Career Development and the Hidden Job Market in Your Organization

December 16, 2014

Internal Talent Mobility Opportunities

85% of the global workforce is looking for a new job – and the number one reason why is to find greater career advancement opportunities. (Source)

It’s a fact that there are more employees wanting to fill the top spots than there are actual spots available. That being said, confining our view of what “career advancement” means to a straightforward rising through the ranks is too simple – not only because people’s careers rarely look like a straight upward shot, but also because many people want more flexibility than that would allow.

That’s why creating transparency around how employees might chart their career path through your organization is so important.

According to recent research by LinkedIn, HR and talent acquisition professionals overestimate employee awareness of their internal mobility programs more than twice over. (Source)

  • In the U.S., 69% of HR and talent acquisition professionals said their internal talent mobility program is well known among employees
  • Only 25% of employees said they were aware of their employer’s internal talent mobility programs


Ensuring the success of a self-directed career development program in your organization goes beyond encouraging employees to be constantly assessing themselves – their values, working styles, skills, career goals, and network. If you’re to have a dialogue with them in any way about their career at your organization, you must be transparent about the required skill sets, competencies, and general career path for job roles and positions in your organization.

After all, if there’s no transparency around not only what’s available now, but also what employees aspire to achieve in the next 10 years, there’s no way for your employees to figure out how to direct their career in the organization.

Internal Talent Mobility and Your Recruitment Strategy

According to a PwC report, two-thirds of CEOs say that it’s more likely that talent in their organization will come from internal promotions in the future. If you’re currently ignoring “the hidden job market” at your organization, it’s time make it a priority instead.

By doing so, you’ll also be opening up positive opportunities for recruitment from within your organization such as:

  • Cut Recruiting Costs – Promoting internal candidates cuts all the costs associated with hiring an outside employee, such as: advertising costs, fees paid to recruiting firms, candidate travel expenses, background checks, etc.
  • Reduced Training Time – No need for orientation or onboarding
  • Lowered Hiring Risk – Internal employees are not only a known quantity, but are already established within your company and culture, reducing the risk of making a mistake in hiring
  • Boosted Employee Morale – Encouraging internal talent mobility increases engagement and satisfaction for your employees and boosts their morale


The combination of these two initiatives – recruitment and self-directed career development – allows your recruiters to work at a quicker pace with lower budget.

Promoting and/or hiring from inside your organization is win/win for everyone: you get an employee who is already understands your company culture and what the job role they’re taking on entails, and they get to advance their career in the direction they want.

Ultimately, the hidden job market is going to exist in your organization whether you cultivate or take advantage of it or not – the question is, why wouldn’t you?

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