In the last few years, it seems like I’ve become the expert on internal talent mobility (the process of moving people inside the organization via promotions, transfers, etc.). I’ve published multiple pieces on the topic, written several white papers (one linked below if you want to check it out), and spoken about it to various audiences as well. Goodness, I even developed some brand new research for a report I just finished with ATD on upskilling and reskilling your workforce (more on that in the coming weeks). I love talking about it and think there’s a ton of value in the approach.
With that in mind, someone recently reached out to ask a nuanced question: how do you get managers on board, since talent mobility is inherently disruptive to their environment?
Talent mobility is obviously a disruption for managers that “lose” an employee that moves internally. This means the manager has to backfill the role just as if the person left the company. However, the good news is that person is still there and still accessible, which means they can offer coaching or support for the new person stepping into the role they left behind.
From the manager’s perspective, this doesn’t create any additional work, though. Research shows people will leave the company if they don’t have advancement opportunities, so the manager will lose the employee anyway. This just gives them a chance to move up internally, keeping their expertise and value within the walls of the company. That’s a win-win.
If managers want to lessen the impact, they should be open with their teams about jobs within the company and also be open to hearing the career aspirations from their staff. By keeping the lines of communication open, managers are less likely to be surprised by a sudden change by someone leaving without notice. When managers try to keep or control their people and their career progression, they end up causing them to leave the company instead of looking for other internal opportunities. Bad move.
If this interests you, I worked with the team at Salary.com to create a guide for HR leaders on how to build a talent mobility culture. A key piece of that is a one-page handout for managers on how to take practical baby steps toward better mobility-friendly practices. It’s here and totally free: check out the report.
Talent management technology has come a long way in recent years. I can still remember seeing a demo for a technology solution back in 2014 and the salesperson was so proud of the fact that I could copy and paste data into the system. By the way:
- It wasn’t searchable.
- You couldn’t run reports.
- You couldn’t export anything.
There was no way to actually USE the data in there, but I could put it in if I wanted. Sigh.
Anyway, today I am sharing a really fun podcast interview with you, featuring a recent conversation with Carsten Busch, CEO of the Talent Management Business Unit, and Laura Fuller, Country Sales Manager US for Lumesse. In the conversation we not only talked about how technology has become incredibly user friendly and more employee-focused, but about some of the age-old talent questions that companies face every day, such as why managers are willing to hire an external candidate even when there are perfectly qualified internal candidates available to take the job. Carsten’s answer to the question was phenomenal and I was taking notes because it will be my new default answer to that common issue.
Additionally, Carsten and Laura talk about the shift in technology from the static, administrative-focused versions mentioned above to the talent-focused systems that Lumesse and other companies are developing today.
Also, at the tail end I mention how you can get one of my upcoming pieces of research entirely for free by signing up here for a webinar I’m doing with the team at Lumesse. Here’s the gist of what the webinar will be about:
The June edition of HR Magazine has a feature that focused on how some companies like Gap and Siemens are trying to create development opportunities that connect candidates and employees to the firms for a long period of time. The double benefit of this kind of development is that if businesses can drive retention, then they get the value of a more productive workforce for a longer period of time. This is the incredible value of talent mobility, and that’s the focus of the webinar and this upcoming piece of research.
I hope you’ll join us for that session, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the podcast as well. It was a really fun conversation.
In the latest episode of We’re Only Human, I explore talent mobility and its applications in the workplace. Talent mobility is the practice of using internal talent to fill temporary or permanent roles.
Unlike succession, which is typically a top-down approach, talent mobility takes into account the interests and aspirations of employees. As a talent practice, the idea of talent mobility isn’t necessarily new. However, there is renewed interest in the topic due to some interesting trends covered in the podcast, including changes in career longevity, employee ownership over career paths and work tasks, the gig economy, and challenges with sourcing high performers.
In addition, I examine some case studies and examples of companies that are doing interesting work with talent mobility, including World Bank Group, Chipotle, and Hootsuite.
Listen to the show on the show page HERE or using the widget player below, (Email and RSS subscribers click through)
For more information about Talent Mobility you can check out my presentation on Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/beneubanks/talent-mobility-the-key-to-engagement-retention-and-performance
As a reminder, you can subscribe to We’re Only Human and all the HR Happy Hour Podcast shows on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and all the major podcast player apps – just search for ‘HR Happy Hour’ to subscribe and never miss a show!
I realized this weekend that I didn’t let you guys know about a free webinar I’ll be doing tomorrow with RecruitingBlogs. If you’re interested in joining me for the session you can sign up here.
Talent mobility. If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s the practice of using internal talent to fill roles as well as creating new paths and opportunities for your staff. It has a whole host of impacts and benefits.
- Recruiting: instead of immediately looking externally for talent, you consider your internal talent inventory to determine if you have someone you can move into the role.
- Retention: by using internal staff for filling positions, you increase retention and drive satisfaction for career-minded employees (this used to be Millennials, but I’ve heard stories of all types of workers fitting this bill).
- Learning and development: instead of putting someone in a class, you give them an experiential/social learning opportunity by plugging them into a new environment.
In the webinar I will be talking about some companies that have made talent mobility a priority, from Chipotle to Hootsuite and World Bank Group to Tata Consultancy Services. Each case study tells a slightly different story, and I’m excited to share those examples.
In addition, we’ll look at some different sources of research on the topic that allow us to dig deeply into why this talent process matters. The research I’m doing these days around gig workers and the talent economy (I’ll be sharing some info on this in my next post) points to the fact that people want more control over their own careers and development. With that in mind, giving them flexible opportunities to contribute, grow, and develop just makes sense if we want to not only engage them, but keep them long term.
If that sounds interesting, I’d love to have you join. I try to make my webinars fun and entertaining (lots of stories) while still giving you some actionable takeaways.
Body Movin’: Why Talent Mobility is King of Retention