There are a staggering 9.2 million job openings in the U.S. right now, according to the Labor Bureau. This record-setting twenty year high is no surprise. We’re coming out of a collective experience that redefined how people think about work and caused many individuals to challenge their pre-pandemic assumptions about their careers, but this offers little comfort to businesses that still need to hire and grow.
It’s easy for employers to throw money at the problem. Companies spend $4,000 to fill an open role on average. Yet in the competitive market businesses are currently facing, this number can easily spike into the five-digits as high-end recruiting agencies and headhunters tend to enter the equation.
Exacerbating the situation is the aptly named “The Great Resignation,” where one in four employees are considering leaving their current job as we come out of the pandemic. There are ways to overcome this stat according to research from LinkedIn, which found that 94% of employees say that they would stay at a company longer if it simply invested in helping them learn and grow.
Don’t overlook that your next great hire might already be on payroll—either on a different team and ready for a new challenge to support their own career development, or in another department altogether. Internal mobility programs that fill job openings with existing staffers can serve a dual purpose, by filling key roles with speed and ease (not to mention for a fraction of the cost), while retaining employees that may otherwise move on.
Here are four ways to supercharge your employee mobility efforts and discover hidden gems within your organization.
- Identify teams that share overlapping skills. Certain jobs share complimentary skills, and a company should identify what these are within their own organization. For instance, a skilled marketer that has created ample materials about a new product rollout and knows the offering inside out may succeed in a sales role, where they’d be pitching its capabilities to potential customers.
- Take advantage of a more complete data set. Employers have an advantage when filling a role with an existing employee. They’ve actually worked with them before, so strengths, weaknesses, interests, passions, and workstyle can paint a more complete picture of the candidate. Evaluating internal candidates in the same way as everyone else would be a missed opportunity. While they may not be able to match the “resume experience” qualifications, existing employees are already familiar with your product, organization structure, and processes, giving them a leg up in onboarding for their new role.
- Setup infrastructure for internal mobility programs. Employees must be able to uncover relevant opportunities within the company, in an easy and simple way that is standardized across the company. Leverage the wealth of platforms that go beyond simple “job boards” and match employees with internal roles based on capabilities and interests, and ensure employees are familiar with and trained on how to take advantage of the program.
- Build a culture that promotes career growth. It’s critical that employees know about the opportunities that are available to them or that there’s the possibility for trying something new without having to leave the organization. Learning, growth, and development should be an ingrained part of the culture. Internal mobility should be discussed at team meetings, prioritized by leadership, and something that is measured and tracked with KPIs.
Rolling out an internal mobility program requires a long lead time and resource commitment across the organization. Moreover, it also can’t just live within a human resources silo. For instancee, Uber is an example of a company that has successfully rolled out an internal mobility program. Between 30-40% of hires are a result of internal movement, and those who moved into a new role at the company stayed twice as long as those that didn’t move.
Internal mobility done right requires dedicated effort from a company. While it’s no easy feat, it’s worth the payoff and can help your business stay competitive and grow during an unprecedented and unpredictable labor market.
Nick Ionita and Max Goodberg are the cofounders of Flux. Ionita is the company’s CEO, while Goldberg is its COO. Flux is the first internal mobility platform that intelligently connects employees looking to grow their careers with untapped opportunities that exist within the organization.