Dynamic Skills: How to Prepare for Change

How to Support Growth During The Great Resignation

How to Overcome the 5 Internal Mobility Blockers

Filling open positions is hard. Finding someone with the experience and skills you need, and then adding a good attitude, punctuality, and a willingness to get along with others make it even more challenging.

That’s why it seems like the obvious choice for companies with open jobs is to turn to their current employee base. After all, you already know your current employees, the positions could be filled faster than with outside recruiting and interviewing, and it helps engage and empower your current team members.

Internal mobility offers benefits for employees like career advancement, skill development, and professional growth. It also helps companies improve retention, increase engagement and fill vacant positions.

However, allowing employees to find new opportunities inside an organization isn’t as easy as you would think. There are 5 distinct blockers to internal mobility that hinders this strategy. Let’s look at some of them and discuss how to overcome them.


1. Corporate Culture Hindrances

An organization’s corporate culture drives many of its processes. If the corporate culture works against internal mobility, getting an initiative like this off the ground faces an uphill battle.

Overcome it by: Leadership must commit to changing this mindset. Business leaders need to buy in and understand the benefits of and encourage internal mobility. If this is not the case yet, putting a business plan together to demonstrate it’s benefits is a great place to start.


2. Employees Aren’t Aware of Job Opportunities

56% of employees believe they don’t have any opportunities for career advancement according, to a recent statistic from Officevibe. If an organization doesn’t advertise and promote open positions to current employees, they may have trouble finding and taking advantage of these opportunities. If employees aren’t proactively checking the company website career page or following along on social media, they might not realize there’s a potential job right under their nose!

Overcome it by: Have a location where employees know they can explore new opportunities. A best-case scenario is using a career pathing technology that enables employees to make sense of their skills compared to new positions of interest or vacant positions. This will empower employees to take charge of their career and feel confident knowing how they match against the role. This often motivates employees to develop new skills to close skill gaps and drive their career forward.



3. Internal Mobility Has No Ownership 

Adding a new facet to the way people are hired is a big change. Without a formal process, initiatives like internal mobility will be difficult to take off. The lack of ownership and structure will let it wilt on the vine.

Overcome it by: Employees need to know their company cares about internal mobility and encourages its practice. Internal mobility typically falls under the HR department but is this the responsibility of Talent Acquisition or Learning and Development? Or maybe a team dedicated to specifically this? Leadership needs to decide who will be responsible for the push, create a step-by-step process to follow, and set measurable goals. Answer the question “what does success look like?”  This distinction should make it clear who owns the strategy and manages the resources and tools.


4. Sparse Buy-In from Management

According to Deloitte Insights 2019 Global Human Capital Trends, 76% of survey respondents rated internal mobility important and 20% rated it one of their organization’s three most urgent issues. But what if every manager isn’t on the same page? This is a serious obstacle and one of the biggest reasons why internal mobility gets thwarted. Managers don’t want to lose their top performers, so they frown upon employees looking for new opportunities within the organization, or discourage their use of tools and resources that support this effort. This practice is called talent hoarding.

Overcome it by: Top leadership must set examples of encouraging a culture of internal mobility and make corporate announcements about this new benefit. Managers must understand that they cannot impede internal mobility if the business agrees upon this as part of their hiring strategy.

Watch the webinar: Championing Career Management: Preventing Talent Hoarding


5. Organizations Typically Hire Externally

Traditional recruiting practices focus on finding new talent outside the organization to fill roles. Research shows that this practice can be useful but can also be more expensive and not obtain the same results as hiring from within. Talent shortages, lack of preferred skills, and longer time to ramp up are common problems with hiring externally.

Overcome it by: A Gallup poll recently reported Millennials, the largest generation in the workforce, rank the opportunity to learn and grow in a job above all other considerations. During this period of The Great Resignation, employees are always looking for new roles, so an organization might as well let them search inside their company or run the risk of losing them to other companies. Looking at the talent your company already employs is key in filling positions faster, protecting company culture, and satisfying high-value employees’ desires to move up and improve their skills.


Making the commitment to prioritize and encourage internal mobility is critical to a company’s long-range success. Incorporating the practice into the company culture, designing a process and assigning it to an owner, and investing in technology to facilitate the process are all foundational building blocks. The effort will be worth it in terms of faster hiring time, lower cost-per-hire, greater employee satisfaction, and decreased turnover.


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