What Stops Employees from Applying for Internal Roles | Harvard Business Review

Talent Management

As workers continue to reevaluate their work preferences and what they want from their work and career, firms are at a greater risk of losing current workers who pursue external opportunities. And although organizations continue to face challenges in filling open jobs, it is interesting that a Gartner survey shows that only 33% of respondents who recently searched for a new opportunity looked internally first. This article addresses three barriers that discourage employees from applying to internal roles. 1) Awareness – “Only 51% of candidates are aware of available internal job openings, which are often communicated informally.” And women are 55% more likely than men to say they were not aware of internal job openings. 2) Access – “A top barrier is a perception that another employee (e.g. a high potential) is already favored for the role,” which leads to the candidate not applying. 3) Support – “Only 17 % of employees feel their manager facilitates the process of applying for internal job openings.” I mentioned previously that one reason managers stand in the way of internal mobility is talent hoarding, an issue illustrated in this infographic by i4cp. The HBR article also provides solutions for overcoming barriers to internal mobility, ranging from using technology to democratize awareness of opportunities to building support for internal mobility. In case you missed it, here is a bonus article by Kevin Oakes, CEO of i4cp, Let Your Top Performers Move Around the Company. The article offers additional ways for firms to create a culture that encourages internal mobility.

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