What is Talent Mobility?

Why Talent Mobility is the Secret to a Productive, Flexible, and Happy Workforce.


By Nicole Schreiber-Shearer, Content Marketing Specialist @ Gloat

January 6, 2022

talent mobility

As the turnover tsunami continues to gain momentum, many employees are finding it easier than ever to move into new roles at different organizations. But what about transitioning into new positions at the same organization?

Unfortunately, talent mobility is lacking at many companies. Employees often feel like it is difficult or even impossible to change positions at their current organization, even though more than 63% of workers say they would like to be considered for new roles. So what does it take to give employees the sense of opportunity and career advancement that they’re looking for?

If you’re aiming to boost retention and engagement by putting your people at the helm of their careers, talent mobility needs to become one of your top priorities. Both your people and your business will benefit from a talent mobility strategy that empowers employees to achieve their full potential.

What is Talent Mobility?

Talent mobility describes an employee’s ability to move between positions within their company. Encouraging mobility is a key element of good talent management, which encompasses recruitment, hiring, training, and workforce planning.

The goal of talent mobility is to better understand the skills, motivations, and backgrounds of your workforce. This allows leaders to simultaneously retain and develop talent by encouraging employees to expand their skillsets and broaden their horizons. Given the high turnover rates of today’s workforce, a robust talent mobility program can also save your company the steep costs, both direct and indirect, of losing those employees looking for new professional experiences. In other words, talent mobility is the secret to a productive, agile, and happy workforce.

How to Develop a Strategic Approach to Talent Mobility

Now that moving between companies and searching for jobs is easier than ever, internal recruiting needs to evolve to keep pace. With the right approach, talent mobility can boost engagement and retention rates, and ensure that workforces are prepared for their next chapter. However, many of today’s talent mobility initiatives are missing the mark.

Getting talent mobility right requires a strong understanding of your employees’ needs and priorities, as well as an effort level that parallels the attention that your business devotes to external recruiting. Talent mobility best practices also include developing a company-wide culture of transparency, so that employees can understand what kinds of opportunities will be available to them in the future. To maximize visibility, companies are increasingly turning to talent marketplaces, which democratize access to opportunities by matching employees to relevant projects, gigs, mentorships, and full-time roles.

Benefits of Leveraging a Talent Mobility Strategy

Upgrading your approach to talent mobility can pay off in several ways, including:

  1. Reduction in Turnover Costs
    The most measurable benefit of investing in internal talent mobility is a decrease in turnover rates. When employees leave a company, that company doesn’t just pay for the cost of hiring a replacement. They must also shoulder the lost productivity, connections, and knowledge of the departing employee. A talent mobility strategy can greatly reduce these costs: a recent LinkedIn study showed that such an initiative would encourage 41% of employees to stay longer at their current job.

  2. Better Employee Engagement
    Retaining and developing top talent means consistently providing them with new options for growth and advancement. When employees see that their organizations are investing in their professional development, they will be inspired to reach their full potential. And since peoples’ goals and learning objectives are always changing, businesses need to ensure that their internal growth opportunities evolve accordingly.

    Talent marketplaces use real-time data to generate suggestions for career development. As a result, there’s no risk that engagement will fall flat because employees will always have a new goal to work towards. Management will also gain a better understanding of the kinds of opportunities that their people wish to pursue and how these ambitions intersect with their business priorities.

  3. Overall Improvement to Productivity and Satisfaction
    Prioritizing internal hiring can significantly cut the amount of onboarding time required by a new hire, especially in crucial leadership positions. This leads to higher workforce productivity and satisfaction. It also encourages better management practices. When management is invested in worker satisfaction and attuned to the skills and needs of its employees, managers are better equipped to support those workers. The communication required of a talent mobility strategy also develops meaningful connections between employees and management.

Using Talent Mobility To Create An Internal Leadership Pipeline

When important—and often high-paying—leadership roles open up, recruiters often look to external candidates and spend significant amounts of time and money recruiting them. For companies that create internal leadership pipelines through talent mobility programs, these hiring processes are less costly and less risky.

Employees who have access to ongoing training experiences and hands-on learning opportunities will be better equipped to take on new responsibilities and eventually move into leadership roles. New talent marketplace offerings like career pathing enable employees to work towards their long-term professional goals by pinpointing the skills gaps that they will need to bridge and the learning opportunities that they can pursue to get up to speed.

If you want to set your organization up for success in the new world of work and retain the talent you’ll need to outpace the competition, talent mobility deserves a spot at the top of your priority list. To learn more about how you can empower your employees to take their next professional steps with your organization, check out our guide on unlocking career agility.


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