Internal mobility refers to the movement of employees to new roles within the same organization – as opposed to external mobility, which involves a change of employers. Why encourage internal mobility? What are the benefits for the company and for employees?
The benefits of internal mobility
Saving time & money in your recruitment process, improving your productivity and enhancing your employer brand: a quick review of internal mobility’s benefits.
→ Lower costs
Internal mobility cuts recruitment costs. Searching for profiles, reviewing CVs, interviewing candidates: these are time-consuming tasks. Add the recruitment agencies’ fees and you have a major cost center. The time and budget allocated to recruitment are very substantial – especially for a large company. Encouraging internal mobility therefore helps organizations save significant amounts of time and money. Another time-saving benefit of internal mobility: it shortens the onboarding and adaptation period. Unlike new recruits, employees who know the company’s culture and processes can pretty much “hit the ground running” in their new roles.
→ Higher productivity
Why move to another company when you can find a better position with your current employer? When a company communicates clearly and transparently about its internal mobility policy, it can more easily involve employees in its long-term strategy. Those who want to gain additional skills and advance their will tend to be more loyal to a company where they know this is possible. If they trust their colleagues in HR, they won’t turn to a competitor as soon as they feel the need to move on. And when they feel engaged by the company’s vision, employees are more committed and loyal – as well as more motivated and productive.
→ Enhanced employer brand
An employee engaged by the company’s strategy is a motivated and loyal employee. Retention and talent management are key objectives of the employer brand. In this respect, a well-managed internal mobility policy that clearly benefits employees is an asset for the company’s image – and helps attract new recruits. Indeed, applicants will see it as a sign that the company cares about its employees’ professional development.
How to encourage internal mobility
Inadequate communication from HR, compounded by employees’ fear of resentment should they seek a new role in the organization: some companies unintentionally discourage internal mobility. Who’s in the best position to change this?
→ Employees in the driving seat
Career management practices depend on the local culture. In some countries, it is unusual to stay on the lookout for opportunities within your company. Many candidates are afraid that their application for an internal position will be frowned upon or seen as a sign of instability. This is why most employees do not check internal vacancies or contact HR. To advance their careers, employees should be in the driving seat of their professional development and confidently express their ambitions. This means spelling out their wishes to their managers and to the HR department.
→ The role of HR and managers
Thanks to their closeness and knowledge of team members, managers should be in the best position to make decisions regarding internal mobility. However, it can happen that a disagreement with the HR department, in charge of finalizing the recruitment process, hinders their initiatives. Effective collaboration between managers and HR is key to encouraging employees to talk more freely about their ambitions.
→ HR, managers, employees: all stakeholders in internal mobility
In brief, inadequate communication between HR, employees and their managers is probably the main obstacle to internal mobility. Improving communication between these stakeholders to showcase opportunities and celebrate promotions plays a key role in promoting mobility within the company. A successful internal mobility policy drives productivity & competitiveness, cuts recruitment costs and strengthens the employer brand.
Illustration credits: https://www.istockphoto.com/fr/portfolio/nadia_bormotova