3 Absolute Reasons to Track Internal Mobility

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Many recruiters are complaining that there are not enough qualified candidates applying to open positions.  One of the first questions I ask in my intake meeting is who do you internally that could move into the role.  Most hiring managers think about it for a moment and then tell me…no, no one that comes to mind.  My first response to their answer, “No, I am talking about across the organization.”  The hiring managers initial response…”I will have to think about it.”

Whether you are a small company or a global conglomerate, here are three key reasons that you should review internal candidates first before going outside the organization.

1.       Internal moves are trackable and serve as great data points.

2.       Your recruiters know who is looking inside the organization

3.       Internal Mobility is a great talent attraction tool

Internal Mobility is Trackable

In today’s data-centric world, measuring internal movement either through your recruiting/HR’s Applicant Tracking (ATS) tool or your Succession Planning tool is a significant requirement.    Surprisingly, many Recruiting and HR groups don not measure mobility.  When I was Head of Talent Acquisition for two $1B organizations, we started measuring internal promotions and transfers on a monthly basis.  We studied movement at both Corporate and in our field locations.

Early results showed we needed to improve our internal career portals, advertise open opportunities in an email blast across the company, and most importantly, having our corporate and field hiring managers talking to each other about whom they felt was a potentially good candidate for open positions. The last point was not as straightforward as most executives/senior leadership does not like giving up their “A” players.  The key selling point was getting the hiring manager to understand that it provides that employee a chance to grow and they hiring manager would be able to take credit for developing, producing, and promoting “A” level talent within their department.

In year one, we saw an increase in internal mobility from 15% to 30% with Internal Promotions and Transfers as the number one source of hire.

In turn, we were able to tell a great story to Executive Leadership around our investment in both the Succession Planning tool and the dollars spent on revamping our career portals, desk drops, and posters placed around the different offices.

Your Recruiting and HR Generalists Know

Recruiters and HR Generalists are in the know about who is looking to make changes.  How?  Most common is they are applying for open positions in the Applicant Tracking System, or your employees are having conversations with their HR Business Partner.

Your next question is “Why aren’t my HR Partners telling me?”  HR/Recruiting is not responsible for telling you but your employee. There two sides of the coin in the great debate of employees notifying their manager about applying for a job - those who incorporate a “must notify your supervisor before applying” and those companies and those companies who do not have such a policy.  That is for another post (I fall on the no policy party).

Why is this key to internal mobility?  During intake meetings, if the hiring managers do not know of any internal candidates as possibilities, recruiters will.  Post meeting, the recruiter can go back to their succession planning tool or review internals that have applied in the past to let them know about the opportunity.  Remember, your recruiters are the company ambassadors.  They want to see internal mobility because they know it is great for employee culture and employer brand campaigns which leads me to my final reason for internal movement.

Promoting and Transfers are a Great Talent Attraction Tool

Nothing is more important than having a lock in today's market. Publicizing your ability to retain and grow your employees is by far the easiest sell to candidates checking out your organization. I noticed considerable increases in both external applications after we started advertising our internal hire success stories. Here is what I did.

a.       Add employee testimonials (quotes and videos) to our career site where candidates told their story of where they started and how s/he grew with the organization. Focus on those who experienced both vertical and lateral moves and how those moves helped get them to the position s/he is in today.  Spread these out on all your pages.  I recommend videos over quotes to capture the employee’s emotion. Keep the video to about a minute, so you do not lose the candidate’s attention.

b.       Share stories on social media especially on employees who have been with the company at least five years.  While the number of likes, follows, etc. may not be outstanding, the views are what truly counts.  When I speak to candidates, 98% of them say, “I want to find a company I can call home.”  We have all heard it.  The key here is to have employees visualize themselves in that five-year or 10-year anniversary picture. While stills are great, videos are still the most effective.

c.       Share promotions and lateral transfers announcing internal moves on social media.  Companies who have some form of celebrating success in their core values needs to be sharing these types of stories. Be sure to have brand ambassadors pushing these posts in A, B and C out to their communities.

d.       Glassdoor is always a great place to post success stories since most job seekers are going to the site to read reviews.

In summary, the internal movement should be your top source of hire.  Take the time to post the success stories on your career site, social posts and Glassdoor and be sure your ambassadors are pushing the same posts to their networks.  The more you show off your internal movement, the higher the chance you will see more qualified candidates applying for your external openings.

 About Michael Goldberg:  Michael is an experienced Talent Acquisition Leader with 15 years of recruiting experience in Operations, Logistics, Distribution, Non-profit, Sales, and Event Management.  Michael provides executive search and talent acquisition advisory services to organizations.  Visit his website to learn more about his success in helping companies identify top talent and how he has successfully turned underperforming recruiting departments to highly functioning recruiting teams.