Current State

Internal mobility can refer to movement within an organization, of which most, but not all, is supported by talent acquisition (TA). Many organizations currently are fully in favor of increased internal mobility but struggle to match their processes to more highly refined external talent sourcing and recruiting efforts. 


One of the biggest challenges organizations face is keeping a consistent set of practices for all types of candidates, internal and external. This is not to say that every candidate should be treated the same, but the same levels of support should be given to every candidate and no candidate should have a less impactful candidate experience than any other. Brandon Hall Group research has shown that even processes such as onboarding are rolled out differently for internal candidates. 

To What Extent Are Onboarding Practices Used to Manage/ Support Employees Transitioning to New Roles/Situations?

All too often, internal candidates are found solely by referrals or because of a previous change (promotion or relocation, for example) and are placed in their new position without the support that a new hire would receive. This is not the best way to improve or maintain employee engagement, which is especially important for internal candidates who have already proven themselves valuable or are going through a stressful change (or both). 


With the war for talent at its apex and employees with more access to information than ever, missing out on a readily available talent pool within an existing and successful workforce could be critically damaging. Likewise, failing to improve employee engagement due to botched transitions can and should be avoided. Improving the scope, effectiveness and inclusivity of your internal mobility and hiring can create a winning situation during a highly competitive time. Refining existing and successful practices are well worth an organization’s time. 

Critical Question

Talent acquisition professionals are critical to improving internal mobility in any organization. The existing employee pool is always the first source before external efforts but it must go beyond merely running keyword searches on internal employee resumes. Here are questions every organization should ask when seeking to improve their internal mobility through TA: 

  • How can technology help identify and communicate with potential internal hires? 
  • What data on current employees should be collected and analyzed that will assist internal TA efforts? 
  • What challenges does your organization face when seeking to improve internal hiring and mobility, and which of those challenges are under your control? 
  • How does your internal candidate experience compare to your external/traditional candidate experience? 

Brandon Hall Group POV

Internal mobility has a lot of moving parts and varying factors that affect it. From a TA perspective though, in hiring internally for open positions or creating opportunities for existing employees, there are proven strategies that worked for organizations regardless of size or industry. Brandon Hall Group research identified the following best practices for improving internal mobility for TA professionals: 

Create opportunities for self-service. The pandemic proved that employees and managers can take control of their own career movement. The responsibility of the employer is to provide those opportunities by giving TA professionals and internal candidates access to the information and tools they need to post, match and self-select for internal positions. 

Internal candidates should be able to take advantage of any downtime, anywhere. Simply posting positions on internal job boards is not enough. Targeted texts, specialized portals, group emails and other methods should be made available to internal candidates so they can access opportunities anywhere with any device.

Ensure all internal positions are truly open and inclusive. Geographic requirements, experience requirements or internal recommendations may exclude marginalized employees who would otherwise be good candidates. Make sure the language you are using and the conditions for application are fair to any employee with the right competencies. 

Use data-driven decision-making. A benefit of hiring internally is that the candidates are known quantities. However, perception isn’t reality. Use objective assessments and data along with subjective reports to make decisions for internal hires to ensure that all candidates are treated equally and that you select the best possible person for the job.


Brandon Hall Group Strategy Briefs answer the critical questions learning, talent, HR and business leaders must address to manage their human capital. To tackle these critical questions in more detail, we built tools, frameworks, research summaries and business builders based on up-to-date research and case studies for you to implement best and next Human Capital Management (HCM) practices. To gain access to these valuable resources, contact

Leading minds in HCM choose Brandon Hall Group to help them build future-proof employee-development plans for the new era. For more than 27 years, we have empowered, recognized and certified excellence in organizations around the world, influencing the development of over 10,000,000 associates and executives.