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Talent mobility: Here are some best practices

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Talent mobility has emerged as a strategic lever for both employee and organization growth. Here are some of the tried and tested practices being followed by organizations to stay ahead of the curve.

Tomorrow’s leaders are expected to have a holistic view of business as they aim to further the topline and bottom-line. Interestingly, the employee view of building skills also aligns with the expectations of future organizations. LinkedIn researched on what entices a professional for a new job and almost 31 percent respondents in India reported it to be professional development opportunities. 93 percent of Indian millennials want to work outside their country of residence, states the PwC talent mobility report. From HR leaders’ perspective, Talent mobility hence is inevitable to provide those moments that matter and build the depth and breadth of skills and experiences.

Some of the most progressive organizations have taken such insights into action and have started building robust talent mobility practices.

Best practices

Contrary to traditional patterns, with the “more aware” millennials taking over the workforce, career paths have become shorter. Hence providing quick mobility options are something that organizations are exploring to retain top talent. At Evalueserve, the policies and processes are geared towards providing more opportunities for mobility – internally/externally, geographically or capability wise. A practice in place is to provide opportunities to build new skills on a six monthly basis. 

Talent mobility is a horizontal that should be at the core of all talent practices. Imbibing this mantra, the mining conglomerate, Vedanta, focusses on flexibility as a key competency while hiring and mandating mobility after every three years. Leaders from Vedanta also travel and change locations as a part of the global leadership programs. This not only includes Indian employees traveling abroad but also bringing in employees from other locations to India.

At the Taj group, where 40% of revenue comes from business outside India, there are unstructured opportunities for employees to move to different locations on project basis early on, add value to the community and then come back.

Schneider, similar to Vedanta, encourages mobility after every 3 years. The presence of various functions and hence more opportunities to move around provides them a competitive advantage. They have created an internal job market by using a common platform for both local and international opportunities. 


Benefits of talent mobility are not unknown to the world and as organizations try to crack this code, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) presents a classic case of reaping such benefits. RBS is a global organization that has a workforce with five generations and any strategy that they build has to suit to all groups. It has been successfully able to re-deploying 90% of its senior resources in different lines of businesses as it winds down its bank assets. The success of this re-deployment lied in the fact that they had a very strong talent philosophy at an organizational level and not specific to functions/skills. 

Challenges ahead

While talent mobility is pivotal for any organization to grow there are certain challenges that organizations should overcome while building such practices. One of the most common challenges is that employees are not always willing to take up opportunities to move. There are roles where employees have invested their time and effort to establish oneself as an expert and mobility may not resonate with them. Another important challenge that HR leaders face is to identify which roles are mobile and which are not. The solution to both these challenges lies in having a transparent dialogue with the employees and identifying how does mobility align with the overall business strategy.

(This article is based on the roundtable discussion on talent mobility held in partnership with Oracle at TechHR 2016)

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Topics: Strategic HR, #Lets Talk Talent

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