Internal Talent Mobility: A Best Practice Guide

How To Help Your Organization Thrive in this New World of Work

Internal talent mobility, talent development, and career growth journeys are all absolutely in demand right now. People are willing to learn more within their current organization and even their current role. In fact, people are actively looking to grow and develop and are seeking opportunities to move their careers forward.

As we enter a new post-pandemic world of work, and “as organizations globalize and compete aggressively for top talent, the importance of internal, enterprise-wide talent mobility has become paramount. Organizations can no longer expect to source and hire enough people with all the capabilities they need; they must move and develop people internally to be able to thrive.”1

Smart, forward-thinking organizations will focus on prioritizing this demand for talent development and career growth journeys and will work to implement a new set of norms that both enable and encourage internal talent mobility. Those that do this will be far more likely to thrive in this new world of work.

What is Internal Talent Mobility?

Internal talent mobility is the process of moving people within your workforce to fill open opportunities. This can include promotions to new roles, short-term redeployment, gig opportunities, or moves to different departments.

Promoting internal talent mobility encourages cross team talent sharing and cultivates a culture of learning and development. People who have a growth mindset — a passion for continuous learning and an expanding skill set — are better able to embrace change with greater confidence.

The Benefits of Internal Talent Mobility

Internal talent mobility is at the root of organizational and personal resilience. It engages staff, retains top talent, and gets the best from an organization’s workforce without costly and time-consuming external recruitment. In fact, “87% of employers agreed an internal mobility program would help their retention goals”.1

Not only is internal talent mobility a major source of critical talent, competitive advantage, and a driver of growth, but it is also a source of employee engagement. Furthermore, if you are continually growing your existing talent and giving them opportunities to develop, then you are going to attract other people to your team in the future.

Best Practices for Internal Talent Mobility

Here are five best practices for how to build an agile workforce that is ready for whatever the future may bring.

1. Be Inclusive
Inclusivity is the burning imperative right now and the pandemic era combined with the #BlackLivesMatter global activism is driving this to be at the forefront of every organization we talk to today. Give everyone equal opportunity to participate and have a voice through an employee-centric or bottom-up approach.

2. Think Inside First
We have a responsibility right now to our people to look internally before externally. The labor market forces are so tough out there right now, that we must ensure that we have given opportunities to our existing workforce that match not only our employment contracts but also our psychological contracts with them. Provide opportunities to leverage the existing capability within your business, first.

3. Be Transparent
Transparency will drive fairness and inclusivity. If ALL opportunities are open to all people across our business, then we can be fairer and more inclusive to all. Provide transparency around each employee’s personal skills match to opportunities (both vacancies and more importantly projects, gigs, stretch assignments and experiences – which have historically not been so transparent as vacancies). The next frontier is into the experience marketplace so that people have visibility to all opportunities and can understand what skills they need to invest in to create opportunities for their future. This is the new career currency.

4. Use Ethical AI
More than ever, we need to take care around how we are using AI when it comes to people decisions. Is historical data perpetuating some old-code ways or built-in biases? We need to carefully examine our paradigms and lens on talent to ensure we are supporting important business fundamentals and values.

5. Be Self-Sustaining
Drive sustainable change, one person at a time, by enabling each and every employee to be at their best – growing their skills for their own future and that of the organization. It is possible with the right technology, and an employee-centric approach to talent development, to grow a groundswell of change. At one Pharma client, Fuel50 has seen over 1M experiential learning hours in 6 months and 375,000 reskilling actions taken across a workforce of 100,000. One of our favorite quotes on this is, “Avalanches come from snowflakes”, – all these micro-moments of re-skilling can, at an aggregate level, begin to transform an organization from the bottom-up.

Looking to the future

Ultimately, HR teams and leaders have an important role to play in this new world of work. As David Perring, Director of Research at Fosway Group highlights, “Organizations achieve through their people. So, the opportunity to create higher performing organizations is really at HR’s fingertips – if we choose to harness it.”2

Talent practices will need to be better than they were last decade. More human, people-centric, intelligent, more robust in their skills and capability matching, more learning and growth-oriented, more enabling, and better able to deliver the talent optimization that organizations will need in the coming decade.

There needs to be a deep systemic organizational commitment, investment, and passion for the growth of people and their skills, and within that, a commitment to harness talent mobility as a lever for building skills and growing talent.

Organizations that are fair, transparent, inclusive, respectful of their people are the ones who will thrive in the future. We need a more human/humane work experience, and the time is now. At Fuel50, we have been waiting for this moment. Bring it on!

1 Deloitte, 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends Report

2 David Perring, Fosway Group, Does Your Organization Have a Future Without Talent Mobility?

Anne Fulton Fuel50 HR.com

HR.com’s State of Internal Mobility Virtual Event

Join us on Thursday 5th November for this free virtual event. Swing by our virtual booth and check out all of our available resources! Plus, don’t miss CEO of Fuel50, Anne Fulton’s, presentation on “Best Practices in Internal Talent Mobility for our New Era” at 12:30pm – 2:00pm ET. Look forward to seeing you there!

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