Internal Mobility: Performance Measures

To know whether an HR program such as internal mobility has met its objectives, the standards for measurement of the program performance must be defined. This article draws on the iLogos Research study Internal Mobility to explore current internal mobility processes in leading corporations and the metrics used to measure program effectiveness. Current Reporting Practices HR practitioners place high importance on metrics: 82% of survey respondents report metrics to be important (31%) or very important (51%) to the success of an internal mobility initiative, according to our survey. A large majority of respondents (83%) report using the “percent of positions filled internally” as the key metric to measure effectiveness of their internal mobility program. However, 13% of respondents did not know their percentage of open positions internally filled annually. C-Level Monitoring The iLogos Research study probed not only how HR managers measure the performance of an internal mobility initiative, but also how C-level executives (CEOs, CFOs or COOs) monitor the program. Here the results expose significant discrepancies. Only the metric “Percent of positions filled internally” garners attention from more than half of both groups, being monitored by just over (53%) half of C-level executives. HR practitioners and C-level executives use the metric for “cost of hire” roughly equally (29% and 27% respectively); however, “time to hire” is used more by the HR respondents (45%) than the C-level executives (27%). Using “Employee performance” and “Hiring manager satisfaction” as measures for the internal mobility program is approximately twice as prevalent among HR practitioners compared to C-level executives. Alignment of Goals and Metrics: A Disconnect? Obviously, metrics used to measure program effectiveness should be aligned with the overall purpose of the program. Surprisingly, though, many survey respondents who reported goals for their internal mobility program did not report using the corresponding metrics to track performance against those goals. Specifically, 76% cite the goal of improving retention rates, yet only 39% track turnover; 56% cite the goal of lowering staffing costs, yet only 29% track cost of hire. Moreover, 53% cite the goal of filling positions faster, yet only 45% track time-to-hire. Barriers to Metrics The apparent disconnect between internal mobility goals and metrics used to measure the performance of the program is in part attributable to the high barriers inhibiting accurate reporting and metrics. Most companies do not possess integrated systems, so gathering and analyzing metrics is a very manual, intensive process, which acts as an impediment to reporting and analyzing the information on a regular basis. Only one-third of respondents reported being satisfied (19%) or very satisfied (13%) with their current online internal mobility technology as it enables metrics and reporting. It is clear that reporting infrastructure must be adequate to providing reliable and timely data. To optimize the process, HR practitioners need to vigilantly track key performance measures, such as turnover rates and internal fill rates. However, these metrics are not ends in themselves, but instead are to be monitored as they relate to fulfilling the strategic goals of the program. Ultimately, corporate leaders need to know whether the program is fulfilling its business objectives.

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Alice Snell is vice president of Taleo Research. The specialty research practice analyzes the best practices and economics of talent management. Taleo Research focuses on critical issues and key trends in talent management that impact organizational performance. Taleo Research is the strategic research division of Taleo, which provides on demand talent management solutions for organizations of all sizes, worldwide.