to grow within an organization, which is possible through internal mobility.

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