Talent Mobility & Talent Marketplaces 11/3

The Talent & Learning Next Practices Monthly series provides a forum for the Talent and L&D leadership community to come together to discover and advance next practices. Each month, you’ll hear from executives in Talent and/or Learning from some of the largest and most respected organizations in the world, learn about the latest i4cp research, and share and receive ideas from your peers.

This month, CEO and Co-Founder Kevin Oakes and Sr. Research Analyst Tom Stone facilitated a discussion on talent mobility and internal talent marketplaces. Here are some highlights:

  • As i4cp's research The Talent Imperative found, and the most recent survey of 2023 priorities for members of  i4cp's Boards confirms, attracting, retaining, and developing talent remains a top issue. Internal talent mobility plays an important role in attracting and retaining top talent, as it is part of the broader employee value proposition at high-performance organizations. Mobility can also be a great development tool, especially when lateral movement is a focus for skill-building and eventual upward mobility.
  • A recent report from Guild found that 34% of employees, in the next 2-5 years, wanted to be in a new role at their current employer--exactly speaking to the importance of talent mobility. (Another 31% wanted to be with a different employer, either in a similar or different role.)
  • Research from i4cp has long established that high-performance organizations (59%) are over 2x more likely than low performers (27%) to prioritize talent mobility. And they do not simply focus on promotions, but rather lateral moves across functions, projects, business units, geographies, and even in partnership with external stakeholders. These moves can seem daunting at first, but are well worth investing time into planning and implementing.
  • And yet too often internal mobility is too hard. In i4cp's Workforce Readiness study, 39% of survey participants said it's easier to find a job externally than internally at their organization; and 27% said it was easier to hire from outside the organization than from inside.
  • One challenge that multiple studies has found remains persistent over the years is managers hoarding their top talent. In the Workforce Readiness study, 42% of participants their managers often hoard high-performing talent, while only 32% said their organization is effective at facilitating the internal movement of employees.
  • We asked a poll of call participants: "Is your organization using AI in your L&D offerings?"
    • 51% Leaders who hoard their top talent
    • 55% Lack of incentives for talent mobility
    • 21% Stigma regarding lateral moves
    • 58% Lack of  transparency of opportunities
    • 45% Lack of time for upskilling
    • 55% Lack of skills data for employees
    • 46% Recruiting process that emphasizing external hires
  • Internal talent marketplaces are one element of the solution to increasing talent mobility. But through 2021 only 19% of organizations were leveraging such a platform, though 2X more high-performance organizations (28%) were doing so than low-performers (14%).
  • In addition to implementing an internal talent marketplace, several other key practices to increase internal mobility include:
    • Recognize and reward managers for talent movement
    • Redefine and communicate what good leadership looks like
    • Create a role(s) that owns talent mobility
    • Refine and improve the metrics used to measure talent mobility
    • Improve onboarding / reboarding for internal talent moves
    • Improve the succession management process
    • Better support continuous skilling by leveraging job rotations
    • Leverage tuition assistance programs
    • Consider the role of employee groups (ERGs / BRGs) in talent mobility

Links to resources shared on the call: