Talent mobility, in an increasingly globalized world, can help companies stay agile and responsive to industry changes while meeting organizational goals. In this article, we’ll define what talent mobility is, what it looks like in practice, how to implement it, and its benefits. Let’s jump right in.
What Is Talent Mobility?
We’ve used the term “talent mobility” several times in this article. So, what is talent mobility, really, and why are more companies jumping on board to implement this practice? In short, it is a strategy to strengthen a company by creating a more productive, flexible, and happier work environment. More specifically, talent mobility is the practice of “talent” (employees) being moved to different positions within a company to provide a new perspective on company operations.
Picture this: an employee wants to be considered for a new position. Their current role is not 100% in-line with the job requirements of the open position, but they are a well-liked, smart, and adaptable member of the company. So, by laterally moving in-house employees to different positions within the company, the employee’s skills grow and they will become a more effective worker.
The intimate knowledge of multiple positions within the same system, as well as knowing the company’s values, culture, and problem areas, promotes collaboration and creativity. By implementing internal talent mobility best practices, companies create more well-rounded employees and more efficient processes.
Internal Talent Mobility Best Practices
Internal talent mobility best practices create a strong internal leadership pipeline. Instead of looking outside the company, recruiters can look internally to fill critical – and often, high-paying – leadership roles. If you need help filling roles within your company, reach out to see how we can help.
But where should a company start? HR must first home in on the most needed skills at the company. With this information in mind, HR can create development programs for existing employees to build upon existing skills and develop new ones. With a talent mobility mindset, companies can encourage cross-functional projects or other initiatives like rotations and secondments to give employees exposure to different facets of key business practices. Removing barriers between teams can foster learning amongst employees with different responsibilities.
From a recruitment perspective, when a company does find itself needing to look outside its walls for talent, internal talent mobility can be a selling point. And, when following internal talent mobility best practices, companies will already be keenly aware of what external candidates are likely to serve the specific needs of the company.
Talent Mobility Framework
So, how is an effective talent mobility framework designed? Maps are an excellent tool for visualization. Some employees may have a traditional promotional path ingrained in their minds as the only path forward. This mindset closes the door to talent mobility practices. Thus, utilizing career pathing software can show employees and employers what specific steps can be taken in talent mobility to progress one’s career.
Making this pathway clear from the very beginning gives employees a sense of their options within the company. Later, exit strategies from their current position can be viewed more positively. Holding events and facilitating a happy work environment can go a long way in establishing a system where employees want to stay with the company in multiple roles.
Benefits Of Talent Mobility
The benefits of talent mobility are many. By retaining skilled employees, company culture and productivity are improved, and turnover goes down. Needless to say, high turnover rates like we’ve seen over the past several years are costly.
Broadening an employee’s skill set is another benefit, as talent mobility practices create a more flexible team. For instance, Stacy, the Commercial Account Manager can fill the shoes of John, the Collections Officer in a pinch if she was previously employed in that role.
By investing in existing talent, companies show employees they care about supporting their growth and career goals. And, since career goals often change, talent mobility provides a framework to retain top talent while appeasing an employee’s new career plan. Management can also better support employees when retention is low, as more time with a company leads to stronger personal relationships. On top of this, talent mobility allows external hiring efforts to be focused on harder-to-fill, specialized positions.
The bottom line is that employees are more likely to stay with a company if there are clear opportunities for development. Talent mobility allows for that.
So, is talent mobility the new frontier – or just another nice-sounding buzzword? If implemented effectively, we think it will lead to more happy and healthy workplaces. While not all roles can be filled internally, a talent mobility pipeline may be the best solution to sustained success and employee satisfaction.