What is Talent Mobility and How Can You Leverage It?

Do you have a lot of employees leaving for better, or more interesting, opportunities? This can be a key sign that your company lacks talent mobility, which is vital for reducing turnover, increasing productivity and ensuring your top talent are placed in roles best suited for their skills and development.
Ana Vargas

Ana Vargas

Marketing Manager, Sounding Board

Do you have a lot of employees leaving for better, or more interesting, opportunities? This can be a key sign that your company lacks talent mobility, which is vital for reducing turnover, increasing productivity and ensuring your top talent are placed in roles best suited for their skills and development.

What is Talent Mobility?

Talent mobility is simple. It’s an employee’s ability to move between positions within your company. Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean promotion, but can also mean lateral moves into a more suitable role. During the pandemic, talent mobility became increasingly more important as downsizing impacted capacity across teams. 

Companies with low talent mobility can miss out on opportunities to leverage their high performing employees, or worse, trap an employee in a role for years while they wait for a suitable promotion. High talent mobility means that employees are always able to seek out new opportunities internally.

Benefits of Talent Mobility

Talent mobility, as a strategy, can benefit your company in a number of ways. In general, it reduces stagnation and encourages employees to engage in professional development, learn and grow.

Some specific benefits of high talent mobility include:

Reduced Turnover

Employees should be provided with knowledge about internal positions and encouraged to apply for them. This gives them the opportunity to develop without having to find new employment and demonstrates that they are valued employees the company wants to keep around. A recent Linkedin study showed that 41% of employees would be more inclined to stick around with talent mobility policies in place.

Another benefit is reduced cost. When somebody leaves there is an inevitable loss of productivity and knowledge, but there are also financial implications. According to Employee Benefit News, employers spend an average of 33% of a worker’s annual salary to replace just one employee. 

Improved Ability to Develop Talent

As your company grows, you will inevitably need to add new skills, and not only at the manager and supervisor level. 

A talent mobility program includes identifying existing employees who have the skills you need, or who are willing and able to put in the time to develop them. Organizations that practice this regularly tend to be more agile, and ready when organizational changes occur.  

This could also be an opportunity to spot employees  with aptitudes they might not have been aware of, and encourage them to explore new learning opportunities.

Higher Engagement 

As previously mentioned, when organizations allow for talent mobility, employees will have the chance to move into a role that is either better suited for their skills, or a growth opportunity for them.  This means employees can feel more engaged and excited to work on something new, where they might have felt burnt out or unenthused before. 

Mark Loboseo, Vice President of Talent Solutions at LinkedIn, notes that employees who move internally within their organization are three and a half times more likely to be engaged than those who don’t.

Increased Organizational Agility 

We have all learned from the COVID-19 pandemic just how quickly the world can change…and change again. Companies that have a high awareness of the talent they have and what their employees can do can adapt much more quickly. Talent mobility allows organizations to quickly move an employee into a new role, including one which might not have existed before.

Talent mobility is a strategy that more companies should pursue. It improves engagement and productivity, significantly reduces turnover, and increases organizational agility.

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