Just a few weeks ago, internal mobility conversations were largely focused on the need for employers to improve their efforts in this area to both attract and, even more importantly, retain talent. As Human Resource Executive reported in February, this year marked the first time that “retaining key talent” emerged as the number one challenge that HR executives say is keeping them up at night.
In March, SHRM highlighted LinkedIn’s ongoing analysis of active user profiles, which finds that “employees who were promoted within three years of being hired have a 70 percent chance of staying onboard.” Among those who either weren’t promoted or didn’t take on a new role, LinkedIn reveals the odds that employees will stay at the organization drop to 45 percent. For any organization concerned about retaining top talent, there’s no getting around the fact that internal mobility is a must.
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Internal Mobility Demands Shift Dramatically
While internal mobility for employee retention and engagement will certainly remain a vital topic among talent acquisition leaders, especially those working in industries that struggle with persistent labor shortages (even during an economic downturn), the conversation has shifted dramatically as organizations react to the COVID-19 crisis.
One of the discussions that has taken center stage is around an organization’s ability to immediately redeploy current employees for the vast number of temporary roles that must now be filled. This is this case for many large hospitals and health systems that are scrambling to move talent—including team members that have been furloughed due to the cancellation of non-essential surgeries and procedures—around quickly to ensure they have the clinical staff and frontline workers that are desperately needed to fight the pandemic.
The good news is that there are tools and solutions available to support talent acquisition teams in these efforts, many of which are already in place and simply need retooling. For example, hospitals and health systems can leverage their applicant tracking system or candidate relationship management software to facilitate the mass redeployment of workers by creating flex pools and then customizing internal employee workflows to process “candidates” for the assignments. This can be accomplished by implementing an opt-in mechanism for employees that captures basic information through a brief survey, then passing that information through a standard API feed or developing a custom feed to capture additional information. Recruiters can match those who have opted in against job criteria and move matches swiftly through the assessment and role assignment process.
Preparing for Talent Redeployment Success
While each organization will benefit from tailoring its internal talent redeployment program to meet unique hiring situations and work within the capabilities of its current HR tech stack, there are three universal considerations that will prepare your team for greater success:
1. Identify what you want to track and report on. At minimum, most organizations will need to track when someone is assigned to a temporary role and how long the assignment will last. But there may be other requirements, such as having insight into what happens once the initial assignment ends. Has the employee been reassigned and, if so, to what role? Thinking through all potential tracking and reporting scenarios will lead to a faster and smoother launch of the initiative, as well as better overall program management.
2. Determine the criteria for screening current employees. What and how much detail will recruiters need in order to assess which employees are qualified for the available roles? The more specific talent acquisition can get when it comes to the must-have, versus nice-to-have, skills that are required, the better. Moving people through the process and getting them assigned quickly depends on clear assessment criteria.
3. Map out the general process in advance. Mapping out a process to manage a hiring situation that employers have not previously faced can be daunting, however, anticipating each step that your team will need to take is essential given that an internal redeployment process is far different than traditional internal and external hiring processes. Ideally, you will be able to keep the process as streamlined as possible so that you can adapt to rapidly-changing demands while ensuring that the right people have been redeployed to the right roles.
The value of internal mobility to an organization’s success has taken on entirely new meaning as employers try to make sense of how their business or service will respond to and recover from the COVID-19 crisis. Talent acquisition can play an integral role in these efforts—identifying relevant strategies and looking to your TA tech partners for the agility you need will make a huge difference to your recruiting team, your employees and the business itself.
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