Internal Mobility: How to Use Your Employees as Promising Sources of Talent

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Internal recruitment may be one of this year's key HR trends, but it often fails due to common mistakes: a lack of coordination, no structures and little transparency. With an internal job board and easy, discrete ways to apply, you can encourage your employees to follow individual career paths, improve staff retention, and benefit from recruitment that is both fast and finds just the right people.


2020: The trend towards more internal appointments 

In the coming months, many companies will (have to) increasingly fill vacancies internally. This was predicted in the "Global Talent Trends Report" from the career network LinkedIn. It says that internal recruitment is one of the four key trends that will shape the employment world in 2020. The results are based on, among other things, a worldwide survey of more than 7,000 HR and recruitment professionals. Almost three-quarters of them are of the opinion that internal mobility is becoming more important in their organisation. 

Greater loyalty, lower costs: internal recruitment has many benefits

Employers seem to know that their own employees are, in many respects, promising sources of talent. Despite this, internal potential is often not used systematically in recruitment. As a rule, new vacancies are only filled internally when a hiring freeze or cost-saving measures put a stop to advertising jobs externally or when highly-motivated employees apply for vacancies on their own accord. In addition to significant cost savings, there are some obvious other benefits: 

  • Loyalty: employers that fill a lot of jobs internally increase employee retention. Employees will remain loyal to your company, on average, for 41 percent longer than in companies where internal recruitment plays a lesser role.
  • Cultural fit: applicants within your own ranks already know the company, its values, visions and culture. In addition to professional skills, with internal candidates the cultural fit is there from the outset. 
  • Employee motivation: internal career opportunities not only improve staff retention; they also encourage greater commitment.
  • Know-how: with internal appointments, existing knowledge remains in the company and can be systematically developed through individual training measures.
  • Onboarding: especially for strategically important positions, there is no need for long induction programmes. Applicants are not only familiar with processes and structures, but are also well connected within the company. An important advantage.
  • Synergies: where employees are transferred from one department to another, they are able to develop and use synergies. This counteracts any excessive departmental egoism.

Common mistakes: lack of coordination & transparency

However, without integrated planning and clear structures, internal recruitment will only deliver moderate benefits. This where many organisations still have a backlog and need to redress common mistakes. Internal appointments often come unstuck due to a lack of coordination between personnel development and recruitment departments. Whilst one is aware of existing potential, the other knows which qualifications are required. Nevertheless, supply and demand do not meet. 

Also, the employees themselves are seldom made aware of vacancies and appropriate ways to apply. In addition to this, internal application processes are usually initiated "in secret". This is because people only wish to face the - sometimes less than positive - reactions from colleagues or their line manager once the internal move is official. If there are no discrete ways of applying, employees may be reluctant to put themselves forward.

Recognise and harness potential by having an internal job board

Instead of continuing to hope for internal strokes of luck, HR should address these challenges with a structured solution. An internal job board gives employees, for example, the chance to be fully informed about opportunities for change and career moves within their own company; and to apply easily - for instance with a simple CV upload. What's more, the HR team can contact suitable candidates based on information from the internal job board and encourage them to apply. Another advantage: when an internal member of staff applies, the recruiter responsible is able recognise this immediately from an appropriate note in the system, and can include this important information in the on-going process. 

Map processes and survive a crisis

In many companies, it is normal procedure to advertise a job externally only after checking for possible internal applications. Such processes can only be sensibly mapped with an appropriate technical solution. But also in periods of hiring freezes or even job cuts, internal mobility is, for instance, a good solution for both dealing with changing company requirements and retaining valuable talent.

Win-win situation: a talent pool of your own employees

It's also worth thinking about setting up and developing an internal talent pool. Because, once again, both sides benefit: employees have the chance to develop internally; recruiters on the other hand will be able to fill vacancies significantly quicker. Ideally, all recruiters in the company should have access to this pool and first, check if any promising candidates are available internally - including those who may have applied before and were not offered the job. In this way, the HR department saves time and money on two-track recruitment of external candidates. 


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