Internal mobility has become a prominent topic in recent months as organizations realign their talent priorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it’s had on operations. As workforces suffered high numbers of redundancies, organizations wanted to make the most of the talent they already had in place. Layer on top of this a shift in required skills and the question of buying, borrowing or building necessary talent, it’s now a major focus.
The benefits of an internal mobility program go beyond fulfilling the needs of an organization’s future skills requirement though. More are detailed below.
Retain more employees. Organizations that provide employees with the opportunity to move careers, rather than employers, reap the rewards. 94% of employees say they would stay at an organization longer if it invested in their learning and development (L&D), research from LinkedIn revealed. And, a report from Gallup found that companies that have made strategic investment in employee development are twice as likely to retain their employees. Employees want to be able to grow and chart their future and if they’re given the tools to do so, they would rather be loyal and stay put.
Increase revenue. Companies that invest in employee development experience 11% greater profitability than organizations that don’t invest, according to research from Gallup.
Improve your employment brand. Organizations must position themselves as employers of choice and effectively “sell” their companies to candidates. Today’s candidates demand growth opportunities and the chance to learn is one of the top reasons why people take a job, so having an internal mobility program can help to enhance your employment brand. The one caveat is that you need to have a way to share these programs with prospective candidates – internal and external – perhaps through employee testimonials or social media campaigns.
Increase performance and employee satisfaction. Employees with access to training have a greater success rate. It’s seems obvious the more employees learn, the more equipped they are to do their jobs. But it’s also about empowering employees to continue honing their skills. This leads to higher employee satisfaction because workers feel valued and supported in the job they’re doing. And it gives them confidence their employer believes in them to achieve more. This has become especially important with workforces going virtual (as we no longer can walk across the hall for help).
Save on costs. Internal mobility can save on recruitment (and onboarding) costs. The average cost per hire of a new employee in the US is $4,000 and it takes an average 24 days. It’s £3,000 and 27.5 days in the UK, according to Glassdoor. Sure, you will need to invest in development costs, but you’ll be doing so with a long-term benefit. Additionally, the costs required for development are spread out across the entire workforce through tools like an LMS or internal mobility software, and not a cost-per-hire spend.
Culture alignment is guaranteed. Filling open roles with current employees means no concerns about whether a candidate is a good fit culturally. And that goes both ways. Their loyalty is proof your organization is a good match for them too.
Fill positions quickly. Open roles are filled at a much faster pace with internal candidates and onboarding requirements are minimal.
Avoid redundancies. Redeploying employees to different departments in economic uncertainty in lieu of reducing headcount is certainly preferred. It can reduce costs related to outplacement and unemployment taxes in the current and recruitment and onboarding in the future. It can also prevent negative sentiment relating to employer brand from disgruntled employees who were laid off. It gives the opportunity for organizations to bounce back quicker when the economy recovers as they won’t have to recruit new employees. This provides a notable competitive advantage.
Look at your organization’s attrition rates. Is there a common timeframe in which high-performing employees leave the business? Analyze the data from exit interviews to see if there are any common themes. Are employees leaving the business within a certain timeframe because of a lack of growth opportunities at that stage? If yes, provide learning opportunities that will open up new career potential to keep them.