In today’s tough talent marketplace, improving talent mobility is more important than ever. Talented employees are looking for more frequent career moves that align with their strengths and aspirations. Talent mobility enables employees to move more easily in the organization, creating a dynamic and highly skilled internal talent marketplace. So, what are some of the ways you can improve talent mobility? 

Identify the unique strengths and career motivations of your people 

It is vital to understand and value the unique and diverse strengths and talents of your people, which may not be obvious. Therefore, we recommend a profiler like TalentPredix that helps people understand their talents and strengths and how to get the best from these by aligning them with opportunities that are most likely to motivate and advance them. As a next generation strengths assessment, it also provides actionable insights about individual’s career motivations and values, enabling them to focus on roles and career pathways that will suit them most.    

Provide and communicate clear, flexible career pathways 

It is important to design fluid career pathways to facilitate movement to different parts of the organization. However, a flexible structure without good communication will do little to unlock mobility. It is vital to provide up-to-date and engaging communication about different career pathways to all employees. For example, employee video stories of non-traditional moves can be captured and shared to highlight the range of possibilities open to employees, including cross-department, lateral and country moves (if the company operates across multiple geographies).   

Any openings should be posted internally to encourage internal moves within the organization before opening the vacancy to external candidates. This can be done in various ways, including on the company’s Intranet, internal job boards, collaboration platforms and/or regular email notifications. The posting process should be guided by HR policy and guidelines that specify the specific procedure to be followed to promote fairness, transparency, and objectivity.   

Promote cross-functional/business unit projects 

In our experience, too few businesses are harnessing the numerous benefits of encouraging cross-functional/business unit projects and initiatives. Advantages of such projects include improved cross-department understanding, better collaboration and problem solving and greater levels of creativity and innovation. Employees assigned to cross-functional projects will build a greater understanding of the business and learn about opportunities they may wish to transfer to in the near term or at some point in future. 

Offer regular development 

Inclusive and regular skills development is crucial to ensure employees can expand their skills and take on new challenges and roles in the company. As well as technical skills training, professional skills development in crucial areas such as resilience, navigating change, communication and influence, digital literacy, and problem-solving should be offered to improve these skills throughout the business. Insofar as possible, it is always better to open such training to everyone in the business so that employees can come together, meet colleagues from other areas of the business and learn from them.   

Provide mentoring and coaching  

Mentoring programs provide opportunities for less experienced employees to be guided and supported by people who are more experienced, ideally those outside their immediate team and/or business area. This helps employees to think more expansively about opportunities and ensures they are better prepared for future roles. Similarly, managers should be trained up as competent and confident career coaches so they can offer regular check-ins and high effective career conversations that enable meaningful career planning, action, and adaptation.  

Beyond mentoring and coaching, promoting cross-team networking and companywide social activities are also important to encourage new collaborations and insights into different areas of the business.   

By implementing these talent mobility strategies, organizations can create a positive and dynamic internal talent marketplace where employees feel encouraged and supported to navigate a flexible career path that fits their strengths, aspirations, and motivations, rather than a rigid one prescribed by the organization. 

If you would like support to unlock the full potential of your internal talent and promote talent mobility and thriving careers, contact us at info@talentpredix.com

About the Author

James is a leadership and talent consultant, business psychologist, and executive coach. He has over 25 years’ experience working with leaders, teams, and organizations to optimize their talent, performance, and future success.

Before moving into consulting, James held corporate leadership roles in People and Talent Management in the UK and abroad with companies such as Yahoo! and Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals. Since moving into talent consulting and assessment design, he has supported leaders and teams globally across many sectors and geographies. Clients he has worked with include Allen & Overy, Commvault, Equinor, Graze, LVMH, Facebook, GSK, Hilton, John Lewis, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, NHS, Oracle, Sainsbury's, Swiss Re, Tesco, WSP and Yahoo! James has founded and run several ventures, including Strengthscope®, an international strengths assessment and development business, that he sold in 2018.

James has a Master’s in Organizational Psychology, an MBA, and an Advanced Diploma in Executive Coaching. He is a regular writer and speaker on talent assessment and development, leadership, and the future of work.