Post-Pandemic Prediction #3: The Spotlight on Internal Talent

The third prediction in our post-pandemic predictions report was an increased spotlight on internal talent. Good people offer a competitive advantage, so developing the right frameworks to support, coach, and upskill internal talent is vital in unpredictable times with varying hiring requirements.

Internal Mobility Trends

The benefits of internal mobility include lower talent acquisition costs, higher retention rates and increased quality of hire.

Where previously internal selection processes were often done in parallel with external sourcing efforts, we saw many organisations favour strict ‘internal only’ processes during the COVID-19 pandemic. With sharp declines in external hiring, the focus shifted towards existing, internal talent and redeployment. Resources and attention were redirected to training, coaching, and enhanced managerial oversight of newly promoted or seconded employees.

Many organisations have also made a conscious effort to increase the learning and development offering to staff. As an effort to both upskill and motivate employees during this time, additional resources and external learning tools have frequently been part of engagement strategies.

Benefits of Internal Mobility

While external recruitment is essential to bring new ideas and talent to an organisation, research has shown that the benefits of internal mobility include lower talent acquisition costs, higher retention rates and increased quality of hire.

  • Increased employee retention.
    Lack of career advancement opportunities remains one of the most common reasons for high-potential employees to leave their workplace. Organisations that are able to offer a range of opportunities and potential career paths have higher employee retention. 94% of employees would have stayed longer in their company if it had been able to provide them with more career opportunities.
  • Reduced costs and time to hire.
    As internal candidates need fewer new-hire and onboarding resources and only require training specific to the role’s responsibilities, embracing internal mobility reduces the time to hire and the training costs that organisations usually spend on onboarding new, external hires.
  • Quality of Hire.
    An advantage of internal hires is that they have an already established network and are familiar with the organisation’s processes. Typically, it takes two years for an external hire’s performance reviews to reach the same level as those of an internal hire. Organisations that hire internally are 32% more likely to be satisfied with the quality of their hire.
  • Leadership Succession Opportunities.
    Another benefit of internal mobility is the development of high-potential employees with an eye towards leadership succession. People who know the company, and potentially held different positions, are aware of the challenges and strengths and have insights and perspectives on an organisation’s culture and context that will help them be successful and productive quickly.

Designing your Internal Mobility Capabilities.

Talent should be considered something that can be developed, especially if a company wants to retain its employees long term.

Even though internal mobility programmes have many upsides, only a third of organisations feel that they have an effective or functioning internal mobility process. Some organisations even tell their recruiters not to contact people within the organisation.

Culture is an essential element of success in internal mobility programmes. Talent should be considered something that can be developed, especially if a company wants to retain its employees long term. A culture in which people feel encouraged to look internally for new opportunities and challenges, and managers are rewarded for training and developing their teams, can contribute to internal mobility.

Recruiters are part of this too and should understand the company’s direction and future needs. They can act as strategic advisors on what career paths typically look like for high-performing internal talent and where learning and development can fill in any gaps that may exist. The right technology can assist, for example, internal job boards or training platforms.

To start an internal mobility programme, an organisation should define the competencies needed for different types of roles. What are the measurable and observable knowledge, skills, and abilities characteristic of high-performance and success in a given job? Knowing these competencies, and the requirements of the role, allows an organisation to recruit and select the best employees, manage and train them effectively, and develop your staff to fill future vacancies.

Once these characteristics have been defined, the next step is to assess employees against these competencies. Usually, those employees have been identified as high-potential through their current job performance. The assessment should aim to answer the question: ‘does this person have the potential to do well at this job if provided the right technical training?’

Employer Branding

Employer Branding can also be effective for internal audiences.

Not only will employees need to know about internal opportunities, but they should also be convinced that these opportunities can offer them more than those offered by the company’s competitors. This is where employer branding can be effective for internal audiences: it can help keep the high performers engaged and can turn disengaged employees into engaged employees with the right strategies. Examples of positive employer branding strategies for internal audiences include brand ambassadors, reminding employees of the organisation’s goals and how they are part of that journey, and a positive interview experience for internal opportunities.

Candidate experience is always one of the most critical elements of a recruitment strategy, but even more so in internal mobility programmes. Interviewing an internal candidate comes with the risk of turning a highly engaged employee into a disengaged one very quickly if they believe that there is no opportunity for progression available to them.

Communication with internal candidates should be the same as with external candidates. Ensure regular and clear communication, set expectations early and provide feedback honestly and constructively. A sensitive situation can arise when the internal candidate is not successful in their interview process. It then becomes even more important to offer advice and guidance on the skills they can develop the be successful in similar opportunities in the future.

How can an RPO help?

An RPO partner can help an organisation to facilitate internal mobility. They can have open discussions with hiring managers to identify opportunities that would be suitable for existing employees, develop a competency framework for critical roles, and advise on developing internal talent to be ready to fill future hiring needs.

Depending on your solution, an RPO partner can also identify talent who have specified a specific interest in a role, develop networks with employees and recruitment functions, and oversee the interviewing and onboarding of internal talent while ensuring your process’s integrity and transparency.

Letting your RPO partner drive your internal recruitment ensures you have true recruitment experts handling the expectations of all concerned and helps you shape a company culture where top talent can add maximum value. If you would like to learn more or speak to us about your internal mobility programme, click here.

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