Companies invest considerable time and money in employees, it’s expensive when they leave and new employees must be recruited and on-boarded into the company culture.
By Joel Paul
Human resource managers always have two things on their minds – attrition and retention. In a market dominated by millennials, India’s recruiting managers have to deal with individuals who consider three years at a firm a long tenure. No longer satisfied with simply having a job, workers want to keep moving on to the next best thing. Rising costs of hiring a replacement for an outgoing employee has forced human resource departments to look within, in the literal sense. Companies are employing internal mobility or redeployment policies to retain employees which will also help reduce costs associated with hiring. If used effectively, internal mobility can help HR expend lesser time on hiring, onboarding and incur fewer recruiting costs. However, simply implementing internal mobility policies may not be enough to ensure redeployment a success.
Here are 5 reasons internal mobility policies fail and what HR can do about it:
Conflicting views of the management
The first hurdle to a good internal mobility program is lack of management buy-in. All hiring managers need to be on-board and understand the concept as the success of the program heavily relies on it. There may be hiring managers who have not yet bought in to the idea of hiring internally and are hoping to find the ideal candidate with the exact skill-set and experience match outside of the organization. Before a talent mobility program can launch, HR will need to take efforts to educate the executive team about the benefits of an internal mobility policy, including increasing retention and lowering recruitment costs. Additionally, keeping track of the program’s progress and communicating success will help with increasing internal support for it among the managers.
Awareness of open roles: Employees aren’t often clear on the positions that are open within the company. Internal opportunities are either communicated manually or through technology. Depending on how internal opportunities are communicated, open roles may not be clearly communicated to employees. Without an effective method of communication, hiring managers may find it easier to search externally for the position than taking the time to make the opportunity available internally first. This can be addressed by putting in place a policy whereby managers must make a position available internally first for a duration and only then make it available externally. Having a platform dedicated to talent mobilty where employees can view, enquire, apply and prepare for internal positions ensures that hiring managers have a efficient way of filling open roles with internal candidates. As part of the preparation, consider providing career development programs that include learning modules and career coaching support.
Lack of Employee transition flexibility: A change in career path is natural and employee tenures with a company are, on average, less than 5 years. When career development options are not available, individuals quickly feel stagnated in their roles and start looking for new opportunities outside of the organization. Through internal mobility, HR can begin to solve this issue. In addition to communicating job openings, internally placed employees will require training to acclimate themselves to the workings of the department. Companies employing redeployment solutions will require a dedicated career development programs or programs of this nature to support it for it to be successful. HR should encourage cross department collaboration and internal networking to help employees know more about the several departments and their workings. Employing a third party services company that could assist with career coaching and development could help employees transition easily into their new roles.
Employee Perceptions: Internal policies can be a big success or a massive failure depending on employee perceptions. Transparency and communication are the keys to the success of any HR initiatives. Without visibility into the internal transfers of individual employees, their colleagues may assume that the loss of teammates is due to the company experiencing high employee turnover. By making the process for internal mobility transparent, a company could easily influence employee perception. Establishing clear channels for internal communications has many benefits. You’ll have a platform to not only reach employees to publicize internal opportunities, you’ll also have a way to celebrate the successes and encourage more employees to consider finding paths to career growth within the company and a channel to promote the program to managers and team leads.
Internal Instability: There may be cases where a manager may not want to lose his top-performing employee to another department—known as talent hoarding. The manager may expect the transitioning employee to continue working on some of the tasks for his department, hampering the employee’s growth and learning in his new role. The transitioning employees might feel burdened as they feel obligated to handle tasks for two departments. Adding this level of stress to what could already be a stretch assignment will most likely not sit well with the employee in question. Colleagues looking to see how your internal mobility program works may be discouraged by the experience of the employee caught in the middle between two managers. Again, HR must take the responsibility for ensuring that the employee is making the transition easily and that the former manager gets the support needed from another source.
Companies invest considerable time and money in employees, it’s expensive when they leave and new employees must be recruited and on-boarded into the company culture. The ultimate goal of talent mobility program is to ensure employees remain a part of the company while meeting their personal and professional growth goals. A successful internal mobility program will help an organization preserve company culture; incur fewer expenses, save time and retain valuable institutional knowledge.
(The author is General Manager, RiseSmart India)