Building Teams
May 17, 2024

Enhancing Internal Mobility: Navigating Open Roles for Employee Growth and Organizational Success

Picture this: a workplace where every employee feels empowered to explore new horizons, where talent is nurtured from within, and where growth is not just a possibility but an expectation. This is the essence of internal mobility – a dynamic approach to talent development that benefits both employees and organizations alike. 

Today, one of the most crucial endeavors HR roles embark upon is facilitating internal mobility – the process of helping employees move within the organization to roles that better suit their skills, aspirations, and the company's needs. In this article, we are delving  into the concept of internal mobility and discovering how to navigate open roles effectively. 

What is an open role?

An open role is a job position that’s vacant and available for qualified candidates. A role can be posted internally within a company (e.g. an intranet, HRIS or ATS system, or word-of-mouth)  or on an external job board (e.g. Purpose Jobs, LinkedIn, or Glassdoor). 

Understanding Internal Mobility

Internal mobility is more than just a buzzword – it's a strategic approach to talent management that holds immense potential for organizational growth and employee satisfaction. At its core, it refers to the movement of employees within an org, whether it's transitioning to different departments, teams, or roles. It enriches the notion of career progression from within, allowing employees to explore new possibilities and develop their skills without having to leave the company.

The significance of employee growth cannot be overstated. According to LinkedIn’s 2023 State of Recruiting Report, employees at companies with high internal mobility programs stay on average 60% longer. That’s about 4.9 years of tenure per employee compared to the average 3.1 years for companies with fewer opportunities. When employees feel supported in their career development and have access to a variety of growth opportunities within the org, they are more likely to remain committed and motivated.

Moreover, internal mobility is a strategic offering in today's competitive talent landscape. According to a report published by Cornerstone People Research, 73% of workers today want to know about career opportunities inside their organization. As companies strive to attract and retain top talent, offering clear pathways for career advancement becomes essential. 

It also drives innovation and agility. By encouraging employees to explore diverse roles and perspectives, organizations can tap into a wealth of underused talent and creativity. This cross-functional collaboration fosters a culture of innovation, enabling companies to adapt more effectively and expand the use of their employee’s skill sets. Research consistently shows that organizations with robust internal mobility programs enjoy higher levels of employee engagement, retention, and productivity.

Challenges of Navigating Open Roles

Many HR roles understand that the journey won't be a smooth sail all the way. Despite its benefits, navigating open roles presents challenges for HR professionals and organizations alike. 

There are difficulties in maintaining a comprehensive view of available roles within the organization. This can be attributed to siloed systems for job posting, inconsistent updates to internal job boards, or an inconsistent hiring process. Often, HR folks are juggling too many priorities, from recruitment and onboarding to performance management and employee development. Amidst these competing demands, dedicating sufficient time and resources to promoting internal mobility can be challenging.

Communication breakdowns between HR departments, hiring managers, and employees can impede the flow of information. According to a different Gartner report, 89% of HR leaders believe career paths at their organizations are unclear for many employees. Traditional communication methods may fall short in reaching all employees, especially in large organizations with dispersed teams. Without effective channels for disseminating information about open roles, HR professionals may struggle to connect employees with suitable opportunities.

There is the challenge of organizational structure and departmental silos. The hierarchical structure of an organization can act as a barrier. Managers and higher-ups are twice as likely to make internal moves compared to individual contributors, according to LinkedIn's 2023 Global Talent Trend. Employees may perceive certain roles or departments as inaccessible, limiting mobility opportunities, and potential for unfair hiring. Managers might be reluctant to let their high performing employees to another team.

By addressing these challenges proactively and leveraging innovative solutions, HR professionals can unlock the full potential of internal mobility, fostering a culture of continuous growth and development within their organizations.

Having a dedicated page for an open role provides candidate the expectations for the position

Building a Culture of Transparency and Opportunity

Creating a workplace where transparency and opportunity thrive is like planting seeds for a flourishing garden of talent. It's about fostering an environment where every employee feels heard, valued, and empowered to explore those new horizons. Here are some strategies to help cultivate a culture that encourages and promotes internal mobility:

  1. Utilize Multiple Communication Channels: Establishing clear communication channels is essential for keeping employees informed about open roles, career development opportunities, and organizational changes. Whether it's through town hall meetings, newsletters, or digital platforms, ensuring that information flows freely is key to building trust and fostering engagement.
  2. Create a Dedicated Internal Job Board: Establish a centralized platform where employees can easily access information about open roles, including job descriptions, requirements, and application procedures. Keep the job board user-friendly and regularly updated to reflect new opportunities.
  3. Encourage Employee Referrals: Tap into the power of employee networks by implementing a referral program that incentivizes employees to recommend qualified candidates for open positions. This increases the pool of potential candidates and fosters a sense of ownership and engagement among employees.
  4. Offer Information Sessions and Workshops: Host informational sessions or workshops to educate employees about internal mobility opportunities and the application process. Use these sessions to answer questions, provide guidance on career development, and showcase success stories of employees who have benefited from internal mobility.

Leveraging Open Roles at Sift

While implementing any kind of internal recruiting program, it’s good to check your tech stack to see where you can include or automate your objectives and priorities. At Sift, we aim to find ways for organizations to create better visibility and engagement to help improve the overall employee experience. And we are excited to announce that soon you too can leverage Open Roles directly in the Sift Org Chart. Showcase new opportunities to your whole company (or those with login access) to better facilitate your internal mobility program. Be on the lookout for future videos and articles going over this latest feature.

Open Roles are coming soon!

Watch our Q2 Product Webinar learn more about the progress of Open Roles and how they can help bring internally mobility to your organization.