Is mentoring part of your talent mobility strategy?


Talent mobility and mentoring

You’ve spent time, money and energy creating the best possible team for your organisation. You’ve made sure you’ve attracted the best, top-performing talent. And you’ve developed a company culture that is second to none. But there are still skills gaps in your teams.

Picture this: Your L&D team needs a graphic designer – but doesn’t have one. Whilst your marketing team’s graphic designer is twiddling their fingers due to a lack of work. But due to office-politics and your organisation’s structure, you get a freelance graphic designer in to help your L&D team. While leaving your marketing team’s graphic designer bored senseless.

This is perhaps an exaggerated description. But it’s likely you’ve found yourself in a similar situation before. And you’re not alone. It’s such a common problem in organisations that the phrases ‘talent mobility’ and ‘internal talent marketplace’ are becoming increasingly common in the business world.

What is talent mobility?

Talent mobility is matching the skills of your people, to the departments in your organisation who are demanding those skills. Regardless of the employee’s division or job title. If you have an eLearning designer who is fabulous at web design – and your marketing team needs help, they can be matched and fill the skills gap. It really is as simple as that.

By embracing talent mobility in your organisation, you are not only ensuring heightened productivity across the board. You are also providing a workplace that allows your people to grow and flourish – which of course contributes to a better workplace culture.

So, why should mentoring be part of your talent mobility strategy?

Mentoring programmes are a great way to uncover untapped potential in your people. By building a trusting relationship, the mentor will be able to see the talents that lie within their mentee, and champion them throughout the organisation. But this alone isn’t enough. You need to uncover a way to take these mentees with the skills you need and plug them into the capacity gaps in your organisation. Which is why mentoring programmes that are powered by smart technology are key to your talent mobility strategy.

Step one: Skills matched mentoring

Skills matched mentoring is one of the most important reasons mentoring should be part of your talent mobility strategy. Mentoring technology can allow those seeking a mentor to find individuals who have the skills they want to develop. Then they can learn these skills from their mentor – until they are proficient themselves.

The reason this is of such critical importance to your talent mobility strategy is that it allows your people to tap into skills that perhaps are not in their typical day-job. And as such, unveils these talents to their mentor, and the wider organisation. It’s these skills that are critical to internal talent mobility – and will be the crux of an effective talent mobility strategy.

Step two: Highlighting skills (and skills gaps) to HR

Using mentoring technology to facilitate this skills matching process brings with it an additional benefit. It highlights these skills to the HR team, who are also likely in charge of the organisation’s talent mobility strategy. This clear insight into all the skills your organisation holds, gives your HR team a launch pad to kick-start their talent mobility strategy. Which would not have been available if skill matched mentoring was not in place. In the same ilk, it will also allow your HR team to see where there are clear and obvious gaps in your in-house skills, and thus allow them to plug these gaps (on a short- or long-term basis).

Plus skills matched mentoring ensures the reliability of the skills. By allowing your people to embark on mentoring programmes which enhance their skills, you are ensuring that these skills are developed and nourished in the right way for your organisation. You have a first hand champion of this individual, reassuring you that they can do the task at hand – and as such have a quick route to high levels of productivity.

Step three: Facilitate non-linear career progression 

One of the main reasons organisations embark on talent mobility programmes is to ensure talent retention. Oftentimes, individuals will move on from an organisation seeking new challenges and opportunities. By offering these experiences in-house, you are developing a group of high-performing individuals that truly understand your organisation’s goals. But to do this you must ensure these people not only have the skills required, but also the confidence to progress with a non-linear career path. And this is where mentoring steps back in. Mentoring programmes boost confidence and build resilience in mentees, and as such will enable them to embark on this career journey. And as such should be included throughout every stage of your talent mobility strategy. 

Kick-starting talent mobility 

The world is embarking on a fourth industrial revolution. This revolution is automating our lives and our workplaces – and as such is bringing with it a skills gap crisis. Now is the time to create a talent mobility strategy that is underpinned by an effective mentorship programme, ensuring both your people and your organisation are future-proofed. 

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