Facing a Talent Shortage? Internal Mobility Can Help.

Businesses around the world continue to face the challenge of a global talent shortage. 75% of companies report that they experience talent shortages. By 2030, this shortfall of over 85 million skilled workers could cost businesses $8.3 trillion in annual revenues if the situation is not addressed.

Technological disruption and increased digital transformations have contributed significantly to this shortage. Job requirements have changed, resulting in some roles disappearing and many new ones emerging, with necessary skills for existing jobs evolving. Unfortunately, employee skills haven’t kept pace, creating a mismatch between the skills organizations need and those available in the talent market. Meanwhile, candidates who hope to progress in their careers are stuck in low-level positions.

As a result, HR leaders are feeling the strain to fill roles that demand critical yet scarce skills. If that wasn’t enough, they’re also facing pressure to optimize costs due to economic downturns. To meet this unusual challenge, companies need to consider creative solutions that upskill existing employees — such as internal talent mobility.

What Is Internal Talent Mobility?

Traditionally, employees work in siloed departments with few avenues to explore different projects and roles within their organization. Internal mobility breaks down these silos and encourages a talent-sharing mindset among managers, enabling upward and lateral movement of talent within the organization.

Skills, not roles, are the currency in this setup. Employees are encouraged to apply to open positions, and also to take on “gigs” and stretch projects within the organization. This helps them utilize new skills and access growth opportunities, while cost-effectively filling critical roles for employers. Additionally, internal mobility brings the excitement of a startup to established enterprises: breaking out of siloed departments turns careers into lifelong adventures, boosting employee experience and retention.

How Do Companies Benefit From Internal Talent Mobility?

Internal talent mobility is a critical strategy for building a more dynamic, high-performing, and agile workforce. By introducing mobility, organizations create a culture of continuous learning and development. As a result, employees are more likely to be equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to take on new roles and responsibilities as they arise. At the same time, employees also become more engaged since they have the chance to shape their own future and that of their organization.

Additionally, the increased flexibility in staffing through internal mobility enables organizations to move resources quickly to areas of high priority, adapt to new business demands, and capitalize on untapped market opportunities. Its importance can't be overstated in the face of intense talent shortages.

Last but not least, promoting talent mobility improves inter-departmental collaboration and innovation, as people with different perspectives and skills work together on a common business goal. Ultimately, mobility helps organizations become more adaptable, resilient, and innovative, enabling them to stay competitive amid rapid disruption.

How To Build Internal Talent Mobility

If you don’t know where to start, here are three ways to build internal talent mobility in your organization.

1. Encourage project-based staffing for short-term assignments

While L&D programs are a good first step to help employees learn new, in-demand skills, it’s even more important to put those skills into practice. Offer employees the opportunity to experientially solidify their skills and explore career trajectories of interest through hands-on projects. By making it easy for employees to collaborate across departments, you have an expanded pool from which you can quickly fill critical talent shortages, without incurring extra costs — while also boosting employee engagement and retention. It’s a win-win-win.

Smart tools can help. For instance, Volonte’s Agility Engine makes it easy to make internal mobility and agility a part of your workforce’s DNA. Set up internal projects with one click and let our engine quickly recommend employees with the right skills and interests.

(PS: If you’re looking for an all-in-one platform to help your organization build workforce agility, you’re in the right place! Schedule a demo to learn more).

2. Help employees find internal job openings

Only 27% of active job seekers agree that their organization makes it easy for them to find job openings that suit their interests. For most employees, finding a new job outside the organization is much easier than searching internally. If employees feel like the only way to grow in their careers is to quit and look elsewhere, you’ll have a serious retention issue on your hands. This can be especially costly in a tight labor market.

Rethink hiring strategies to help employees easily access internal open roles across departments. Share employee information with recruiters and involve them in prioritizing internal hiring by linking internal filling targets to their performance indicators. If needed, leverage AI-based talent marketplaces to offer personalized job recommendations to internal candidates.

3. Shift your mindset from talent-hoarding to talent-sharing

A key barrier to internal mobility is talent hoarding: when managers are reluctant to let their best team members move to a different role. If this is the norm within your organization, intentionally or not, employees seeking career growth will hesitate to share their ambitions with their managers, feel stifled, and look for opportunities elsewhere.

In this scarcity mindset, teams within your organization are competing with each other instead of working together as a unit, as they should be. Build collaboration by helping managers transition to a talent-sharing mindset, where the guiding goal is the success of the organization as a whole. Allow managers and employees to refer each other to open vacancies to encourage internal mobility.

It’s undoubtedly challenging to ensure your organization has the skills it needs to ensure productivity while keeping costs low. But this is also an opportunity to build a more resilient, innovative, and agile workforce.

Want to know more about how Volonte can support you in building mobility and workforce agility? Schedule a demo now!