Holly PennebakerFebruary 15, 2021
Topics: Employee Experience

New Job, Same Place: A Firsthand Internal Mobility Success Story

This article covers the Feb. 4 Talent Experience Live, featuring Phenom's Lauren Berkel and Jesus Latorre-Socas. Learn about internal mobility, employee experience, upskilling, and more!

Getting top talent in the door takes a huge budget and a load of time from leading organizations, and after new hires are onboarded, the employee experience is well underway.

Internal mobility has become an invaluable part of the employee experience, especially now as companies and their people continue in this new way of work. It sets top talent up for success, as well as your business.

On a recent episode of Talent Experience Live, Lauren Berkel, Talent Experience Specialist at Phenom, shared her story about moving to a new role within the company. Watch it below, and read on for more highlights from the show!

On the Move

Lauren Berkel started working for Phenom in August 2019, and already has her own internal mobility story to share. She hit a career milestone by transitioning from a Sales Development Representative (SDR) to part of the HR team as Talent Experience Specialist. Her story portrays a realistic internal mobility experience, including a unique take on what's possible for a program that elevates the employee experience.

Phenom's advocacy of internal mobility empowered Berkel to have honest discussions with her manager about career aspirations and growth opportunities.

“It was made very clear throughout the entire hiring process that this role is great for growth and development; not only in sales, but that there was the opportunity to evolve in general at Phenom,” she said.

Berkel began these conversations about six months into her career. By Nov. 2020, her job title officially changed … and her skillset, knowledge and plans reached new heights.

Navigating the Internal Job Search

As Berkel got further in her career, her curiosity was piqued when she learned of an open position for Talent Acquisition Specialist. She said she had a natural propensity for human resources, as a college friend once suggested she'd be a good fit for an HR role.

“Keeping an open mind throughout the whole journey was super important,” Berkel said, adding that she’d gained transferable skills, including attention to detail and time management. “And the talent marketing piece really drew me to this role because of my marketing background.”

Berkel navigated the internal job search experience with the Phenom employee portal, which allows employees to apply for open positions, take on growth opportunities, and learn new skills.

“Going back to the initial interview, I knew the opportunity was there to expand my career,” she said.

However, Berkel couldn't simply stop by the HR department, introduce herself, and express interest in the open position. She was working remotely, confined to the restraints of the Covid-19 pandemic — so she turned to technology instead of the HR office door.

Evolving Your Career with Upskilling, Learning Courses and Tech

“After six months to a year [of working at Phenom], I started logging in to see new jobs available,” Berkel said. It was spring 2020, and sites of new job opportunities were few and far in between. Not much seemed to be opening up at a time when the world was shutting down. American workers were losing millions of jobs, sending unemployment beyond a record-breaking rate.

But Berkel used the downtime to her advantage, diving into the Learning Management System (LMS) and acquiring an unique set of skills and comprehension of HR.

“Just having that hub available to log in to, seeing what jobs were available, what skills I already had that matched up against those job descriptions … even having the integration with our learning management system, I saw some recommended courses to take,” she said.

The portal presented opportunities to upskill "right in front of my eyes," as Berkel said.

Employees have 24/7 access to the portal, and can learn on-demand when it best suits their schedules and preferences for time of day. For Berkel, it made most sense for her to devote time right at the end of her workday, once she'd wrapped up her tasks. Employees should find and maintain a balance between current projects and tasks, and learning and upskilling activities.

Equipped with New Skills to Take On a New Role

Not too much time went by before Berkel's attention was captured by an opening for a Talent Experience Specialist. The job could be hers for the taking, so long as she put in the effort. The interview process moved right along, eventually landing with Berkel taking off her sales hat to join the HR team. The transition was a testament to the agility in talent mobility that leaders ramp up when they embrace the employee lifecycle.

Berkel's virtual (yet seamless) transition to her new role took about two weeks, during which she prepared the new SDR and passed over her accounts, and finished her first day as Talent Experience Specialist.

"I was nervous about learning a new job virtually," Berkel said, and added that her experience has been a positive one, thanks to the support of her new talent acquisition team.

Looking back, Berkel said the internal mobility online resources were especially vital for her career development, especially since she works from home. She had a virtual place to go for learning, where fellow employees could log into as well.

The skills Berkel gained when using the LMS were transferable to her new role. She said her approach of remaining curious and asking questions throughout the process was key. The training she received along her journey helped lay a foundation for success as a Talent Experience Specialist.

“I’m still immersing myself each day, attending webinars, and having weekly conversations to expand my talent marketing knowledge,” Berkel said.

Internal Mobility Represents Modern Career Paths

Before Berkel learned about — and experienced — internal mobility firsthand, she believed it was more like moving up the chain within one department, she said. Her view matched the traditional "Career Ladder" take on career development, which SHRM describes as the progression of jobs in an organization's specific occupational fields ranked from highest to lowest based on level of responsibility and pay. It's a vertical, one-way climb that's long been replaced by "Career Paths," which encompasses varied forms of career progression, allowing for horizontal moves and more.

"Since going through the process, I know there are multiple ways to move,” Berkel said. “Many of my colleagues have been promoted to team leads, or have moved on to account management or sales executive roles."

"That just wasn’t the path for me. There were opportunities to look at other departments. Looking at internal mobility cross-functionally now is my view.”

How Can the Organization Make the Most of Internal Mobility?

For an organization, it's all about maintaining a top-notch employer brand by encouraging candidates to find their next role within your company by suggesting personalized job recommendations.

When looking for top talent, organizations must remember to look at their prime source of high-performers: their people! It's very likely that the best person for the job already works inside the company.

High-performers want to grow their careers and develop themselves, and they're impatient, too — meaning your organization must provide challenges and learning opportunities, a captivating company culture, and motivation for employees to move from job-to-job internally where it's a good fit for everyone.

"The goal for many companies is to upskill and retain talent within the company," said Jesus Latorre-Socas, a Product Manager at Phenom who joined the later half of the show. "We really want to give and empower your employees to be able to look internally before they ever look externally."

Companies should retain talent by making available jobs known to their employees, and supply necessary tools with which employees can use to apply for open jobs that grab their interest.

It's one thing to post job openings online and prioritize your people as candidates. It's another to encourage them to be active on your internal mobility hub and LMS, and to empower them to grow their career within your company.

Internal mobility helps to create a powerful magnet for people outside your organization — especially for external candidates looking to build their careers. An employer that prioritizes and champions employee development can quickly gain a competitive advantage among job seekers.

Through Phenom Internal Mobility, organizations can also share success stories like Berkel’s to demonstrate what’s possible for employees. Her story can help other organizations refine the employee experience with this important lesson: Helping internal talent develop transferable skills can position them for success in any role, as well as future career goals.

"I'm learning a lot every day, so fully moving to a talent marketing role might be on the horizon," she said. "But who knows? I can set high goals."

Sign up to get notified about future episodes of The Talent Experience Show! Catch us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook every Thursday at noon ET to get the latest in recruiting, talent acquisition, talent management, and HR tech.

Encore anyone? Handpicked resources you may be interested in:

Webinar: Top Predictions HR Can't Miss in 2021

E-book: Introduction to Internal Mobility

Infographic: The Experience Thrash of Internal Mobility

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