Internal mobility for talent retention

What if talent retention just needed to see internal mobility programs emerge? Here are the main retention levers offered by internal mobility.
Internal mobility promotes talent retention
Establish the "internal mobility" reflex before external recruitment
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Our companies are seeing some of their most talented employees leave because of boredom (the Bore-out phenomenon affects 28% of us), and especially because of the lack of opportunities for evolution. 

Reinforcing the internal mobility strategy is always relevant when companies are streamlining their talent acquisition budget. Allowing employees to train and progress within the organization can take many forms, both in terms of vertical and horizontal mobility. Let's investigate the correlations between this liberalization of internal trajectories and retention. 

Internal development, a growing demand from employees

Internal mobility leads employees to stay longer in organizations

For many years, we have seen a trend towards shorter and more fragmented career paths within the company. Several studies shed light on the sociological evolution of work.

Accelerating job changes

The amount of time spent in one job has shrunk dramatically: according to Labor statistics, the average person changes jobs between 5 and 13 times during their career

What are the drivers of accelerated job changes?

Among the factors precipitating more regular job movements, artificial intelligence has an undeniable share. The Hauts de France region has estimated, through a study, that out of 542 jobs in 23 sectors, 523 will be impacted by this technology.

Then comes the ecological transition, which is changing entire sectors of activity, such as the automotive industry, with the end of the production of internal combustion engines and the move towards the construction of electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles.

Employees are aware of this and act rationally to adapt to these conditions, while 42% of them prefer to carry out these changes within their current company.

Internal developments are favored by employees

In addition, a 2019 survey conducted by Hellowork and Hays reveals that 75% of executives prefer internal mobility because of their in-depth knowledge of the company. 60% of them want to develop their skills by changing positions while staying with the same company, and 47% appreciate the possibility of keeping their seniority benefits.

A response to the needs of high potentials and key talents

More specifically, internal mobility offers more rewarding opportunities for profiles that need constant learning. A structured career path between several positions allows for renewed interest. HiPo profiles have a greater tendency to become bored and need to be stimulated more regularly.

Internal mobility is therefore a considerable asset for these profiles. It gives them the opportunity to develop their skills by familiarizing themselves with different departments and functions of the company. This gives them an overview of the organization and helps them understand the strategic issues and decision-making processes. In addition, they can build internal networks to make themselves known to the company's leaders. This is also a good motivational lever for ambitious profiles. 

Internal mobility therefore meets the need for employee autonomy by making them actors of their career within your structure

In a context of war for talent, internal mobility is a competitive advantage

Talent mobility for greater attractiveness 

According to Glassdoor, career opportunities are in the top 6 most important criteria when choosing a company. This terminology does not necessarily refer to formal job openings, but rather to a philosophy that allows talent to multiply experiences. In an environment of constant talent shortages, companies that can create and value a culture that spontaneously connects people and creates synergies from skills are in a better position to attract and retain talent. Human Resources teams have every interest in building a work environment that is open to experimentation, and in formalizing possible cross-functional changes in order to attract external expertise.

Internal developments for better retention

Quiet quitting," synonymous with decreased engagement, is symptomatic of a new way of looking at work. It affects a specific population: 

The National Bureau of Economic Research identifies, in its study, the phenomenon as predominantly male, more associated towards high-income populations between 25 and 39 years old. The Washington researchers' study is available here.

Internal mobility motivates the troops and actually helps with employee retention. According to a LinkedIn study, employees stay longer at a company if they have opportunities for career growth, such as cross-functional positions or regular promotions. The study results show that:

  • After one year, 87% of employees are more likely to stay if they have benefited from an internal mobility, compared to 75% of those who did not have this opportunity.
  • After three years, 64% of employees are more likely to stay if they have benefited from internal mobility, compared to 45% of those who did not have this opportunity.

It is not enough to have opportunities; they must be made visible and the steps to access them must be explained. The transparency with which internal mobility is carried out is also a key to a successful Talent Management strategy. Discover how Neobrain's platform facilitates the retention of your employees.

Employee attrition figures in France
Attrition figures in France
Employee voluntary turnover USA
Employee voluntary turnver USA

For less rigid, more open and more resilient organizations

Mobility and fluidity of talent

Internal mobility is all the more relevant in the context of a retention strategy as it allows for a more fluid organization. Thus, 85% of HR professionals say they are investing in more agile work organization models to gain speed and adapt more quickly to market changes. We go into more detail on this aspect in our page What forms of work organization tomorrow?

Mobility and availability of skills

The competitive advantage of internal mobility is not limited to retention. In order to respond to the problem of a shortage of skills within a short period of time, to reduce costs by avoiding the need to recruit external talent, and to pass on key skills , a new model for allocating resources is emerging: that of the organization centered on skills. This model, adopted by companies such as Unilever and Vodafone, erases the boundaries of business lines and considers the know-how of each individual as the best way to organize the company's activity. 

Mobility and meritocracy

Internal mobility fosters equal opportunity and diversity by allowing profiles that are varied in terms of training and origin to stand out. The objectification of performance and levels of expertise is a condition for promoting this meritocratic culture. By choosing more varied and accessible candidate pools, the company also reduces the risks associated with external recruitment. This is the basis for creating a talent marketplace.

Conclusion: internal mobility, a driver of retention, attractiveness and fluidity for employees

Despite the liberalization of job change opportunities, internal mobility remains appreciated by employees: it is an unhoped-for opportunity for the company. HR teams are expected to formalize career paths.

What are the conditions for building meaningful career paths? 

Three conditions must be met to build engaging career paths:

  1. Maintain a margin of freedom in the creation of previously unseen paths
  2. Objectivize the criteria of mobility, communicate the decided policy and thus make it benefit the logic of performance
  3. Create a culture of mobility among managers and involve them in defining development criteria.

Today we talk about "Quiet hiring", which consists of asking employees for additional tasks without them entering their initial role. A symptom of organizational renewal in which job descriptions are becoming obsolete, this phenomenon has serious consequences for retention, so a formal framework encouraged by the HR department is a preferred alternative.