Non-Technological Barriers to Internal Mobility in Organizations | Brian Heger

Talent Management

Internal mobility (IM) — the movement of employees across roles and opportunities within the same company — is a critical component of effective talent management. As HR leaders and their teams strengthen IM practices in their organizations, many look to technology to support these efforts.

And while technology (e.g., internal talent marketplace platforms, etc.) is a critical enabler of IM, organizations often approach IM as a technology initiative and lose sight of the non-technological critical components of an IM strategy. I believe technology represents about 25 percent to a third of the factors essential to driving the successful execution and sustainment of an organization’s IM efforts. As practitioners think more holistically about the non-tech barriers that impede IM, a few from my perspective include:

  1.  Policies that restrict internal movement (e.g., the employee must be in a role for a certain amount of time before moving to another internal role or opportunity),
  2. Bureaucratic processes that slow down the placement of internal talent (i.e., hiring managers often have to go through more steps in moving internal talent than they do in hiring external talent).
  3. Narrow and irrelevant selection criteria (e.g., managers include criteria that are too specific or not relevant to success in the role and end up limiting the internal talent pool).
  4. Talent hoarding (i.e., managers prevent or discourage employees from pursuing internal opportunities).
  5. Restricting recruiters to identify only external talent when filling a role or opportunities.
  6.  Limited view of career development (e.g., managers and employees emphasize upward progression or only seek opportunities in one’s native function or business areas).

Since these are just a few barriers, what do you believe are other non-technological barriers to internal mobility in organizations? Share your thoughts here.