Internal Mobility: Process Design

Internal mobility ó the movement of employees from one position to another within a corporation ó is an efficient and cost-effective method of talent deployment and can be a significant component of a company’s staffing strategy. Making job opportunities available to the existing employee base leads to greater employee satisfaction and retention, while at the same time lowering staffing costs and filling positions much more quickly. To attain these benefits, the design of the internal mobility program must embody both communication excellence and processing efficiency. Internal Mobility Process Flow The structure of an internal mobility process flow has two halves: 1. Inform employees of internal opportunities. 2. Manage responses from interested internal candidates. In designing the specific steps of the process flow, the overall goal of the internal mobility initiative, as well as aspects of the policy and business rules governing it (e.g. eligibility requirements), must be taken into account. iLogos Research developed a report on internal mobility practices, entitled Internal Mobility, which presents results from a survey of more than 70 large and global corporations. Here is a selection of the findings and implementation recommendations from that report. Internal Job Notification Via Intranet The first function of an internal mobility process is to make employees aware of the opportunities. An effective communications plan promotes to employees the process of accessing opportunities. Most companies have moved the internal mobility program online. To inform employees of internal mobility opportunities, 96% of companies post to an intranet site. Moreover, 3 of the remaining 4% of companies currently not posting positions to an Intranet site plan on doing so. Companies use intranet technologies in such overwhelming numbers because of its speed and efficiency. Disseminating internal opportunities to the employee base in a timely manner is regarded as a key to a successful internal mobility initiative: 67% of survey respondents consider the automation of internal postings to be “very important” for the success of an internal mobility initiative. In complement, 71% of survey respondents report being satisfied (24%) or very satisfied (47%) with their current online internal mobility technology, as it enables intranet posting. Responses From Internal Candidates Once the employee base has been notified of internal opportunities, it is critical that the internal mobility process be designed to manage responses from interested candidates as efficiently as possible. To do so, 91% of companies allow employees to express interest in an internal position via the intranet site from either the PC at their workstation or a kiosk. Moreover, 9% of companies currently do not have an intranet-based job application form, but plan to in the future. Although email is a convenient method of communication, it is not the preferred format for accepting internal candidate applications since it lacks the process efficiencies of integrated intranet applications. Email is currently, though, a common medium through which employees (internal candidates) respond to internal opportunities: candidates may send an email to the HR department in more than half of companies. However, email responses are losing their appeal: 11% of companies plan on phasing out emails sent to the HR department; 8% of companies plan to phase out emails sent to the hiring manager; and 3% of companies plan on phasing out email job applications entirely. Paper still persists in the response channels of corporate internal mobility programs even though it is difficult to share across the enterprise (and hence is not scalable) and lacks a common format for assessment. Candidates may send a paper application, such as a resume, to the HR department or the hiring manager in 50% and 35% of companies, respectively. There is dissatisfaction with paper responses: 19% of companies plan on phasing out paper application forms directed to the HR department. Integrated Intranet Technologies Are Key It is clear that intranet technologies are the most favored platform for supporting an internal mobility process. An intranet site introduces multiple efficiencies, since it manages both the posting of opportunities and applications from employees, and is a self-service environment. In 89% of the companies surveyed, the intranet site is powered by back-end staffing automation technology. Optimizing a corporate internal mobility process for communication excellence and processing efficiency puts a company in an advantageous position to improve employee satisfaction and retention, lower staffing costs, and avoid losses in productivity due to unfilled positions.

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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.