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Why internal mobility is critical to your talent strategy

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Finding the right talent is the No.1 managerial challenge for so many organisations, and a robust talent strategy could be the key differentiator of successful businesses in the near future. The secret weapon? Internal mobility. Find out why.

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It’s a jungle out there. The talent market is more competitive than ever before, with a whole new set of skills shaping the demands of the future workplace, and the emergence of Gen Z redefining the nature and efficacy of engagement and purpose in our organisations.

According to a recent McKinsey survey, nearly one-third of senior leaders cite finding the right talent as their top managerial challenge. The same research found that the shortage of high-skilled workers required for roles in advanced economies will have reached 10% of total demand by 2020.[1]

In this environment, a robust talent strategy is crucial for business success – but fishing in the same pool as thousands of other companies, desperate for great talent, could prove to be a doomed exercise. This is an especially dangerous prospect for companies trying to fill tech roles, competing with the unassailable ranks of Google, Amazon, and other tech giants, with the brand and resources to corner the market.

Instead, dedication to internal mobility could be what differentiates winners and losers in the talent war.

What is internal mobility?

For the uninitiated, let us first define internal mobility and its purpose.

Internal Mobility refers to the process of encouraging talent resources to flow to and from various organizational departments and/or geographies as talent demand requires, as defined in Textkernel’s new ebook, Why Internal Mobility is Critical to Your Talent Strategy.

Internal mobility is considered to be a more mature phase of internal talent management. Employees are actively encouraged to keep their candidate profiles updated and notified of new matching opportunities to encourage more movement from within, as opposed to the traditional internal hiring process in which HR recruiters simply post new roles to career sites that internal candidates may or may not browse

The goal of internal mobility is to create a faster moving internal skills economy required to address rapidly changing talent demands.

It’s a concept with which many more managers will need to familiarize themselves, as internal mobility grows in popularity as a key strategic tool.

Why is internal mobility gaining popularity?

As the war for talent intensifies, internal mobility is rapidly becoming an HR leader’s secret weapon, when it comes to getting the most out of their workforce. Internal mobility is empowering, and makes a huge amount of business sense. But why?

Firstly, promoting internally is much easier on the wallet than seeking talent externally. Depending on the volume of vacancies, role disciplines and seniority, hiring internally can save thousands to hundreds of millions in spending.

Strategically, internal hiring impacts key financial, operational and HR metrics by securing the most valuable talent in the long term. According to a recent LinkedIn survey, 45% of employees leave their old jobs due to a lack of opportunities for advancement. Opening pathways for internal talent provides a powerful counterbalance to the forces that typically compel employees to leave an organisation.

There are also generational issues impacting the rise of internal mobility, and huge technological challenges facing outdated HR systems, which make them unfit for the requirements of internal mobility. You can find out more about those challenges here.

Understanding the importance of promoting internal mobility, the question is: how?

How can HR increase internal mobility?

A key differentiator for businesses tackling internal mobility successfully is having the knowledge and understanding of their people to enable effective strategic decision-making when it comes to talent.

Technology is the new backbone of HR, giving People Leaders more power in business strategy than ever before – and it’s only growing. Having the edge on your competitors will increasingly come down to the ability of your tech.

The latest crop of AI and machine learning capabilities give HR a deeper understanding of employee and business needs, and how to combine the two, through:

  • A faster class of document understanding – New document understanding technologies available to HR can help ensure that employees are easily able to ensure that their candidate profiles are always up-to-date and reflective of their current skill sets and expertise.
  • Improved semantic search technology – The latest generation of semantic search technology dramatically improves the ability to identify required skills and other information. Instead of simply returning a search result list based on the exact words that you type, semantic search expands and enriches your search to include related skills and competences, to create a fully rounded and actionable overview of talent.
  • Lightning-fast candidate matching – Automating the matching process allows managers to benefit from immediate feedback about whether their resourcing needs can be met in-house, reducing lengthy hiring processes and ensuring a closer match from internal talent.

Enhancing the technological capabilities of HR – better understanding the needs and behaviour of workforces, and becoming more reactive in anticipating and dealing with their requirements – will be what defines a powerful strategic HR leader in the years to come.

To discover more about how utilising AI can transform internal mobility in your organisation, check out Textkernel’s new ebook, Why Internal Mobility is Critical to Your Talent Strategy.

[1] https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/attracting-and-retaining-the-right-talent

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