Internal mobility in a company: the guide to know everything

Recruiting does not necessarily mean having to look for candidates outside the company!

Your employees represent a pool of candidates that should not be overlooked. If internal mobility brings many benefits to the company, it is just as much for the employees! It is indeed a remarkable lever for talent.

Technological changes and economic and societal developments lead employees to change jobs several times in their careers. A survey carried out by Monster reveals that 16% of employees have already experienced internal mobility.

But for it to be effective, it is important to understand its different facets and think about its strategy.

We have prepared a guide for you to know the basics of internal mobility.

Internal mobility: a definition

It is a question of internal mobility when an employee changes function and/or position within the company or its group.

It can be at the initiative of the employee, this is voluntary mobility or suggested by management, it is then called piloted mobility.

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The different types of internal mobility

Internal mobility does not necessarily mean promotion!

There are three different types of internal mobility:

  • Vertical mobility: here, we are talking about taking a position with more responsibilities. In other words, the employee “goes up” in the hierarchical organization of the company. For example, a marketing manager becomes responsible for the marketing department.
  • Horizontal mobility: the employee progresses to another position or another function, but on an identical level of responsibility. This is a transversal development. For example, an administrative assistant in a sales department becomes the administrative assistant in a communication department.
  • Geographical mobility: this applies when a company has several entities and the employee changes their place of work. Geographic mobility can be horizontal or vertical mobility. For example, a team leader of the Lille agency becomes team leader of the Toulouse agency.

When to consider internal mobility?

The company may have recourse to internal mobility in several circumstances:

  • The replacement of an employee or the creation of a new position.
  • The employee expresses a desire for mobility in his annual assessment interview or professional interview.
  • The company is facing difficulties.

Functions whose activity is declining (sales department, events, etc.) may switch to functions whose activity is increasing (customer service, logistics, etc.). The company thus gains in agility.

By adjusting the role of employees to the economic situation, the company avoids potential layoffs. It is therefore better equipped to face the various challenges that arise.

How to calculate the internal mobility rate?

The internal mobility rate is an HR indicator that measures the percentage of recruitments filled by internal recruiting, compared to the total number of recruitments.

Internal mobility rate = Number of internal hires / number of recruitments x 100

The advantages of internal mobility

A reduction in the cost and time of recruitment

Internal mobility makes it possible to hire quickly while reducing the real cost of recruiting!

It removes the step of broadcasting job advertisements externally, sometimes very expensive, and minimizes the procedure of selection of candidates.

While it remains an essential phase, onboarding is facilitated and shortened, because of the employee corporate culture and its functioning. It will then be operational more quickly.

Better talent management

Internal mobility is a very good way to enhance the human capital of the company.

The HR department uses various GPEC (Forecast Management of Jobs and Skills) systems to manage career paths. Internal mobility is one of them.

Thus, the company responds to the demands of its employees while anticipating future skill needs.

A decrease in recruitment errors

Another very big advantage of internal mobility is the reduction in recruitment errors.

If he has been present in the organization for several months or several years, the employee has been able to show all his skills in terms of interpersonal skills and know-how. He knows the organization, how it works and its codes.

By calling on an employee to fill a recruitment need, the company avoids unpleasant surprises.

And when well thought out, internal mobility is likely to be successful.

Better employee loyalty

Professionals are inclined to change jobs several times in their careers. Economic changes, development prospects, or even retraining are all factors that encourage company employees to leave a company.

By implementing a strong internal mobility policy, the human resources department responds to the demands of its employees and strengthens their commitment.

Not only are talents reassured about the prospects for development, but the employer brand of the company is improved.

Learn more about it in our full article on employee retention and loyalty.

The disadvantages of internal mobility

The presence of a vacant position

When recruiting internally, there is no increase in staff. In other words, consider replacing the employee who has left office!

Depending on the position to be filled, this can be more or less simple and costly for the company.

A missed opportunity for innovation

Internal mobility can lead to effective collaboration and contribute to the emergence of new ideas.

However, the arrival of an external person in the company is often a great opportunity for innovation. The new employee brings a fresh perspective on the organization, its processes and the way it operates.

Thus, it is sometimes a creator of change.

By using its own workforce to meet its recruiting needs, the company may miss out on new ideas that will benefit the company.

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The creation of possible tensions within the teams

Internal mobility doesn’t only make people happy! Some employees who are candidates for the post might be disappointed not to have been selected.

It is possible that internal recruitment is the source of disagreements or even conflicts between certain members of the company. This is especially the case when the selection process is unclear.

The HR department, therefore, has every interest in supporting its internal mobility strategy with transparent communication and carrying out exchanges in a coherent manner.

Conducting an internal mobility interview in 8 steps

Like any other formal exchange with employees, the internal mobility interview must be well thought out!

Preparation makes it possible to anticipate and identify possible obstacles to mobility, to measure the employee’s motivation to change jobs and to assess their understanding of the job.

We suggest 8 key steps to effectively conduct a mobility interview.

1. Planning

Ideally, the mobility interview is scheduled at least a week in advance.

The employee receives written confirmation specifying the time and location of the business. He must also have access to the job description and the job profile to better prepare for the meeting.

The employee’s current manager is also included in the confirmation.

The choice of the venue is important. Be sure to reserve a quiet space, away from prying eyes. We advise you to plan a fairly large time slot, from 1h30 to 2h, to anticipate possible time overflows.

Before the interview, take the time to read the employee’s CV, the report of individual interviews and any other HR interview. A summary of the training taken is also useful. These documents should be taken with you during the interview.

2. The reception

Even if the employee is already part of the company, an HR interview is often a source of stress. Swap a few small talk to start the conversation and smile! This will help put your coworker at ease.

Before you start, make sure you have all the necessary items: notepad, pen, CV, HR reports, etc.

3. Reminder of the objectives of the internal mobility interview

This is to start the interview transparently. Explain the interview process and what it is for.

Indicate the position for which the recruitment is concerned and possibly the department and the geographical location. Remember to mention that the employee is free to ask questions and to express any misunderstandings.

Throughout the exchange, use active listening techniques such as: letting the employee speak, rephrasing comments, adjusting body language, etc.

In this way, you lay a good foundation for productive communication.

4. Understanding the motivations of the employee

Here, it is a question of knowing more about the motivations of the employee in his current position and to assess his desire for change.

Sample questions :

  • What are your favorite tasks in your current job, and the ones you least like? For what reasons?
  • What do you value in your next job?
  • What motivates you in your job?
  • On the contrary, what is demotivating for you?
  • What were the factors that triggered your desire to change jobs?

5. The evaluation of the representation of the new position by the employee

The objective is to verify that the employee has a realistic and concrete vision of the new position.

It is necessary to rely on the job description and job profile for this part.

Sample questions :

  • What did you understand about the post?
  • Have you interviewed people who perform a similar function?
  • How is the position different from the one you currently hold?

6. Skills analysis

This part is dedicated to the analysis of the employee’s interpersonal skills and know-how. It is important to know the different areas of interest and the skills acquired and those to be developed.

In this way, you establish a common thread between the employee and the position.

Sample questions :

  • What skills related to the job do you have?
  • Which ones do you need to acquire?

7. Conclusion of the interview

Before ending the interview, it is important to ask the employee if they have any questions about the position and the selection process.

Next, briefly recall the purpose of the interview. Inform the deadline (even approximate) of the decision making and the form in which the collaborator will be notified.

Finally, do not forget to thank the employee for the time he devoted to you!

8. Decision making

This last part of the internal mobility interview, it is about using the information gathered and talking to the manager of the team concerned to make a decision.

You must provide constructive feedback to all internal candidates, involving the manager.

Finally, give the chosen employee a description of the next steps in professional mobility.

Internal mobility strategy: good practices

Promote internal opportunities

Employees want internal mobility! And the numbers prove it. According to a study, nearly 60% of employees would favor internal mobility if they could. And 47% would like to be able to keep the benefits of their seniority.

To encourage internal recruitment, we must promote opportunities.

Many options are available to you:

  • Offer activities to discover the different businesses of the company.
  • Distribute job offers internally via an intranet or collaborative communication tools: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Klaxoon, etc.
  • Organize an internal employment forum.
  • Produce videos of employee testimonials to present their functions and their daily lives.

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Listening to employees

Not all companies are aware of the aspirations of their employees!

Thus, it is essential for the HR department to listen to the members of the company.

It is interesting to include a part related to internal mobility in your annual evaluation interview grid.

This way you will know which employee to turn to when the opportunity arises.

Have a solid GPEC strategy

For an effective internal mobility strategy, it is not enough to listen to employees, it is also necessary to be able to identify talent!

Thus, internal mobility must necessarily be supported by a dynamic GPEC strategy. Among its various tools, we find the skills development plan.

By having a precise mapping of the skills present in your company, you adopt an agile posture.

Knowing your talents will allow you to better anticipate those that will be essential in the medium and long term.

Offer support during internal mobility

Internal recruitment does not end when the mobility clause is signed.

Its proper implementation is an essential condition for its success.

Whatever the type of mobility, employees must be supported in their new functions. A period of training is often essential.

Although he is already part of the company’s workforce, it is also necessary to plan the stages of integration into his new team.