Advance ’Em to Attract ’Em: How Promotions Influence Applications in Internal Talent Markets | Academy of Management Journal

Talent Management

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Internal mobility, the movement of employees across different work opportunities within an organization, is crucial for effective talent management. However, organizations encounter barriers to internal talent movement, with talent hoarding posing a significant challenge. Talent hoarding, where managers discourage employees from pursuing other internal opportunities, may offer short-term benefits to managers but hinder their ability to attract internal talent in the long run. Recent research published in the Academy of Management, analyzing 96,712 internal applications across 9,896 jobs in a large organization over five years, reveals that managers who frequently help to promote their direct reports attract a greater number of high-quality and functionally diverse internal applicants. This finding underscores the importance of managers fostering a culture of talent mobility instead of hoarding. Given managers’ potential unawareness of talent-hoarding behaviors, cultivating self-awareness becomes crucial. With that in mind, I am resharing my post, Five Indicators of Manager Talent Hoarding. I am also resharing the HBR article by Kevin Oakes (CEO of i4cp), Let Your Top Performers Move Around the Company, where he covers how firms can create a culture that encourages internal mobility, such as having managers develop a performance goal of consistently rotating internal talent (especially top talent) out of their team and into other internal groups.