A staff mobility policy helps organisations pro-actively manage their internal talent pool through staff mobility initiatives, before considering external recruitment.

Such initiatives deliver key benefits:

  • Lower talent acquisition costs, shorter lead times, and reduced training costs spent on-boarding. Compared to external hires, internal candidates do not need the same level of inductions,  just any new training specific to the new role.
  • Faster time-to-productivity as staff already have knowledge about the organisation, an established internal network, and know the company’s processes. Internal hires often have a number of transferable skills that are applicable to different business areas.
  • Higher retention rates as staff take opportunities to grow and develop inside the organisation, rather than seek employment externally.
  • Cultural alignment  becomes stronger as, usually, staff already fit well within the culture and values of the organisation. These internal moves have a reinforcing effect as other staff and new hires see first hand that the organisation delivers on its people development commitments.

In our experience, most mobility challenges facing organisations are around deploying cost-effective and reliable information systems to advertise internal jobs and match suitable employees in a fair and transparent way. However, the starting point for any organisation has to be a clear and robust staff mobility policy.

Staff mobility policy scope and objectives

The primary objective of any staff mobility policy is to place the right people in the right jobs in a timely fashion, meeting the organisation’s needs whilst minimising the disruption caused by staff reassignments.

The policy’s scope defines which full-time roles, fixed length assignments and territories are covered, plus any eligibility criteria that may apply to staff considering an internal move.

Organisation want to see their staff develop, and staff mobility initiatives offer the chance for new professional challenges, greater responsibilities and exposures to different functions, cultures and languages. But perhaps the hardest part of a staff mobility programme is how to define, and police, the procedures, rules and criteria that are needed in a fair and transparent way.  Careful consideration needs to be given to:

  • how opportunities are advertised
  • how to assess the competencies required for role or assignment
  • how the decision is made, and by who
  • how individual staff preferences, especially family considerations, are factored in.

The need for consistency and transparency

Recruitment can be highly subjective and is generally not a transparent process. When it comes to internal promotions and staff mobility initiatives, however, consistency and transparency become the foundations of an organisation’s HR policies and practices.

A well designed advertising and screening process, supported by the right online tools, holds the key. The policy states that managers must enter all internal opportunities into the portal, making sure all employees are aware of all available roles. The portal further classifies and structures these opportunities defining what competencies and experience are needed to be considered for the role. Interested employees can then use the online screening tools, which are configured specifically for each role, to assess their eligibility and suitability.

Each applicant follows the same assessment process and grading criteria, receiving immediate feedback along with a personalised analysis of how they compare with the competencies required for the role. The screening process gives the hiring manager a quality short-list from which to begin the actual interview process.

As well as saving managers time reviewing CVs, this automated process has additional benefits that the employee can see other available roles which match their competencies and experience; plus each time a new opportunity is advertised new employee profiles will be added to the talent bank.

This gives the organisation and their managers an up-to-date talent pipeline that identifies high potential employees according to their qualifications, behavioural competencies and suitability for any position. Furthermore, it demonstrates the organisations commitment to engage and develop their people through internal career progression in a transparent way whilst reducing subjectivity and unconscious biases countering any potential argument of unfair or discriminatory practices.


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