As heightened competition in the labor market due to historically low unemployment rates is making it harder for companies to attract and retain critical talent, companies should seek to provide employees with opportunities to change jobs within the organization, a report on the state of the global labor market released by technology consultancy Gartner has recommended.

The findings of the “2Q18 Global Talent Monitor” report, released on September 11, were drawn from a larger quarterly survey that is sourced from almost 20,000 employees in 40 countries. The report found that lack of future career opportunities was the top driver of employee attrition in every major economy, with around 40% of workers surveyed in the U.S. and across the globe ranking a lack of future career opportunities as the most dissatisfying attribute at a previous job.

The survey results showed that there are benefits to creating a more vibrant internal labor market, including a 27% increase in employee willingness to go above and beyond at work, and a 33% increase in employee intentions to stay. The survey also found that managers report internal hires perform better than external recruits across a whole range of measures, such as attendance, collaboration, and meeting expectations—which ultimately add up to 10% fewer regretted hiring decisions.

Researchers observed, however, that cultural norms and a lack of transparency can make it difficult for employees to move within an organization. The survey found that just over one-quarter of employees believe that their organization makes it easy for them to find job opportunities that match their interests, and only 21% believe that it is easy to change positions within their current employer. Moreover, just 37% of managers surveyed indicated that they encourage their direct reports to seek internal opportunities.

The report also pointed out that when employees do find internal opportunities that match their interests, many lack the skills required to fill those jobs, as just 6% of the heads of learning and development and around one-third of the managers surveyed said they believe that the employees in their organization have the skills needed for future roles.

To create an internal labor market, the report recommended that talent management leaders develop processes, norms, and infrastructure that facilitate the internal mobility of employees. For example, researchers said, companies could apply the same technology and tools they use for the external marketplace with their own employees; experiment with different methods to remove the barriers to participation in their internal labor market; and provide employees with structured guidance on internal career options.

From Benefit Trends Newsletter, Volume 61, Issue 12

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