What should you consider to improve internal talent mobility in your organization?

In our previous article, we talked about the main obstacles to internal talent mobility that organizations are facing today. In this second part we would like to give some tips to address those issues.

Set up a well-defined internal mobility program with clear objectives about the role of the program in the organization’s overall talent strategy, a process owner, tool requirements and success measures. It should consider the following questions:

  • Which employee (categories) should be moving internally and how often?
  • Should the transfers be initiated by employees themselves or management?
  • What kind of mobility is most strategic (Cross location? Cross-function? Cross business unit…?)
  • How should internal talent mobility connect with HR functions like project staffing, learning & development, performance management, career planning, strategic workforce planning, etc.?
  • What are our organizations requirements on software for an internal talent marketplace?
  • What incentives could support the talent mobility objectives and remove culture & managerial barriers?

Don’t forget to communicate about the program and market it to your employees, as well as measure their engagement and satisfaction with it (engagement surveys, interviews of employees who transferred and who didn’t, questions about it in exit interviews…) in order to adapt it.

Gain visibility on existing skills AND potential for growth.

  • Involve your employees, their peers, and managers in the recording of skills as they know best what they are truly doing.
  • Use different sources to gain knowledge on skills (CVs, certificates, self-evaluation, manager evaluations, peer surveys, social media…) and update that regularly based on daily jobs.
  • Incentivize employees to keep their skill profiles updated (gamified platform, mobile access, recognition, meaningful rewards, internal marketing…)
  • Track more than just existing skills. Look at attributes, competencies, drivers, traits, motives, interests and learning ability to estimate growth potential.
  • Continuously improve your skill ontology and catalogue (including future skill trends). The use of technology can be helpful to do that with things such a as skills clouds, AI & machine learning to extract skills from texts…

Enable internal talent mobility with technology.

  • Provide a platform for your employees to be informed about opportunities. Make sure that opportunities are personalized and can be linked to their career paths.
  • Make growth opportunities possible by making the needed learning content accessible in the right format to the right people at the right time.
  • Take an agile approach to talent by enabling project / gig mobility, cross functional transfer, flexible role definition… A strong trend currently is internal talent marketplaces.
  • Simplify the process of changing jobs. For example, through the consolidation of the IT system infrastructure, simplification of administrative procedures…

Promote culture of commitment.

  • Make sure your employees feel positive about internal job changes by communicating more about it and proactively promoting internal mobility.
  • Get rid of managerial barriers by making a manager’s ability to “develop talent and let go” a performance measure for managers.
  • Prevent talent hoarding and black markets.
  • Give useful feedback for unsuccessful applicants and encourage them to try again.

Design a high-quality job architecture.

  • Consolidate job titles and descriptions, that reflect the true essence of the work. Keep them simple and use a platform that enables you to review them regularly. It is important that job descriptions and titles can be attached to skills and competencies.
  • Unify your grading/levelling practices and roll-out a consolidated evaluation scheme globally. The grades should then be mapped to positions and employees, creating clear and fair compensation, and removing the “level issue” as a barrier to internal talent mobility.
  • Plan for impact of technology on your workforce and what that means in terms of future skills demand. This will give you foresight on which up-skilling and re-skilling initiatives you should invest and thus a strategic direction for your internal talent mobility program.

Overall, internal talent mobility remains difficult for organizational, operational, and cultural reasons. However, with a clearly defined strategy, a consolidated job architecture, simplified processes, supported culture of change and with the right technology, internal talent mobility can be achieved and will be one of the greatest competitive advantages for organizations.

In our next article, we will give you an overview of the main technology providers that support internal talent mobility. Stay tuned!