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In today’s world, people have more occupation opportunities than ever before since there is a massive pool of employers for them to choose from. The competition to acquire and retain talent also causes businesses of all sizes headaches since employees are asking for more than just salaries and basic benefits. Therefore, it is never easier for people to change jobs than it is today, and it is also never more difficult for employers to find, hire, and keep their employees. So, how can businesses prevent high turnover rates while also filling their talent pipelines with the right people? The answer is internal talent mobility. 

What Is Internal Talent Mobility? 

Internal talent mobility is also known as career mobility. It refers to the movement of employees within the same organization. Simply put, internal talent mobility is the process of moving employees from role to role when there are suitable vacancies. The changes can be in roles, the scope of work, or levels, and they can be broken down into three main types:  

  • Vertical mobility: This is when you promote your employees to a higher level (E.g: From non-manager to manager level).   
  • Horizontal mobility: This refers to when you transfer an employee within their functional area, perhaps in the same team but with more responsibilities and scope of work.  
  • Cross-functional mobility: This is when employees are transferred from one team or department to another. They may undertake the same role or a completely new occupation within the organization due to the decision of the HR department and line managers.   

Although internal talent mobility has nothing to do with relocation, in some cases, employees can be relocated when necessary if their company has branches in different regions. 

Does Internal Talent Mobility Actually Matter? 

The answer is yes! Over the last few years, worldwide businesses have been through such an uneasy time when the pandemic stroke the globe. The influences of Covid-19 have tied the talent market, making it costly and troublesome more than ever to acquire new talent. When the recruitment competition is getting tougher and tougher over time, businesses, especially SMBs, consider leveraging their existing internal workforce first before hiring new talent from outside since they do not have much budget and resources for talent acquisition. Not only small or medium businesses but large enterprises also focus on internal talent mobility as well. Since these large-scaled organizations often possess a rich pool of talent, they can easily transfer and promote the high potential within their own organizations to fill up any critical vacancies faster. 

Are You Underestimating the Importance of Internal Talent Mobility? Think Again! 

A good internal talent mobility program can be the best for both employers and employees. If you are still doubting the role of talent mobility in your HR management strategy, then perhaps running through the benefits it offers will make you change your mind. 

Save Recruitment & Onboarding Costs 

As it is highly competitive to find and hire talent in today’s business world, companies with internal talent mobility programs can save much money, time, and effort in recruitment processes, including job postings, interviews, and background checks. Moreover, the internal talent mobility program can help you fill the vacant positions faster with the most appropriate candidates from the existing workforce. Staff who are already familiar with the company’s culture, values, and operations can be quickly onboarded without any delays. This shall lift the burden off the shoulders of your HR department and let your HR professionals focus on other important tasks. 

Improve Employee Engagement & Reduce Turnover Rates 

High employee turnover rates can be extremely costly for companies, as they often have to spend time, resources, and effort on recruiting and training new employees. Internal talent mobility programs can help reduce these rates by fostering a culture of engagement and career development opportunities. When employees feel that they are able to grow and develop their skills within the company, they are more likely to stay with the company for a longer period of time. Or, in case some of your potential employees want to change their occupations completely, they can do it right in the same organization. This will help you retain your best talent for future vacancies. 

Motivate & Empower Your Talent Pool 

The employees who are not able to move up the corporate ladder within their current company may feel de-motivated and eventually leave. Internal talent mobility programs can help to solve this problem by providing employees with opportunities to utilize their skills better in new and different ways. This can contribute to the development of future leaders within the company, as employees will be encouraged to take on new challenges, develop themselves and stretch their abilities. Such programs can help to empower your talent pool, resulting in a more productive and innovative workforce. 


In brief, internal talent mobility has great potential for businesses of all sizes. If we do it right, it can improve employee engagement, increase retention and agility while reducing time, cost, and effort in recruitment. Furthermore, a proper talent mobility program within your organization can help you promote the best performers in your teams and develop future leaders with fewer risks of hiring externally. Undoubtedly, internal talent mobility can be a great asset for your company. There shall be multiple factors to consider when designing and implementing an internal mobility program, but with careful planning and execution, you are able to reap the many benefits that this strategy has to offer. 

Trung's avatar
Trung Tran
Technical/Content Writer
Trung is a writer who loves researching and blogging about all HR-specific topics and the latest.
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