Bruce M. Anderson, the lead blog writer for LinkedIn’s Talent Solutions Blog, recently published a piece on internal mobility. The headline, Internal Mobility Is Not Poaching. It’s Smart Business, is attention-grabbing for a good reason–it touches on a widespread sentiment on internal recruiting that management needs to shift gears around. 

An article published in the Harvard Business Review points out that from the end of WWII until the ’70s, many big businesses filled the bulk of their job openings through promotions and lateral shuffles from within. However, this recruitment approach lost momentum as managers became nervous about losing their star players to other business sects. 

Bruce suggests that it’s time for managers to get behind internal recruiting in their business again. Here’s how to the support you need:

Four Ways To Make Internal Mobility More Appealing to Managers

1. Add Incentives To The Mix

If there is a lot of resistance from your managers, an incentive program might be your best bet in getting them to work with you. This way, they can see the long-term benefits themselves. 

Do this by rewarding your management team when their team members upskill, sign up for further training, and show interest (and land!) new jobs within the company.

2. Provide Valuable Perspective

Seeing is believing. If you can showcase the benefits of internal mobility by means of a structured platform within your business, do so. Managers have to be reminded that talent hoarding does not improve employee retention rates but actually has the opposite effect. After all, if a star employee cannot grow within your company, they will find a place where they can do so. 

TOP TIP: Did you know that boomerang hires can also be treated in the same way as internal hires? Even though the employees in question may not have been working for the business in their most recent roles, they still know how the company operates. They may also still be in touch with some of their prior colleagues and managers. 

As such, hiring from your alumni pool makes for a much smoother onboarding process and a more seamless introduction than hiring a brand-new recruit. This is just one of the reasons to turn departing employees into loyal alumni.

3. Weave It Into Your Culture

For internal mobility to work really well, it has to become ingrained in your company culture. For instance, there are businesses that require their employees to make an internal shift after 18 months of employment.

4. Line Up Internal Recruiters

Establishing an internal recruitment team provides your management team with two things. First, they get the support system they need to identify top internal talent. Second, they have the scope and knowledge to put these sought-after individuals in a position where they can simultaneously grow and be of the most use. It also shows that your company is serious about internal mobility.


Internal mobility is a very effective recruitment tactic that can revitalize a company’s workforce from the inside out. However, getting managers on board with the idea can be tricky.

Start by bringing incentives into the mix and providing valuable perspectives. Weave it into your culture and line up internal recruiters. This will make all the difference.

Sign up for early access to the upcoming release of The Alumni Advantage. The book provides an end-to-end understanding of how organizations are recognizing and leveraging their former employees, authored by James Sinclair, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of EnterpriseAlumni.