This is the first installment in a four-part talent mobility series by Claude Werder from Brandon Hall Group. Claude is the Senior Vice President and Principal HCM Analyst at BHG and leads the talent management research and advisory practice.
What is talent mobility and what are these roadblocks?
Great talent is so coveted – and often so hard to find – that it sometimes feels like we are chasing unicorns.
Great talent does exist, often right in front of us in our own organizations. But many employers have created barriers that impede identifying and developing their own people to fill current and future talent needs.
The most prominent barriers, according to BHG's 2020 Career Development Study, are:
- Lack of ready and willing successors for current openings (63 percent)
- Learning and development isn't sufficiently linked to career growth and critical job roles (57 percent)
- Insufficient high-potential identification and development (48 percent)
- Insufficient succession management (47 percent)
5 ways to remove the talent mobility roadblocks
So what's the solution? How can we knock down the roadblocks to talent mobility?
1. Ensure your workplace culture supports it
Most leaders will tell you they want to promote more employees from within. But almost 60% of organizations from our research say their internal talent pipeline is not large or deep enough. That reflects a lack of talent development. The commitment to internal mobility must start at the top, get communicated across the enterprise and be reinforced through resources, processes and technology.
2. Understand potential
Most employees are promoted based on job performance. But mobility should be determined by employees' ability to learn and adapt to new situations and changing business needs. Future roles should be based much more on what employees are capable of doing tomorrow than what they are good at today. Assessing that requires a new approach to identify high-potentials.
3. Think big, start small
Be realistic about the scope you can handle, especially if your organization is large, diverse and matrix. Only so much can be accomplished at once. Start mobility improvement efforts by targeting the most critical roles and expand the scope gradually. Trying to do too much too fast can lead to failure.
4. Re-invent succession planning
Succession is consistently rated as the most ineffective talent process. Talent reviews are often events held once or perhaps twice a year and based mostly on performance evaluations and infrequent interactions with candidates. Top management involvement is inconsistent at best. Perceived bias is a big problem. The succession management process should be transparent to all candidates and interactions evaluated thoughtfully over time.
5. Understand what success should look like and measure it
When addressing talent mobility, establish specific goals and timeframes and then establish metrics to assess progress. In our research, the biggest reason cited for ineffective talent development is a lack of data and analytics to measure the impact. That needs to change.
Over the next month, we'll be posting three more blogs about talent mobility. Next week's post will touch on specific steps employers can take to build an internal talent pool.