HR Insights, HR News & Trends

Employees Are Leaving Because They Don’t Know of In-House Opportunities

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With the rate of voluntary quits in the U.S. approaching pre-recession levels — 22.8 percent in 2013 — it’s no surprise that in a survey last year, HR professionals and talent acquisition leaders identified retention and its twin “internal mobility” as one of the five top trends.

Nearly 40 percent of the 553 U.S. recruiting leaders who took part in LinkedIn’s global recruiting survey last year said they are increasing their internal hiring volume. Globally, the percentage was even higher.

“Internal candidates are typically higher quality; plus their skills, performance, and cultural fit are known,” LinkedIn’s Leela Srinivasan told SHRM in a report the society did on the survey. The report observed that 51 percent of the talent leaders acknowledged a “need to increase candidate awareness of relevant in-house opportunities.”

Do workers know of your internal mobility programs?

Now, just a few months shy of a year later, comes a new LinkedIn survey of workers who changed jobs. And what they told LinkedIn is that the No. 1 reason they left was the opportunity for career advancement.Why-quit-linkedin-survey-250x88

Shockingly, 75 percent of the U.S. workers were unaware of their previous employer’s internal mobility program. We can’t tell if awareness would have made a difference, but the statistic does point up a very significant disconnect between what workers know and what HR thinks they know.

In last year’s trends survey, 69 percent of the U.S. HR professionals said their internal mobility program “is well known among employees.” The percentages in Australia, Canada, India, and the U.K. aren’t much different. Yet in no country were more than a quarter of the job-changers aware of their company’s internal mobility program.

LinkedIn’s so-named Exit Survey speculates that the lack of aggressive promotion of these programs may be due to another disconnect between HR and the exiting worker.

HR’s respondents suspect that it is pay and benefits that most motivate workers to leave. Third on their list is career advancement. The workers list pay third as a motivator.

Valuing those you have more than those you don’t

Phil Hendrickson, Starbucks’ manager of global talent sourcing strategy, quoted in the LinkedIn report, addresses that issue squarely when he says:

People need to know that their career development and growth are valued as much as, if not more than, hiring external people. That’s because you solve three things at once when you hire someone internally — you fill a role, you retain a good employee, and you improve your talent brand.”

Who would disagree with that? Yet, in reality, many in HR do.

In last year’s global survey, only 32 percent of the U.S. respondents identified internal candidates as a source of quality hires. What ranked higher? Employee referrals, social networks, the company career website, and even job boards.

John has been writing about recruiting and employment for nearly a decade,and has worked in the field for almost twice as long. He traces his connection to the employment industry back to the beginning of the commercial Internet when he managed some of the earliest news oriented websites. These offered job boards, which became highly popular with users. John worked with agencies and large employers on job postings, resume search, and campaigns, before consulting with media companies on audience development and online advertising sales.
  • Tim Mitchell

    This is a really troubling statement; ‘Internal candidates are typically higher quality; plus their skills, performance, and cultural fit are known.’ I think that’s short-hand for ‘easier to recruit.’

    Employee turnover is not a problem per se; in 2012, Starbucks (who are quoted here) had over 65% turnover in their North American operations – some retailers have 400%. So the rate is not important; it’s why and in what areas. If Starbucks experienced 65% turnover in their management team, it would be a problem.

    The biggest issue is recruiting people because their faces fit; companies talk about diversity but they value conformity of behaviour.

  • tootsiepop

    I’m actually leavig my current job for another, better advertised opportunity with another company.

    I wanted to move out to the Seattle area, but I wanted relo. When I looked at internal postings, no relo was offered. I talked to my boss, he didn’t know enough about the West Coast operations. I emailed our West Region recruiter, got no response. I ran into the same recruiter at a training session this week, where she informed me that they would indeed have paid to move me out to Seattle. Now I’m changing positions to another, larger more prestigious company over the summer.

    If, at any point, anyone had told me there was an opportunity out there that had been paid, I would have stayed put. But the company I’m currently with failed to catch me before I fell through the information cracks and interviewed for a new position!