talent acquisition

Internal Mobility During COVID-19: Retaining Talent For a Stronger Rebound

Internal Mobility During COVID-19: Retaining Talent For a Stronger Rebound

Over the past few years, talent acquisition teams and hiring managers lamented a lack of qualified candidates. Yet most continued to overlook the talent they already had access to—current employees—and the value realized through a robust internal mobility program, including the following:

• Hiring internally has proven to be one of the most effective strategies an organization can use to retain and engage high-performing talent. In fact, Gartner’s benchmarking data reveals that engagement is 27% higher at organizations with a “vibrant internal labor market” while employee intent to stay is often 33% higher.

• The cost savings associated with internal mobility are significant. This is due to several factors, namely reduced recruiting costs, as well as the fact that external candidates almost always have higher salary demands than internal candidates. Plus, internal hires possess a wealth of existing organizational knowledge they can tap into as they begin their new role, leading to faster time to productivity.

• Internal mobility drives leadership strength. Ensuring the right leadership is in place is more even more urgent given the business challenges that lie ahead. As consulting firm DDI notes in its paper, Optimizing Your Leadership PipelineSM, a company’s financial performance is directly linked to how effective the organization is in executing leadership development processes and programs at all levels. Organizations that fill a higher proportion of vital positions internally realize “2.2 times greater leadership bench strength and 3.8 times higher leadership success rates.”

WATCH Our On-demand Internal Mobility Webinar for Additional GR8 Tips and Insights

Now, as companies adjust their strategic plans in response to COVID-19 impacts, the ability to retain top talent has only increased in importance. As my colleague Sean Cunningham, vice president of customer success, recently noted, many employers are taking advantage of internal mobility to redeploy talent to temporary, but critical, roles that are the result of rapidly-changing business demands.

Organizations can also use this time to evaluate the status of their internal mobility programs and adjust them to ensure they retain the A-players they need to not only address immediate challenges but to steer the business to a stronger rebound.

Internal Mobility: A Holistic Approach

While internal mobility could mean a carefully planned out career path with pre-defined advancement milestones or the chance to make a lateral move into a new function, successful programs share similar traits. Key among them are making it easy for employees to find and apply to available opportunities, ensuring that both the organization’s culture and operational structure support internal mobility, designing performance evaluations to further internal mobility objectives, and, of course, gaining buy-in from the top down to reinforce organizational commitment to internal mobility.

Talent acquisition software also makes a big difference to internal mobility success by giving recruiters the tools they need to manage their initiatives and execute best practices. A few examples of the functionality associated with a strong TA tech stack are:

• Segmentation of internal talent. Whether through an enterprise applicant tracking system or candidate relationship management software, internal talent segmentation facilitates the creation of pipelines that allow recruiters to personalize communications and prioritize current employees for communications and screening.

• Automation of internal mobility campaigns. Regular communications featuring internal opportunities boost interest and response, and they also strengthen engagement by reminding employees of your employer brand and values—all the reasons they joined in the first place.

• Application of AI for better outcomes. Further enhance the results of your internal mobility program through AI-driven applications that provide internal candidates with personalized job recommendations that represent either a promotion or a lateral move they might not have considered previously.

The Three Cs: A Framework for Meaningful Communications

Not only do talent acquisition teams need to rethink the structure, execution and ongoing management of their internally mobility programs given the coronavirus crisis, they also need to assess and adapt their communications to reflect both the information and the emotional needs of employees right now. A simple framework, which I refer to as the “three Cs,” offers guidance on creating meaningful communications.

First, focus on the Clarity of your internal mobility messaging, which means making it easy for all employees to know what the opportunities are and how to apply for a new role. The frequency of your Communication has a direct correlation to engagement—the more often you communicate, the more engaged your employees will be. And, finally, pay close attention to the Conversation itself. To stay truly connected to internal teams, especially given the anxiety that we’re all feeling, it’s important to have transparent conversations around what’s happening at the organization due to COVID-19 and what this means for internal mobility.

The world of work is changing more quickly than we thought possible. From shorter time to hire and faster time to productivity to greater employee engagement and improved hiring manager satisfaction, the benefits of internal mobility translate into huge wins for the talent acquisition teams—and to the business—that are dedicated to tapping into the exceptional talent they already have.

Get more #GR8Thinking on talent acquisition tools and insights to support you through the COVID-19 crisis—watch our Internal Mobility: Redeploy. Retain. Rebound. webinar and visit GR8 People’s Resources library today.


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