Artificial Intelligence (AI) is perhaps one of the most talked about subjects in the present talent market. Unfortunately media focus largely targets jobs that may be eliminated by AI and not on how AI can add value to an organisation. It is time to focus on AI’s potential to create new openings and help the human workforce in almost every industry.
The business climate today rewards organisations that can shift gears quickly and respond to changing business demands and disruptions, whether it is about manpower or products or any other unforeseen emergency. AI can make that happen and it is already playing a significant role in helping HR professionals, talent managers, and recruiters identify and manage the best people for their organisations.
What is talent mobility?
Talent mobility is the movement of employees within an organisation from one position to another. It is an efficient and cost-effective technique used for talent deployment and maximising potential. By leveraging and mobilising existing talent into new roles, organisations can have a workforce that is agile and flexible. It becomes easier to quickly meet changing business environments and market needs, and future-proof the workforce. Mobility enables employees to evolve and grow within an organisation and for the organisation to quickly move key skills across the business, and when needed, across geographical borders too.
Recent upheavals in the business landscape has made it clear that organisations cannot thrive in a shareholder-centric environment alone; they must work to benefit all the stakeholders, including employees. When a purpose-driven employee experience is created, organisations benefit in many tangible as well as intangible ways, such as positive reviews, loyalty, and strong employer advocacy. A robust talent mobility strategy is a critical way to create an inspiring experience for employees. They get an opportunity to explore and polish other areas of specialisation, sharpen skills, and widen their knowledge.
Challenges to talent mobility
Managers are often reluctant to let go of their top performers to other departments in the organisation. They are naturally apprehensive about the position and strength of their department when experienced members have to be let go and new members have to be trained and fitted in. However, it is in the best interest of the department to let the changes happen, preventing employee dissatisfaction and stagnation. In fact, certain progressive organisations have rules that allow employees to request for a department change within the organisation every few years.
The reluctance to change is often on both sides. Managers who have to accept new members in their department from within the organisation often worry about how the new members will fit in with the existing group. This is especially true in large organisations where managers may not know every member all that well.
On the other hand, there are many employees who are so comfortable in their existing positions that they do not want to move out of their comfort zones, or give up their positions of expertise gathered over years. Studies show that only about 30% of employees are eager to move to other departments. Moving to another department often means learning new skills besides having to fit into a new group. Managers who are in favour of talent mobility have to overcome this challenge by working with the employees and showing them how a move would benefit their long-term career plans.
Benefits of using AI in talent mobility
- AI streamlines mobility tasks and ensures compliance
By handling administrative and routine tasks that touch talent mobility, AI is already making inroads into talent mobility. True, the full benefits of AI are still being explored and tested, but AI is quite effective at managing tasks in areas such as immigration and taxes, both of which require compliance with regulations of the land.
Given the changing immigration laws in various countries, talent mobility specialists depend on AI to stay up to date with information about work authorisation, immigration, and all regulatory compliance issues. Such information helps organisations reduce the effort needed to comply with rules.
Manpower information is also critical during geopolitical, health, or environmental emergencies when employees may have to be evacuated from crisis locations.
- AI helps gather employee insights
AI brings visibility across teams. Talent mobility professionals are beginning to use AI to sift through internal and external data to find the right candidates for different roles. As almost every candidate today would have a digital footprint that covers skills, potential, experiences, and know-how, AI has already been used to help with external recruitment. Now it is being integrated with internal platforms to build employee profiles and find the right candidates for roles across locations. Training programmes can also be better designed by knowing the strengths of employees and their potential for future roles. This helps keep maintain a high quality of hires.
Gathering enough employee insights enables organisations to know which roles are of least interest to an employee and that can help in planning talent succession. There will be other employees who would be interested in the same role and by having that knowledge, talent mobility professionals can move employees across the organisation.
- AI helps ensure efficient resource allocation
With AI, large organisations can easily determine locations where certain skills are more concentrated than others, and this information can help them make data-backed decisions about opening new work sites. It can also help organisations identify locations that require more manpower or specific skills. Skill gaps can easily be identified and necessary training programmes can be organised to fill them. AI can also help organisations identify emerging roles and develop actionable plans to help employees adapt to them. These internal talent pipelines help remove barriers between teams, and increase transparency and camaraderie.
- AI can boost retention
The availability of sufficient data enables AI to quickly identify attrition problems and managers can then plan better to boost employee retention. Even way back in 2018, a Gartner report stated that 40% of employees leaving their jobs did it because they felt there was no scope for career development. Talent mobility is a powerful technique of retaining valuable employees. A LinkedIn global report indicated that 41% of employees are likely to stay in one organisation when it regularly hires from within the existing talents.
- AI prevents recruiter burnout
Recruitment is a time consuming process that can drain recruiters if processes are not streamlined by using effective tech tools. Recruiters can perform better when AI makes their access to important information easier and they are not constantly sifting through piles of data.
The future of talent mobility with AI
Certain organisations are already using augmented reality (AR) platforms to take employees on virtual office tours of potential work locations. In the coming years, talent mobility specialists are expected to find more and more innovative uses of AI to improve and personalise their services.
AI’s potential to help organisations customise the employee experience is being recognised and perhaps it is time to focus on that facet too instead of only the threats AI seemingly extends. For example, discussions about new work locations that are not suitable for specific employees can be avoided completely by mobility managers when they have access to information about the employee’s family responsibilities or other areas of interest.
In the future, organisations are very likely to face challenges while trying to find the best people for new opportunities. AI will not only help talent managers find and move employees to new locations if needed, but also to set up new operations in resource-rich locations. With AI in tow, employees too will be provided with more personalised experiences every step of the way. Employees are likely to be more motivated and aligned with employer expectations when they perceive the effort put in by the employer to make them comfortable. It is sure to be a win-win situation for both employers and employees.
AI, yes or no?
Finally, the decision about whether an organisation should implement AI in its talent management operations or not, and if yes, how intricately, can be decided by the organisation’s business goals, industry, workload and technological prowess, among other factors. It should make business sense to implement AI and not be done to merge with the herd.
The AI-powered HirePro platform offers complete remote recruitment solutions. It can be used by organisations for talent mobility too. From sourcing, screening, interviews, to hiring and onboarding, all of it can be taken care of remotely. It should work especially well for large organisations that have worksites distributed globally.
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