Picture this: a requisition opens at your organization. What’s the first thing you do? Probably post the job description and then begin sourcing externally for the perfect fit candidate.

If this is your typical process, you may be making an expensive misstep. In this disrupted talent market, hiring has become difficult and more expensive. Earlier this year, the average cost to convert a job applicant was $12, but increased to $19 in June. With droves of people leaving the workforce to stay home with their kids, many being too afraid to make a career move, and others making more with CARES benefits, the hiring pool has shrunk. Which really means one thing – organizations must spend more and work harder to attract qualified talent.

Instead of relying heavily on external candidates, it’s time to fish in your existing talent pond. Organizations are learning to tap into their current workforce to identify and hire people internally with the required skills and capabilities. And bonus point: they already have in-depth knowledge about your organization.

However, this internal market can be tough to access. Despite a wide-range of HR initiatives aimed at improving internal mobility – policies, career portals, and career development and planning resources – internal fill rates still remain low. In fact, internal fill rates have been trending downward since 2015, and have remained stagnant over the last three years at approximately 30%.

So what can smart hiring teams do to tap into this internal market? Read on to learn more.

 

First off, why is internal mobility so important?

There are many reasons why internal mobility should be an important part of your overall talent acquisition strategy. Here are a few for you to consider:

 

Internal mobility allows your organization to acquire talent more efficiently and at a lower cost

Hiring internal candidates helps you avoid the increasing costs associated with recruitment marketing, onboarding, and training. When you hire internally, you know the candidate has already been onboarded, likely has a proven track record, and has had an opportunity to cultivate relationships that will help them successfully transition into a new job. According to Harvard Business Review, it can take an outside hire 3 years to perform as well as an internal hire in the same role – that’s a lot of time that you don’t have.

By promoting from within you can also avoid the dreaded (and expensive) new hire turnover. According to Deloitte, external hires are 61% more likely to be laid off or fired in their first year of service and 21% more likely to leave. And if they do leave, the cost of turnover is as high as $109,600 per skilled employee!

A strong internal mobility strategy allows organizations to avoid replacement costs for each new hire, cut down on time spent on interview rounds, and save on onboarding and training costs, just to name a few savings areas.

 

Internal mobility provides a strong competitive advantage

In times of uncertainty, people aren’t looking to make a career move into the unknown. Instead, employees are being cautious and job security with their current employer is valuable. This makes finding candidates to occupy the highly skilled roles your organization needs to fill difficult.

One of the best ways to keep your company moving forward during an uncertain market is to reskill or upskill your existing workforce. By focusing on reskilling, you can help an existing employee develop the new skills necessary to fill your open requisition and reduce the downtime associated with an open role. When you hire internally, you circumvent the talent shortage and critical skill gaps. So, while your competition is experiencing layoffs or hiring freezes, your internal hires can be hard at work.

While we don’t know for certain what the next normal will look for candidates, you want to ensure they don’t leave as soon as they have the chance. By focusing on internal growth and actively talking about how current employees can grow their careers with you, you also help secure your workforce in the future.

 

Internal mobility boosts employee engagement and retention

Employee engagement is perhaps more important than ever as employees are less likely to leave their jobs due to uncertainty or may be fearing future layoffs. While this means seats are filled, it could also lead to a disengaged and passive workforce.

Gartner’s 2019 Global Workforce Trends shows that internal career development opportunities are a key driver in helping reduce employee attrition and drive engagement. When organizations have strong internal mobility programs, it demonstrates a commitment to their employees not only boosting engagement, but also productivity. In fact, by investing in your existing employees and creating an internal mobility strategy that emphasizes on-the-job development, you can increase engagement by up to 30%.

 

How to improve the current state of internal mobility for your organization

If you feel like your internal mobility strategy could use a boost or refresh, here are some approaches that can unlock your organization’s full potential:

 

1. Focus on building out communications and incentives that support your internal mobility program

If hiring managers are not actively encouraged to source internal candidates, they may overlook existing employees looking for an internal role change. To encourage hiring managers to develop the habit of searching internally first before going external, organizations need to effectively communicate the overall benefit of an internal mobility program to managers.

You might also consider building incentives for internal mobility into your organization’s overall culture. For instance, you might think about providing managers with internal hiring training and resources and providing employees with internal growth and career plans.

 

2. Optimize the internal apply flow experience

Candidates today have high expectations when it comes to the application experience. If an application takes more than 15 minutes to complete, the applicant drop-off rate increases by 365% (Appcast)!

If your most talented employees are on the hunt for their next opportunity, they won’t sink a ton of time into a frustrating application experience anywhere – including at their own organization. Instead, they may become disengaged and you lose out on filling a key role.

Increase the conversion rate on your internal roles by providing a streamlined internal apply flow experience. You’ll also want to ensure the application experience is just as easy to use on a mobile device.

Seem like a big job? The InFlight Employee Experience Platform can help you to upgrade the look, feel, and experience of your application experience without having to implement a new ATS. Our software sits on top of your current ATS and allows you to significantly improve your apply flow without a complete systems overhaul.

 

3. Put the right jobs in front of employees at the right time

When organizations have a strong internal mobility program, they can leverage their employee base to achieve corporate goals, and shift people to roles where they will thrive and develop new skills at key points in their career journey. By matching and delivering the right roles to employees at the right time, you can provide employees with the opportunity to speed up their standard career progression and get the most out of employees’ skills in both the short and long term.

Finding a tool that automatically matches employees with potential internal opportunities can be a game changer. This type of software makes it easier for all employees to have greater visibility into available opportunities – beyond just those individuals who are already succession planned or talent mapped. As a result, employees are more likely to remain with your organization because they’re aware of ongoing opportunities for development and growth.

 

4. Provide managers with seamless tools and technology to hire talent from within

Providing managers with the right tools and technology allows them to explore and access alternate roles and career paths for their current employees more efficiently. That being said, unfortunately 49% of hiring managers feel they have few, if any, tools to identify and move employees into new or lateral roles within your organization.

In addition to improving the application experience, as mentioned earlier, InFlight’s technology improves your organization’s HCM experience to better facilitate your internal mobility practices. With the InFlight EXP, hiring managers are able to search internally for talent using a beautiful, easy-to-use, and intuitive user interface, contributing to a more attractive internal hiring process. The system is also mobile optimized and can be used on the go, which means people are more likely to want to engage with the system.

There’s also no need to go through a headache-inducing new system implementation to benefit from these results! The InFlight EXP sits on top of your current HCM system so that you can improve your internal mobility strategies quickly and in a cost-effective manner.

 

The takeaway

As the hiring landscape continues to be unpredictable, organizations need to re-examine how they approach hiring and internal mobility. When done right, internal mobility can be the most efficient source of talent. To boost internal mobility, we suggest you focus on improving your communications and incentives, putting the right jobs in front of employees at the right time, and provide hiring managers with seamless technology to allow them to hire from within your organization. By doing so, you’ll not only save money, but increase employee engagement and get access to great talent that your competition will never have access to.

 

Get in touch with our team to learn more about how the InFlight Employee Experience Platform can advance your organization’s internal mobility strategy.
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