Internal Mobility: Simultaneous or Staggered Posting?

Sep 29, 2003
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

My last article, Internal Mobility: Process Design, discussed the overall structure of an internal mobility process and specific ways that the process is designed by leading staffing organizations. When constructing an internal mobility program, one decision facing staffing executives is whether to give the initiative a head start by giving internal candidates the chance to apply before external candidates may. Should the open position be posted simultaneously to the employees and the public, or should the public posting be delayed? The right strategy for your company depends on what the internal mobility initiative is intended to accomplish. Current Stats As reported in the study “Internal Mobility,” by iLogos Research, internal mobility is an important component of many companies’ overall staffing strategy:

  • 62% of survey respondents (70+ large and global corporations) report that their organization turns to internal sources to fill an open job position at least three-quarters of the time.
  • Approximately one-quarter (27%) of companies always turn to internal sources.
  • Only five percent never source internally.
  • Internal mobility is clearly a very significant source for many organizations. The majority of respondents (61%) report internally filling 40% or more of open positions annually.

Timing of Internal and External Posting When posting open positions, the two choices are either to post simultaneously to internal and external sources, or to inform the internal candidate pool of the opportunity first and advertise externally later. The interval between internal and external posting may be a week, 30 days, or some other length of time. The period might even be dictated by a collective bargaining agreement. The choice of a simultaneous or delayed posting strategy depends on the overall goal of the internal mobility initiative. If your goal is to draw the best talent possible from the widest candidate pool, it is advisable to post simultaneously to both internal and external sources. Companies that have a history and culture of high rates of internal hiring and retention may choose to post simultaneously in an effort to stimulate the hiring of fresh talent. Conversely, delaying the external posting gives the internal mobility initiative time to react, which may be especially desirable if the goal is to lower staffing costs or increase retention. The internal mobility policy must also be clear on whether internal candidates enjoy more than just a temporal advantage, and have priority in the actual hiring itself. The survey results reflect disparate goals and practices: 47% of companies delay the posting of company job opportunities to external media sources at specific intervals to allow employees time to react to internal postings. On the other hand, 33% inform both internal and external talent pools simultaneously. Automating the Posting Process For optimum results, the internal mobility process must run smoothly, and here technology can help. Automating posting to electronic media happens instantaneously upon approval. For companies adding a delay between internal and external posting, sometimes on a very precise schedule, an automated posting system will increase accuracy, repeatability and scalability. Two-thirds of respondents to the iLogos Internal Mobility survey consider automated posting technology to be very important to the overall success of an internal mobility program. The business context of an internal mobility program varies considerably from company to company, depending on unique combinations of corporate culture, retention rates, company growth, and the presence of other human capital initiatives, such as employee development and career path planning. The tactical decision whether to stagger internal and external job postings must flow from the overall strategy or goal of the program. Once the program is aligned with corporate objectives, optimized processes and technologies support that goal.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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