The Definitive Guide to Talent Mobility


Industry analyst firm Bersin & Associates defines talent mobility as “a dynamic internal process for moving talent from role to role – at the leadership, professional and operational levels.” The company further states that “the ability to move talent to where it is needed and by when it is needed will be essential for building an adaptable and enduring organization.”1

Experience with global enterprises also reveals that talent mobility is:


  • A business strategy that facilitates organizational agility and flexibility
  • A mechanism for acquiring and retaining high performing and potential talent
  • A recruiting philosophy that favors internal sourcing over costly external hiring
  • A method for aligning organizational and individual needs through development
  • A proactive and ongoing approach to succession planning rather than a reactive approach


A systematic talent mobility strategy enables organizations to more effectively acquire, align, develop, engage, and retain high performing and potential talent by implementing a consistent, repeatable, and global process for talent rotation. This report explores the importance of a talent mobility strategy, considerations for approaching and deploying the strategy and supporting technology, and the significant business benefits that it affords.

Current Challenges & Barriers

According to the 2010 State of Global Talent Management survey of 300 human resources (HR) practitioners, many organizations currently face similar challenges, including:

• Retaining high performers and reducing flight

• Aligning current and future talent needs to rapidly changing

business needs

• Developing deep talent succession pools and bench strength

• Reducing external recruiting costs

• Improving overall HR measurement and reporting

Organizations grapple with these challenges due to process- and technology-oriented barriers. From a process perspective, only 35% of organizations currently conduct annual succession talent reviews for most of their critical positions. While the trend for many companies is to extend succession planning deeper into the organization, many lack the executive direction and supporting enterprise software to effectively automate and manage the process. Instead, succession planning is often a slow, manual, reactive, and paper-intensive discipline in most organizations.

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