Why your next hire may already be working with you
A look at how to harness internal mobility in your organisation
The world has experienced a profound period of change in recent months. From the impact of Covid-19 to an increased focus on diversity, many industries have had to adapt their approach to hiring.
In an environment where talent is increasingly inclined to stay where they are, and many organisations are contemplating or have initiated hiring freezes, talent professionals are looking internally to fill roles. In our recent Future of Recruiting report, internal mobility was predicted to become more important than ever. We’ve already seen this shift in 2020, with the average rate of internal mobility in EMEA increasing by 13% compared to a year earlier.
For talent professionals, this means a new approach to sourcing talent. Instead of looking externally for new hires, current employees will be the focus of attention for recruiters looking to fill open roles. Developing internal recruitment strategies and investing more time and budget on Learning and Development (L&D) will be crucial. In fact, 64% of talent professionals in EMEA expect their L&D budgets to increase or stay the same. By nurturing and developing talent internally, talent professionals will be able to facilitate the transition to new roles and set their people up for success.
A look at EMEA compared to the rest of the world
We took a deep dive into our data to find out which markets in EMEA are tapping existing talent for new roles, and also the types of positions which are most likely to transition.
Globally, the internal mobility rate - the proportion of internal hires - between April to August 2020 was 19.6%, but many EMEA countries are sitting above this. In fact, several EMEA countries have the highest percentage of internal moves compared to the rest of the world. There’s Mexico and the UK at 20%, Italy at 19% and the UAE, Netherlands, France, and Brazil all sitting at 17%.
Germany actually sits at the top with 25%, only below Japan at 26%. However, Germany is the exception to the rule. While internal mobility rates have gone up in the countries mentioned above since April, internal hires have typically made up a quarter of all hires in Germany.
This comes down to Germany having long had one of the world’s strongest apprenticeship and vocational training programs, in which trainees are often hired into full-time roles. This focus on skills training could also make it easier for existing workers to reskill and find new opportunities within the same company.
The top internal movers & shakers across EMEA
Overall we saw roles, industries and functions that had more instances of Internal Mobility than others. There are roles with specialist skills in high demand, such as software engineers transitioning to product managers, where companies are eager to hold on to this talent. On the other hand there are roles, such as customer service specialists, where softer, more transferable skills are ubiquitous. In these cases companies look to transfer people into roles as business needs change.
Now let’s take a look at the top functions, roles, and industries for internal mobility across EMEA.
What are the most common roles for internal mobility?
The most internal moves across EMEA have been to roles such as Product Owner, Product Manager, and Program Manager, transfering from roles such as Software Engineer and Business Analyst.
Typically the types of roles we see moving internally are generalist roles, in other words roles geared towards softer skills, such as communications, tenacity and organisation – rather than technical skills or specific software knowledge.
If you're looking to recruit talent internally, a good place to start can be with the most common transitions.
Most common functional transition pathways
1. Accounting to Finance
2. Marketing to Sales
3. Business Development to Sales
A deeper dive into top transitions
When taking a closer look at these top transitions, they seem to reflect the evolution of someone's skills and career. They also stand out for having a greater internal than external mobility rate. In fact, these roles are 1.4 times more likely to be made as internal moves.
Global role transitions with a greater internal to external transition rate
1. Software Engineer to Product Manager
2. Business Analyst to Program Manager
What does this mean for you?
As a talent professional, there are many ways you can harness internal mobility and deliver benefits beyond filling roles. LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends report found that employees stay 41% longer at companies with high internal hiring. Internal mobility can boost retention and increase engagement, because talent can see their own pathway to success within their organisation.
Now more than ever, organisations will look to recruiters and HR professionals to play a key part in facilitating internal mobility. Here are a few steps you can take to support this:
1 - Plan for success
● Start mapping existing talent and building a formalised internal recruiting program. This can help teams identify new opportunities for existing employees.
● Look at your employer branding from an internal perspective. What are you doing to make people feel valued? Use platforms like Glint to relook at your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) from the viewpoint of your employees. You may find key insights to help you restructure your internal recruitment strategy.
2 - Put your strategy into action
● Educate employees on what upskilling opportunities are available, how to harness them, and how they can help. Normalise upskilling and allocate time to professional growth.
● Focus on developing Learning and Development (L&D) programmes to help keep the best talent in the business.
3 - Nurture your existing talent
● Develop talent for future skills rather than recruiting talent with fixed skills. Encourage them to be proactive in looking for courses that can grow their skillset. Platforms like LinkedIn Learning help connect employees to relevant applicable skills and drive engagement through a personalised learning experience.
Internal mobility is here to stay
Everything seems aligned for internal hiring to remain a key sourcing channel for companies. People are more inclined to stay where they are, and organisations are more willing to look internally for roles in which they’ve identified transferable skills. For talent professionals, this will mean finding the right mix between looking internally and externally to fill gaps in the workforce.
For the purpose of this analysis Internal mobility has been defined as the role transitions done within an organisation to dissimilar roles and not direct promotions. The time period considered for latest trends is between Apr-Aug 2020 while all the other data is based on trends since 2015. Only transitions in which the title, company, location, function and industry details of both the starting and destination roles are known have been considered
 Internal mobility rate is calculated as the transitions made within the same organisation, to dissimilar roles, as a percentage of all transitions. Based on global LinkedIn data. From April 2020–August 2020, internal hires made up 20% of all hires. Compared to 17.4% in the same time period in 2019, the share of internal-mobility hires increased by 13.1%.