The five pillars of Talent mobility and when to rethink your strategy

What is Talent Mobility?

Talent mobility is the key to a happy, flexible, and productive workforce, but what is it?

Talent mobility describes an employee’s ability to move between positions in their company. Companies are using the concept of talent mobility to understand the skills, motivation, and background of their workforce. This allows senior management to retain their talent while developing them by encouraging and allowing movement between roles.

Modern workforces aren’t looking for stability but the opportunity to acquire new skills and experiences, allowing companies to harness this potential through flexibility and consequently retain talented employees. In addition, encouraging talent mobility helps mitigate the high costs, both direct and indirect, of employees leaving when their professional aspirations aren’t met.

HR managers have realised that a standard career path won’t retain their top talent. Moving between companies and hunting for jobs is easier than ever; recruiting within your organisation is essential as it leads to internal mobility, lower employee churn and increased employee satisfaction.

A solid strategy for talent mobility needs your organisation to be aware of your employees’ needs and address their internal talent mobility challenges by devoting equal resources to internal recruitment as they do for external recruitment. Additionally, a culture of transparency is essential, so your employees know what opportunities are available now and what will be available in the future.

The Importance of Talent Mobility

In the current talent marketplace, post-pandemic, being competitive is vital. Focusing on talent mobility as a part of workplace planning and retention strategy is the responsibility of HR leaders.

They need to understand how to position their organisation’s human capital to maximise growth, productivity, and success while at the same time keeping their current employees focused on their current careers and opportunities for the future.

Since the coronavirus pandemic, the market for talent has become increasingly competitive, and organisations have realised the need to retain their existing workforce is crucial.

The traditional flat organisational structure where key employees leave your organisation and you replace them is no longer sustainable.

A dynamic approach gives your key employees opportunities for training, development, and mobility within your organisation. By creating a structure that focuses on developing your employees and their ongoing learning, you create a culture for attention and growth.

Having a structure in place where senior and management positions can be filled from within your organisation, your recruitment can focus on filling entry-level positions and then utilising training and development programmes to improve employee engagement and retention.

The challenges involved in retaining senior staff result in higher talent costs, causing C suite executives to seriously consider solutions that will give them a greater return on their investment. The Predictive Index’s Annual CEO Benchmarking Report in 2019 found that talent optimisation has become the primary concern of CEOs. Four of the five most significant challenges facing CEOs relate to talent optimisation and include:

  • Finding the right talent
  • Aligning employees with strategy
  • Getting the most out of people
  • Creating great work environments

HR leaders are ideally placed to drive talent mobility. The issue that employees have is that they have no information on opportunities outside of the department. By offering development resources that will enable employees to learn about the skills, competencies and experience required for positions beyond their current skill set, they can discover other positions and career paths and put them in charge of their careers.

The Five Pillars of Talent Mobility

There are three main reasons why talent mobility is such a priority in the current marketplace:

  1. The number one cause of employee turnover is lack of career development
  2. Companies are reorganising for agility
  3. The workforce is demanding growth opportunities

An effective talent mobility programme needs to focus on open jobs and internal recruiting, workforce analytics, career pathing, as well as projects and mental marketplaces.

Career Pathing and Recommended Learning

Career pathing and recommended learning allow employees to discover different careers internally. Understanding the skill gaps and then getting mentors, learning resources, and projects recommended to them will enable them to close the skill gaps and be eligible to consider other opportunities.

Open Jobs and Internal Recruiting

To smooth the internal recruiting processes, employees should receive open job recommendations and recruiters notified if an employee is recommended for one of their positions.

Projects Marketplace

Employees have a one-stop shop to investigate and get involved in projects based on skills and skill gaps. Once an employee is matched to a project, they and the line manager can communicate directly on the platform.

Mentor Marketplace

A mentor marketplace is a place where employees can offer their skills, experience, and knowledge of an area. Employees looking for a mentor can assess the skills available to fill their skills gap and receive recommendations based on their career aspirations. Once they have found a mentor, they can liaise on the platform about topics they want to discuss or potential projects.

Workplace Analytics

Workplace analytics provide insights into career aspirations, skills, and development gaps. In addition, organisational skills insights, such as strengths and talent gaps, can also be accessed.

When to re-think a talent mobility strategy

When your HR department runs exit surveys and employee pulse surveys, is career mobility a point of contention? If employees feel that they don’t have options to grow and develop new skills within your business, this may lead to a decrease in productivity or an increase in employee churn.

A few reasons to look at rethinking your talent mobility strategy include:

  • Struggling to retain employees
  • Lacking visibility into career pathing or opportunities within other departments
  • No visibility into employees’ skills, experience or career aspirations
  • Learning content isn’t effectively targeted to skills gaps employee aspirations
  • No career pathing, mentorship or project/gig work is available

A solution to this problem could come from identifying skills gaps and which employee is interested in career progression. A successful strategy will begin with strong internal communication. Questions you should be asking are:

  • What’s our current talent mobility strategy?
  • What options do recruiters have to source internal talent?
  • How do we manage mentorships and employees’ routes to find them?

Talent mobility gives your employees a way to see and control their career progression within your organisation, creating a competitive advantage for your business by helping your employees stay and thrive in your company will be the ultimate tool on your path to success in talent mobility.