Why internal mobility is important in your organization

Companies simply can't afford to ignore internal mobility in 2019​

By Maya Finkelstein

Brilliant internal talent is often overlooked

Somewhere across the long lifespan of corporate culture, it became taboo to “poach” talent from other departments within some organizations. This mentality is toxic and hard to break, but internal mobility is essential to a successful business strategy – no matter the industry.

It has become easier to look for candidates outside the company than navigate the delicate dynamics of office politics and sift through the lack of visibility on most internal talent pools. This is a classic excuse for a lack of internal mobility and also a common reason for high turn over.

The best person for the job could be right under your nose, but totally unaware of your opportunity and feeling stagnant in their current role. Most large companies lack the visibility to even see that this is going on, not to mention know how to solve it. Internal mobility is the answer to these woes on both sides!

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This oversight could be costing you millions

Recruitment is expensive. Training new employees is also very expensive, mainly in opportunity cost as other employees invest valuable time in getting new employees up to speed. This can take months, in fact it takes 1 to 2 years for a new employee to be fully productive according to Kevin Oakes, CEO of the Institute for Corporate Productivity.  So imagine the blow when employees are unhappy and decide to leave after a short time, giving you a very low return on investment. This low ROI can have devastating affects on a business.

Former VP of People at Greenhouse (now Head of People at Stripe), Maia Josebachvili, authored an illuminating case study in which she explained the difference in retaining a sales person for 2 years rather than 3 in combination with improved onboarding and managerial practices. The difference was $1.3 million in net value to the company over a three year period. That’s one employee.

The big-picture impact here is nothing short of tremendous. Internal mobility, i.e. investing in your people and providing them actual development opportunities – matters, big time.


Internal mobility will make your staff work smarter and better

study Cornerstone conducted with IDC across 16 European countries found that internal mobility was the single most important factor for employee happiness and productivity. When employees are happy and productive, their work is more creative and collaborative and your business grows.

Consistent high productivity is a golden goose. Increased productivity means your business is producing more without an increased cost, higher production creates the opportunity for more sales, which should lead to increased profits. It’s a beautiful thing.

The natural conclusion here is that internal mobility keeps your best people around and saves you from the massive business costs of high turn over rates, while actually fueling business growth.

Internal mobility is no longer a perk, but rather a critical test for business success in 2019 and beyond. The workforce has changed and companies must adapt to the new challenges of today by making internal mobility a serious priority.

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