Internal mobility is a hot topic; it has many advantages for the employer and employees alike. Here’s some things to consider before setting up an effective internal mobility process.

Your internal mobility process should benefit 3 parties

An internal mobility process must meets the needs of 3 groups.

  1. Employee. Let’s consider the employee who has a desire for mobility to ensure we are responding to their request.
  2. Employer. However, there are also the needs of the company, which, defined in its strategy, has its own expectations in terms of mobility.
  3. HR. And, of course, there is HR who must answer to that strategy and act on it.

Mobility must make sense for all three parties equally.

What your employee needs

First off, employees will have a goal for their career development. Your internal mobility process will certainly address those who have succeeded at their job and wish to take the next logical step up, progressing within the company. Here, we are talking about vertical mobility

There are also those who are looking to discover a new profession and are wondering about other jobs they could perform within the company. These employees do not necessarily want to leave the company, they feel good where they are, but they are looking for bridges of professional development. There are also employees thinking of re-locating for one reason or another. Still, they would like the opportunity to remain with the company, just in another role in a different part of the world.

And so we have three types of mobility: vertical, horizontal and geographical mobility, which answer these three questions that an employee may ask themselves during their career at your company

What are the steps for an employee’s mobility internally?

If your company has a job board, then you can easily post open positions there and call for applications. This is the first place employees ought to check for leads on mobility. If your company does not have this kind of system in place, it would be worth your while to create one or to communicate internally company-wide every month on open positions

For HR and management, there are key moments when employees should have an opportunity to express their thoughts and wishes on internal mobility – notably during quarterly check-ins or annual appraisals. It’s the perfect time find out what is motivating their mobility request and to learn more.

This is also the perfect time to have them complete a skills assessment or consult your skills benchmark if you have one, to see what jobs are possible and plausible for the employee right now.

The company’s needs

A company draws up a new business plan and is considering taking market share in a new field that will lead to the creation of new jobs. So, inevitably, there will be internal job openings. HR is there to respond to this business strategy. In particular, they can assess skills and talent already available in the company. 

To give you an example, if you have an established Workforce Planning strategy, you can then analyse your population internally and map out your current and future roles. This will highlight the positions that may be heading for a level of risk to security. But for the people occupying those positions, this does not necessarily have to mean ‘redundancy’.  Here, we can try to move towards mobility.

Internal mobility reduces recruitment costs

Internal mobility also makes it possible to optimise recruitment costs. We don’t always think of mobility as a means of cutting costs. However, external recruitment is expensive, particularly in lieu of the fact that your company most certainly already has existing skills and talent inside. We all have an internal talent pool and we should make the absolute most of it. It’s easy to overlook an employee because they lack some of the hard skills or technicality for a specific role when considering an opening. But their soft skills can tell us a lot more about their fit to that role and if they could be developed into the perfect candidate with some training and re-skilling! This is the perfect opportunity to develop talent internally and keep those skills within the company.

HR’s needs

HR has the power to energise and drive an internal mobility process in order to promote career development and better engage employees. A company that develops its internal talent can evolve simultaneously with its employees. And in doing so, we create added value in the employee experience. People in the company feel reassured and valued because they are trusted and nurtured. Additionally, this helps teams maintain the most current and up to date skills in every post.

Developing an internal mobility process is a win-win decision, both for the company and for employees. You can fill vacancies from your internal pool of talent. Also, it optimises spending by cutting down costs related to external recruitment plus avoids hiring errors related to poor culture fit. When you already know an employee, you know what their strengths and points to develop are. With this, you can anticipate and prepare an internal mobility support plan to promote performance in a position.