The Costs and Benefits of Internal Mobility Programs
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performance management

The Costs and Benefits of Internal Mobility Programs

There’s been much talk about how hard it is to find good people. Unfortunately, the “great resignation” has only added to the hiring troubles that companies are currently facing. Plus, there’s been a boom in hiring demand without a corresponding boom in talent availability.

Companies are struggling more than ever to fill vacant positions. This is why so many are looking toward their existing workforce and why you should make internal mobility part of your staffing strategy.

What Is Internal Mobility?

In a staffing or hiring context, internal mobility means hiring for a vacant position within your existing workforce. So, instead of looking for talent outside your company, you would look at your existing people with the skills and aptitude you need. Companies have long-standing beliefs and policies on internal promotions, and some are just beginning to see this as an option.

Why Is Internal Mobility a Good Idea?

When it comes to talent mobility solutions for companies trying to fill critical roles, there are several benefits to hiring from within, including:

Proven Culture Fit

Employees who have worked at your company for several years most likely fit into the company culture. Even if they have been working in a different role, they’ve already proven they can fit in, have established relationships, and “know their way around.”

Established Systems Knowledge

Every company has systems and policies that govern each department. Even if your internal mobility hire is moving to a new department, they will have a good handle on the basics, requiring less onboarding time. It also means that if the outgoing person is available for training, they won’t have to start from zero – which can speed up and improve knowledge transfer.

Improved Loyalty and Engagement

Nothing motivates your employees to be more engaged and loyal than recognition for a job well done, and there’s no better symbol of praise than a promotion! When you promote from within your company, you show employees that you value their contributions and that hard work and commitment are rewarded. But, on the flip side, when existing employees are passed over as candidates for a role in favor of an “outsider,” it can harm morale.

Baked In Insight

One of the best triggers for innovation and insight is internal company knowledge. It develops over time and work. When you choose to promote from within by opting for internal mobility of employees, you are infusing personal experience and company knowledge into their new role, which is often when the innovation magic happens.

Saves Money

As available employees have dried up and companies have hired from outside, many have found their recruiting costs have increased exponentially. Whether it’s direct costs like advertising or hiring costs of the wrong candidate –  it’s more expensive than ever to hunt for talent. A talent mobility program that focuses on people who already work for you eliminates many of those costs. In addition, there is less advertising involved, supervisors and managers are involved in identifying prominent candidates, and you already know your best prospects.

Lower Starting Salaries

Hiring “the perfect” candidate from outside the organization will never be cost-effective. Great candidates don’t come cheap, and you will have to pay for every certificate, degree, and year of experience. When you hire from inside your company, you will promote someone with the skills who lacks experience. Internal hiring allows you to offer a lower salary while you train them to perfect their skills.

How to Build an Internal Mobility Program

Successfully tapping into your “internal talent marketplace” doesn’t happen accidentally. You will need to put systems into place to make this work effectively. Start by addressing the basics:

  • Involve managers and supervisors by asking them to refer any outstanding employees on their team to your HR department. Even if there is no role immediately available, knowing whom to watch is a proactive approach.
  • Encourage employee learning. By supporting employee training programs, you can identify people who seek to improve their skills and are ambitious in their pursuit of internal opportunities.
  • Develop an effective method of “advertising” available roles to your workforce. Try a notice board in a break room or a Career page on your website.
  • Put effective support processes in place for employees to be assisted in their new roles. The worst thing you can do is put someone in a new position and not give them tools to succeed!
  • Foster a culture of building each other up. Managers and supervisors who hoard their best employees have no place in a company that values internal mobility. Ensure that they are committed to helping their best people move up, rather than keeping them stagnating. Lack of challenge is a huge factor employee retention!

The Keys to Internal Mobility Success

There’s no magic formula to ensure instant success of your internal mobility framework and there will likely be a few growing pains. However, with the right kind of commitment, and buy-in from leadership, this can be a successful hiring strategy.

Employee retention will always be a concern, combined with hiring shortages, it can be disastrous. By identifying and rewarding top performers with challenging roles and room to grow, you can address both issues.

It’s no coincidence that “room to grow” is a common phrase on most job postings. Knowing that there is somewhere to go, is one of the most important motivators you can give your people.

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