The last word May/June 2021: Paul Maxin

Rebuilding thanks to internal mobility

In early 2020 (before Covid-19 launched its bid for global domination) LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2020 report identified four ideas reshaping the way talent professionals would attract and retain talent in the coming years.

They were: the emergence of employee experience; the spread of people analytics; the ascent of the multigenerational workforce; and the return of internal recruiting.

Setting aside the other three, what is interesting is that since that report was released in January 2020, internal recruiting or mobility has moved even further up the agenda in response to the opportunities and threats emerging from the pandemic.

The first and probably most high-profile trend has been the huge rise in redeployment. I have seen this at first hand while consulting in the NHS for the past six months, with the demand for people to move rapidly into Covid support roles.

“There are many challenges to overcome with internal mobility – geographic constraints being one of them”

Redeployment has been a strategy for both public and private sector organisations in response to shifting demand for certain skill sets. This will be compounded as those who have been furloughed return to the workplace.

There are many challenges to overcome with internal mobility – geographic constraints being one of them. In many cases, enhanced performance and productivity, a better employee experience and expanded talent pools have been positive outcomes from enforced flexible and remote working. Organisations will be looking to capitalise on these as they plan the future of their workforce.

The other, longer-term consideration is the impact of an uncertain economy on the appetite for great talent to seek new opportunities – unless forced.

Suddenly, the importance of a trusted employer brand and reassuring candidate experience become even more critical factors in influencing passive talent to look elsewhere.

With a robust approach to internal mobility coupled with strong communications, you can position your business as an employer that places real value on development, demonstrating a long-term commitment to their people.

Personally, I have seen some vendors rapidly shift in response to this need. I’m an adviser to B2B SaaS business Real Links. By background they’re a technology solution for employee referrals, but what has been fascinating is the way they have redeveloped the technology they had already built into a robust and flexible solution for the challenges around internal mobility.

I have been struck by the renewed appetite and commitment to internal mobility from organisations of varying sizes in a way that pre-Covid, I just did not see outside of global enterprises.

Internal mobility has often had a place on the agenda, but arguably, until now there has been less collective appetite to get it right. It is a construct that requires a fundamental shift in resourcing strategy, organisational infrastructure and behavioural change.

The key will be finding a way to implement it quickly and effectively to solve both the immediate and longer-term people challenges driven by the pandemic. 

Paul Maxin is founding director, Max Intalent

Image credit | Tom Campbell

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