Kasey LynchJanuary 24, 2023
Topics: Employee Experience

What is Internal Mobility and Why is it Important?

Creating an impactful and supportive employee experience goes beyond offering great benefits, unlimited PTO, and other perks — it involves helping your workers understand where they fit into your organization and where they can aspire to go without leaving the proverbial building.

Internal mobility is an important element of any employee experience. And when the right technology supports it, internal mobility programs can remove any confusion around professional growth, highlighting potential career paths for each and every individual. This improved visibility helps employees:

  • Take control of their unique career journey

  • Visualize their future at your company 

  • Build out an action plan that will help them achieve their goals

  • Feel empowered to grow their careers without leaving 

Sounds amazing right? But now you might be thinking, what is internal mobility and why is it important? Keep reading to find out. 

What is internal mobility? 

When looking to improve the employee experience, internal mobility is a key element that can boost engagement, retention, and build a more agile workforce. So what is internal mobility? Internal mobility is the vertical or horizontal movement of employees within an organization. 

Also referred to as “internal talent mobility” or “talent mobility”, this function is best supported by career pathing frameworks. Compared to career pathing, internal mobility focuses on the move from one position to another within an organization, whereas career pathing highlights the potential moves an individual can make along their career journey.

Related Resource:
Quadient's Key to Internal Mobility & Creating an Agile Workforce That Lasts

For example, let’s say a recruiter is looking to fill a position within the marketing department at your business. Instead of looking externally to hire someone from another company, they use internal recruiting methods to find an existing employee who has the right skills and interests that could make them an ideal fit for the open role. 

On the other side of this equation is the employee. Within a talent marketplace (an internal HR platform built to connect employees with new opportunities), the employee can see available positions within the business that they might be a good fit for, based on skills and experience. If the employee has already identified a lateral movement to marketing as an ideal next step in their career path, they likely will apply. 

According to SHRM, over 60% of employees who are promoted within the first 3 years are likely to stay within the organization. On top of boosting retention, by recruiting from within, employers are able to:

  • Cut down on sourcing time for recruiters

  • Reduce time to hire for critical positions

  • Empower employees to take on new responsibilities

  • Support employee development and upskilling 

Especially in uncertain economic and talent landscapes, internal talent mobility allows businesses to be adaptable while supporting both short- and long-term retention. 

Why is Internal Mobility Important? 

In response to the waves of unexpected HR trends — like The Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting — savvy HR leaders are looking for new ways to boost retention and engagement to prevent highly qualified candidates from walking out the door. Here are a couple of reasons why internal mobility is important in this endeavor. 

It creates a more holistic view of your workforce capabilities 

Internal mobility helps remove the barrier between what an employee was hired to do and what they can truly achieve within your business. 

Traditionally, an organization might view a new employee to address one particular role in the business. Taking a step back and viewing their contributions more holistically, HR leaders can explore the value employees bring to the table that might extend beyond their current roles and responsibilities. After all, we’re multi-faceted individuals with numerous skill sets and unique experiences. 

Focusing on internal mobility strategies that improve visibility throughout your business can help create a clearer picture of what’s possible for your employees, especially if they’re looking to take that next step in their career path. 

It boosts employee engagement and retention 

Another reason why internal mobility is important is because of its ability to encourage employee engagement. Internal hiring success stories are impactful and inspiring for existing employees who want to take on more responsibility. These types of stories are also beneficial for those who want to take that next step, but might not be ready. 

Hearing about a coworker who made a horizontal or vertical movement can open an employee’s eyes to the possibilities available within your business. It also keeps your company top of mind when they are ready to take the next step in their career. 

Explore how Phenom Talent Marketplace can maximize your internal mobility efforts here.

3 Steps You Can Take Right Now to Improve Internal Mobility

Now that we’ve covered why internal mobility is important, how can you implement an effective program at your organization? The best approach to launching an effective internal mobility strategy is by assessing your existing technology. 

Choosing an AI-powered talent marketplace that offers internal mobility, career pathing, and learning and development functions can streamline adoption, highlight valuable insights, and kickstart your internal mobility efforts. 

Downloadable Resource: Talent Marketplace Buyer's Guide

However, we understand that long-term internal mobility solutions that really move the needle take time. With that said, here are 3 steps you can take right now to start improving internal mobility efforts at your company: 

1. Post open roles to internal job boards or your talent marketplace 

Your workforce is full of untapped potential that can be upskilled to meet evolving or future business needs. If you’re only posting jobs on external job boards, you’re skipping over a massive pool of potential candidates that already align with your company values. 

By posting available jobs in easy-to-access areas, like a talent marketplace, employees can learn about open roles across the business as they become available. This step alone helps recruiters broaden their talent pool, creating a new funnel of potential candidates. 

If you want to go above and beyond, highlight available courses and short-term projects within your talent marketplace or employee portal as well. This can reduce the number of hurdles employees have to jump when they’re interested in acquiring more skills that help them develop. 

2. Ask coworkers to refer their work friends to open positions 

Whether you’re focused on talent acquisition or talent management, referrals are an ideal way to find high-quality candidates. After sharing new roles on your talent marketplace, consider sending an internal email asking your employees to recommend their coworkers for available roles. 

Want impressive results? Incentive this effort by offering a gift card as a thank you for referring a coworker to an open position. 

3. Highlight available positions in company emails and newsletters 

Not every employee checks internal portals for available positions. To ensure you’re getting as much exposure as possible for open roles, share your most recent job postings via emails (such as a company newsletter) and messaging apps. 

Elevating open roles and promoting them internally highlights your company’s commitment to hiring from within while getting as many eyes on it as possible. 

Automate, accelerate, and personalize internal talent mobility with Phenom 

At Phenom, we’ve thought about the pain points that come with implementing an internal mobility program, leveraging point solution career pathing features, and integrating upskilling opportunities along the way. The solution we created to solve everyday challenges while improving engagement and retention is Phenom Talent Marketplace

This emerging HR tech solution benefits each group of key stakeholders from individual employees and users to C-suite executives and everyone in between — including HRIS/HRIT teams. Phenom Talent Marketplace is equipped with Employee Resource Groups, Career Pathing, Gigs, Mentoring, and more to support employees along their unique journey. 

To take a closer look at how Phenom Talent Marketplace creates more efficiencies, boosts internal talent mobility, and leverages AI to create personalized experiences across the platform, sign up to view a product tour on demand

Kasey Lynch

Kasey is a content marketing writer, focused on highlighting the importance of positive experiences. She's passionate about SEO strategy, collaboration, and data analytics. In her free time, she enjoys camping, cooking, exercising, and spending time with her loved ones — including her dog, Rocky. 

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