Who owns internal mobility

Who Owns Internal Mobility?

The business world has experienced rapid changes in the way work is done. The advent of new technologies and the globalization of markets has led to a more competitive and fluid workplace. This has necessitated a change in the way companies view their talent. Internal talent mobility has become a key factor in success, but who owns internal talent mobility?  Talent Acquisition?  Talent Management?  Employees?  Manager?  

A few weeks ago on LinkedIn, I posed the question “who owns internal mobility?”  The results confirm that it isn’t clear – 6% of votes are for Talent Acquisition, 41% of votes are for Talent Management, 32% of votes are for Managers, and 21% of votes are for Employees.  What is most interesting about these results is if you are in Talent Acquisition, that is what you voted for; if you are in Talent Management, that is what you voted for; and yes, if you are a manager or employee, that is what you voted for.   

Beyond the survey response options, I received comments that further expand the responses and can be summarized into the following 1) you need an integrated approach, 2) there is no one-size-fits-all, and 3) other departments like payroll. 

An integrated approach. 

Keith Meyerson, a learning and talent leader, commented on the post that “people leaders own all development activities in concert with the employee. Talent Management is responsible for establishing the practices to support this.”  I always appreciate Keith’s perspective, so, I dug into the trend of Candidate Experience platforms moving into the internal recruiting space.  Keith is all for it as long as it integrates with other talent platforms. 

No one-size-fits-all approach. 

Andrew Hulbert, a workforce strategy, planning and analytics leader, commented that “it depends how an organization defines internal mobility and how it would be implemented. The current scope of talent mobility when considering the scope of a talent marketplace or a talent network is a broad range of connecting temporary assignments/projects, networking with individuals across the organization, career planning/pathing, workforce planning, skills identification and development, capacity planning, lateral/upward movement, oversight of contingent/employee mix, employee experience, change management, and more.”  That is a broad scope that probably spans across many areas of an organization. 

Andrew went on to further comment that he’s “not sure one area owns” internal mobility when looking at that type of scope. An organization needs the ownership of the talent strategy to guide decision making and operational efforts to do what is best for the individual employee and the organization. The ownership of the operations of internal mobility is a decision based on the culture and strategy of each organization. The final decision should be based on size and complexity of the organization in connection to the talent strategy.”  I fully agree that there is no one-size-fits all approach to internal mobility. 

A payroll approach. 

Brent Skinner, my colleague at 3Sixty Insights and HCM subject matter expert, commented that “there are other aspects to it, too, and I’d say who should own it partially or fully depends on the organization and the barriers involved. Clif Bar is a great example where, interestingly, the leader of payroll also ended up owning internal mobility, and it turned out that a big chunk of internal mobility there hinged on streamlining compliance.”  Brent details that insights in a Research Note, Clif Bar Steadily Improves Organizational Agility via Innovation in Payroll, Employee Mobility, and More With the Help of UKG 

Building an internal sourcing strategy. 

While it isn’t exactly clear who owns it, many internal stakeholders of the workflow benefit from working together for an improved experience.  Otherwise, we may risk the chance of talent overages or shortages in particular areas.  Without a full picture of your employees’ skills and potential, you may end up with staff reductions and open positions posted.  So what is clear is that companies already have amazing people working for them, and maybe the recommendation should be to build an internal sourcing strategy. 

This insightful idea was detailed in a case study by Phenom How Kuehne+Nagel Empowers Employees To Own and Grow Their Careers, where Kuehne+Nagel’s Claudia Harms, Global Talent Acquisition Expert, revealed,a new internal career opportunity depended more on networking instead of transparency.”  She also adds that “With the help of [platform], our own recruiters turn into internal head-hunters and proactively search for, pre-screen, and reach out to employees with job opportunities that could be of interest to them, before searching for external candidates.”  Kuehne+Nagel’s was able to build an internal sourcing strategy with a strong talent pipeline.  Doesn’t that feel wildly different from traditional succession planning and talent reviews? 

Exploring this more. 

I am so intrigued by this idea, that I am researching it!  The purpose of my research is to understand how companies are achieving success with an internal mobility or talent marketplace platforms or internal sourcing strategies and who owns it.  To better understand these questions, I will be interviewing several HR leaders with experience facilitating internal mobility or using a talent marketplace platform to explore the value of their deployments across many areas and its impact on all HR functions. 

Are you a HR technology customer with a story to tell?  I would love to write about it! 


Share your comments: