Internal mobility in companies: what you need to know!

deux femmes en entretien de recrutement


Internal mobility is a major challenge for companies. Indeed, when a company has a genuine internal mobility policy, it wins at all levels: employee loyalty, lower recruitment costs and fewer casting errors. Although 81% (1) of HR managers see it as a strategic issue, half of them have not implemented a dedicated strategy due to lack of resources. Today, faced with the reduction in external recruitment plans, internal mobility is accelerating and becoming a major concern for HR managers. We share with you our advice to help you promote effective internal mobility!

Internal mobility: what are we talking about?

Capitalise on internal talent

Internal mobility consists of moving employees already present in the company to positions for which they were not initially recruited. Internal mobility makes it possible to adjust employees’ careers in order to respond to the company’s economic and strategic development. It also responds to the development needs of the teams. The company’s internal mobility strategy must be thought out in consultation with HR, the management and the managers.

An upward trend in 2020?

While internal mobility has been declining in recent years, it should start to rise again in 2020 in the current crisis context. According to the APEC Panorama, internal mobility was 36% in services, 39% in industry, 47% in construction and 54% in trade and retail (2)

Internal mobility: a change that appeals

  • 42% of executive plan to change jobs within their company in the next three years (3).
  • 75% of executives favour internal mobility because of their good knowledge of the company and its particularities. More than 60% wish to complement their skills by changing jobs, but remaining in the same company and more than 47% put forward the possibility of keeping the benefits linked to seniority (4).

Internal mobility, what are the challenges for companies?

Lowering recruitment costs

Recruiting new talent is a real investment for the company. Some penurious or very strategic profiles can take months to be completed without having a 100% guarantee that the candidate will remain with the company for a long time. Will the candidate be the right person for the job? He or she get along with the teams and management? Will they fit in with the company culture? Recruitment always involves a degree of risk. Encouraging internal mobility allows you to draw the skills you need directly from the employees you already have without going through a recruitment agency. This reduces the costs associated with this search and the time spent prospecting.

Capitalise on internal talent

Your employees are a real treasure. They have acquired skills throughout their career with you. So they know your company well and have a vision of it too. And, they know how you operate from the inside and have ideas to share to move you forward. Finally, they share your values and culture. Capitalising on their experience is a real advantage for you. On the other hand, letting go of people that you have spent time training at your competitors is a loss for the company.

Encourage employee commitment

Encouraging employee commitment is a key issue for companies in order to limit turnover. The challenge for companies today is to keep their teams as committed as possible. To achieve this, they must allow employees to evolve within their company, particularly through training or the acquisition of new skills. 93% of the people questioned in the “Generation Y and Career” study consider that skills development is an integral part of their professional life (1). Giving them the opportunity to develop internally with a clearly identified policy is a factor in building loyalty and motivation in the long term.

Staying competitive in your sector

Internal mobility is also a good way to remain competitive in your market. Encouraging the development of your employees in an economy in transition is a guarantee of competitiveness for your company. Indeed, the skills expected yesterday are not necessarily those that will count tomorrow. By regularly training your employees and developing them internally in different positions, you enable them to adapt their skills and maintain their employability.their skills and maintain their employability. Your company is better equipped to face the future.

Improve your employer brand

By using internal mobility, you show your employees that you are grateful for their commitment. You know how to recognise and reward their successes, which you value through promotion. You make them understand that they have a future within the company. This allows them to project themselves in the long term. This is not only an excellent way of building loyalty internally but also of attracting talent externally. It is an asset for your employer brand.

How can you optimise your internal mobility?

Draw up a training plan that makes sense:

Think of your training plan in terms of the company’s strategic needs. In this way, your employees will be ready to respond to them and to develop their missions in this direction.

Take stock regularly with your employees:

Your employees evolve and change with their assignments. They develop skills, mature and no longer necessarily have the same aspirations as when you recruited them. Knowing your employees is key to being able to offer your internal positions to the right person. Take the time to do a real review with them once a year.

Give your employees the means to be actors in their own development:

Make your employees more autonomous in their career management. Teach them to know themselves better, to develop their soft skills, to know how to update their CVs, to be proactive about the positions they would like to obtain and to defend their applications. Your employees will be even more determined and motivated. To do this, don’t hesitate to call on external coaches specialising in career management who will be able to support your employees in consultation with your HR.

Equip yourself with a digital tool to optimise your people reviews:

To facilitate the search for the right profiles internally, you can also equip yourself with online tools to help you access all the profiles of your employees according to their skills. This type of platform will allow you to quickly identify the right people for your vacancies.

Communicate with your internal candidates with a communication approach that is as well thought out as for your external candidates:

For example, advertise your positions on an internal job exchange. Jobaffinity , our recruitment software allows you to manage an internal job site in addition to your external recruitment site. You can plan your job postings by applying a delay between internal and external publication. This gives internal candidates time to position themselves before opening the position to the outside world.

Internal and external recruitment: advantages and disadvantages

In a previous article, we summarised the advantages of internal mobility in companies and its challenges. In a context of “war for talent”, retaining employees and increasing their skills has never seemed so essential. But what about external recruitment and its advantages?

Internal and external recruitment: we take a look at these complementary recruitment methods.

Internal recruitment – definition

A quick reminder: internal recruitment (or “internal mobility”) refers to the internal promotions to which a company’s employees may be subjected. This method of recruitment therefore means looking for potential candidates directly within the company, before considering approaching a wider pool of candidates.

The advantages of internal recruitment

Employés souriants en réunion

As we mentioned in a previous article, internal recruitment has many advantages.

  • First of all, it is a particularly economical recruitment method. Less time is spent on sourcing, integrating employees, training… Clearly, internal mobility saves time and reduces the costs generated by traditional recruitment, but not only that!
  • This method also makes it possible to minimise the risks. As we know, every recruitment is a gamble. There is no guarantee that the chosen talent will flourish in the company and adhere to its culture. Internal recruitment has the merit of putting forward talents whose potential, motivation and suitability for the company’s culture are already known.
  • Finally, internal recruitment can be a real strategic asset for a company, allowing it to encourage employee commitment and motivation, to remain competitive in its sector by allowing talented people to develop their skills… All of this, while improving its employer brand!
  • Let’s not forget that a company’s employees are its best spokespeople. When a company takes care of them and gives them the tools to accomplish themselves, its reputation is enhanced.

External recruitment definition

As opposed to internal recruitment, external recruitment consists of looking for candidates who are not part of the company. This method of recruitment also has its advantages.

The advantages of external recruitment

  • Depending on the nature and size of the company, external recruitment will be more or less relevant. For example, if the company is small and lacks internal resources, it is of course in its interest to consider external recruitment. This type of recruitment is also relevant for companies that are growing very fast. To continue their expansion or conquer a new market, they will need to rely on expert and strategic skills.
  • Another advantage not to be overlooked is the ability of new recruits to take a fresh look at the company’s projects. A company wishing to constantly innovate must be able to take a step back from its products/services. This is the only way to constantly improve.
  • Finally, the very fact of recruiting allows the company to convey a very positive image. When looking for talent, the company communicates that it is doing well and growing. Only through external recruitment can a company publicly showcase its ability to recruit.

Internal and external recruitment: which one to choose?

In reality, there is no clear-cut answer to this question. Depending on the context of the company, its challenges or the position to be filled, internal/external recruitment will be more or less relevant.

In any case, each of these recruitment methods has its advantages and disadvantages. The economic nature of internal recruitment, for example, needs to be qualified. Indeed, this method of recruitment requires significant investment in employee training, including the development of soft skills!

As for external recruitment, its limits are all there. First of all, there is the cost and the energy that this method of recruitment requires. Defining the specifications, distributing the job description, sorting the CVs, meeting the candidates and evaluating them…

All these tasks are terribly time-consuming and can monopolise the time of HR teams. External recruitment also requires a human investment – since successful recruitment means integrating talent into the company.

Streamline external recruitment with an ATS

Does your company need external talent to grow or conquer new markets? Considering external recruitment seems essential. Don’t hesitate to optimise your recruitment processes with a tool like Jobaffinity.

Designed by recruiters for recruiters, our tool relieves you of repetitive tasks (posting ads on job boards, sorting CVs, etc.) and allows you to optimise your time. A way to reduce the disadvantages of external recruitment to better enjoy its advantages!

(1) HR Online Study 2017

(2) Les Echos spécial Territoires Friday 25 September and APEC Panorama

(3) APEC 2018

(4) Cabinet Hays 2019

(5) ManpowerGroup study: “Generation Y and careers: vision to 2020” conducted among 19,000 young people from Generation Y in 25 countries

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