I chuckle when leaders tell me they do not have time to develop their employees and would rather hire externally. There is some truth that buying talent (that is hiring from the outside) is more efficient, especially when you have an immediate need for strong technical skills and lack those among your current workforce. But when you bring people from the outside, you have to invest time indoctrinating them into your culture, helping them understand the political atmosphere, and making sure they are exposed to “how things work”. Incumbents already know these things and we know they are a culture fit. So, do we save a lot of time hiring externally? Probably not.
Internal mobility refers to an employee’s movement throughout the organization. It isn’t just promotions, but also covers lateral moves, transfers, job rotations, and even demotions. Overall, having a strong internal mobility philosophy, strategy, and program are great ways to leverage the source of talent your organization already has.
Unfortunately, recruiters are often completely unaware that the best candidate for a position already works inside the organization. I have seen cultures that actually discouraged internal mobility—preferring to call it poaching, which definitely has a negative connotation. Such a