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October 26th, 2023 · 5 min read

Talent mobility: A critical HR imperative

What is talent mobility?

  • Access to education and development opportunities
  • Hiring practices that prioritize internal mobility just as much, if not more than, external recruitment
  • Atypical career paths that go beyond the typical linear ladder 
  • Succession planning that allows for the transparent construction of internal leadership pipelines

Why talent mobility should be a key business strategy

4 tactics for taking meaningful action on talent mobility

  1. Engage people managers
    People managers are the ones on the ground and immersed in the day-to-day with their direct reports. They can have a significant influence on the success and advancement of their teams — especially if they take a proactive approach to talking about career advancement. Rather than waiting for employees to bring up mobility opportunities, organizations should kick-start the conversation during onboarding and then continue the discussion regularly throughout an employee’s tenure.
  2. Implement comprehensive career pathing
    Career paths empower both people managers and employees to understand what mobility options are available and the steps needed to get there. When employees can visualize the potential career outcomes of their efforts, they’re much more likely to be engaged and motivated.
  3. Engage workforce education
    Enable your employees to upskill or reskill into new roles by providing them with accessible learning and education opportunities. While plenty of learning happens on the job, career mobility can be further accelerated by formal training and education. This includes anything from short-form training courses to professional certifications and degree programs.  Keep in mind that the learning options you offer should always be relevant to the positions available within your company.
  4. Align talent mobility with business goals
    When it comes to talent management, no strategy should exist in a silo. Talent mobility is no different. Make sure that the goals you set out to achieve through a dedicated mobility strategy align with the greater goals of the business. Doing so will help you get buy-in from executive leadership and help ensure that your efforts are rooted in clear objectives.

How to know if your talent mobility strategy is working 

  • Collect data on employee perceptions of mobility and advancement
    Get direct feedback from your workers. Send out regular surveys in addition to the standard exit interviews to get a sense of your employees’ feelings regarding career opportunities within the company.
  • Analyze retention numbers
    Take a look at fluctuations within retention, especially after introducing new initiatives to wider career programming. Are employees staying on longer and at higher rates? Is turnover increasing? Is the workforce in a plateau?
  • Measure L&D engagement levels
    L&D and talent mobility are intrinsically linked, and participation in your learning programs can act as a key indicator for talent mobility success. Low rates may mean that the programming offered by L&D isn’t giving workers the skills they need to advance, or the content is irrelevant to the organizational experience.

What’s next for talent mobility

You can address talent development challenges