The Resurgence of Internal Mobility: Key Insights

The Resurgence of Internal Mobility: Key Insights

The Resurgence of Internal Mobility: Key Insights



People need motivation and incentives to keep doing the things they do. It often takes a higher motivation or a stronger incentive to make them stop doing what they were doing. That, in a nutshell, explains what makes employees stay at their job or move on.

From an employee's perspective, the incentives that make them stay stretch way beyond simple job satisfaction, benefits, and compensation. There are other powerful elements at play here, like feeling valued, having ownership over responsibilities, and the prospect of continuous personal and career growth, among others.

From an employer's perspective, these motivations represent both a challenge and an opportunity.

HR teams are understandably stretched thin trying to fill critical gaps in the workplace whenever skilled professionals voluntarily exit their jobs. An evergreen way to avoid this contingency altogether is by promoting internal mobility.

What is Internal Mobility?

Internal mobility is the lateral or vertical movement of talent within an organisation that aligns both the employee's professional goals and the employer's business objectives.

It's a win-win approach that is becoming increasingly relevant given the current jobs market.

For businesses, internal mobility is an opportunity to break down departmental silos and extricate the most out of its internal talent pool. It comes with three distinct advantages. Internal mobility allows employers to:

  • Retain talent

  • Keep knowledge and skills in-house

  • Save money and resources on filling vacancies and onboarding new workers.

Employees benefit from internal mobility too - by having access to a wider range of growth prospects and the ability to upskill or change specialisations.

On the whole, internal mobility allows for the development of robust, agile, and resilient organisations.

What do Companies Stand to Gain from Internal Mobility?

A lot!

Internal mobility is an intelligent approach that motivates employees, develops internal talent, and builds organisation-wide engagement. NASA, for instance, has an internal talent marketplace aimed at “matching talent to task” whenever there's a need.

Here are some other compelling benefits internal mobility can bring to an organisation:

Talent retention:

According to a survey of 200 UK organisations by, career progression is a leading reason behind employees quitting their jobs. Companies need to invest in the professional ambitions of their workers to ensure they don't haemorrhage talent. Internal mobility incentivises workers to stay on and grow within a company.

Cost and time savings:

A 2014 study led by Oxford Economics put the average logistical cost of replacing a worker at £5,433, not including the loss of output caused by a departing employee. Reducing employee churn can mean significant savings in time, money, and energy for companies.

Improved morale and engagement:

One of the factors that encourages employees to stay with an employer is the opportunity to refine their skills and enhance their experience. Internal mobility takes care of these ambitions. It makes employees feel valued, improves job satisfaction, workforce engagement and morale.

Increased collaboration:

Companies that have the systems structures and partners in place to nurture internal mobility stand to gain huge advantages in terms of in-house collaboration and cross-functional opportunities. An environment that lets workers try new roles and take on new projects is fertile ground for new and exciting synergies that aid business growth and career development. The cherry on top of this scenario is reduced hiring costs for companies.

Types of Internal Mobility

Internal mobility is a dynamic framework that can accommodate a wide range of business requirements. Although there are no rigid categories, we can assign four overall types of internal mobility. They are:

Vertical mobility

The most basic type of internal mobility involves promoting from within an organisation in recognition of excellent performance. This upward mobility helps an employee advance to a higher designation or function with more responsibilities or a wider area of operational oversight. In other cases, it can mean moving an employee to a new role entirely. Vertical mobility also allows workers to step down the ladder and take on fewer responsibilities if they need time to focus on other aspects of their lives, like family, further education, or personal interests.


The typical transfer involves moving an employee to a new location, team, or job function while retaining their rank and pay grade. It's often done to fill internal job opportunities based on company priorities or at the behest of the employee. Transfers help companies move existing talent to emerging or challenging markets and spread internal work cultures and processes across locations.

Project-based mobility

This involves an internal talent pipeline that moves workers between teams or departments to achieve specific project objectives. Project-based mobility allows organisations to reposition workers with different expertise and bring unique perspectives to one-off projects. It can result in the formation of working groups and task forces to deal with high-priority projects.

Role-to-role mobility

This is internal mobility and talent utilisation with a lateral or vertical direction. Role-to-role mobility entails moving employees to a related position without a change in salary or designation. For instance, an executive in a marketing role can be moved to a client servicing position if there is a strong business need behind it. It can also happen if a worker shows ability and interest outside their current function.

How to Enable Optimal Internal Mobility in Your Organisation

Attracting the right talent is no longer enough for success in highly competitive markets. Companies need to be more proactive in talent management, specifically in nurturing the skills of their workforce and diversifying them for genuine engagement as part of long-term employee retention strategies.

Optimal internal mobility calls for serious internal discussion, consensus among top management, and a practical roadmap to achieve stated objectives.

Here are the preliminary steps you need to take:

Lay the groundwork:

Spread the word internally, get upper management on board, and devise a comprehensive plan to execute your internal mobility strategy. Take inputs from all stakeholders to have a fair idea of its potential impact on operational efficiency and workforce morale.

Map out your workforce:

Get a clearer picture of the skills and experiences you currently have on your payrolls. An efficient way to map out your workforce is by creating employee profiles. This will help you on two levels. You'll discover talented employees who can be more productive in other roles. At the same time, you'll identify those who are underperforming in their current positions but would have better career paths in a different department or team.

Advertise to the workforce:

Create transparency around your internal mobility goals by sharing your intentions freely among the workforce. Make sure to point out if your internal mobility process will be voluntary, management directed, or mutually agreed upon. Finally, make employees aware of the roles available for internal hiring and support them through the application process.

Retrain your workforce:

This can be done at several levels for both individuals and teams. The first tier can be training programs for up-skilling and re-skilling existing workers in alignment with specific business requirements. Mentorship programs can help transfer skills downwards from higher levels of the workforce hierarchy. Finally, optimise the employee's journey within the organisation by supporting the transition into their new roles.

Unleash the Power of Internal Mobility with inploi

Talent mobility programs require specialised expertise, skills, and systems for optimal effectiveness. Which is why a technology partner like inploi can help you make the most of your company's existing talent pool.

Our platform is easy to navigate with hybrid search, mobile accessibility, a customisable chatbot, and other cutting-edge features that enhance candidate experiences and optimise conversions.

Get in touch to find out more about our technology that makes frictionless internal mobility possible for companies across industries.