Four in ten employers prefer to fill job vacancies with external talent
Too few companies consider internal mobility in the war for talent
November 14, 2023
Over two thirds (66.8%) of European employers are aware of their long-term talent needs yet However, they tend to search for that talent externally, even though sometimes the solution is right there within the organisation's own walls. Nevertheless, only slightly over a quarter (27%) choose to train internal employees so that they can fill vacant positions. 34% don't really have a preference. Four in ten employers prefer to fill job vacancies with external talent. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that as such: the fresh ideas and perspectives newcomers bring are often very useful. However, companies that do not allow employees to advance sometimes miss opportunities to leverage all their in-house potential in the war for talent. These are some of the conclusions drawn from a survey conducted by the leading European HR service provider SD Worx among more than 16,000 employees and almost 5,000 HR managers in sixteen European countries.
Norway and France in particular seem more likely to attract external talent (48% each), followed by Poland and Spain (46% each) and Italy, Ireland and Sweden (41% each). On the other end of the spectrum, Finland leads the way in internal talent development (34%), followed by the Netherlands, Denmark and Croatia (33% each) and Austria and Switzerland (32% each).
Bruce Fecheyr-Lippens, Chief People Officer at SD Worx: "Job vacancies are currently still hard to fill. That's why it's so important for managers to search for suitable talent inside the organisation as well. Companies increase their chances of filling their job vacancies by tapping into all possible talent sources. Moreover, encouraging internal mobility doesn't just benefit the company; it also offers prospects to employees with individual growth ambitions."
One-third of employers struggle with internal mobility
One-third of companies are finding it hard to move their employees to other positions within the organisation. France struggles with this the most (43%), followed by Belgium, Sweden, Norway and Finland (all 39%) and finally Italy (37%). This may explain why in 40% of European organisations, managers don't seem to be in favour of it. And things are no different on the employee side. On the contrary: 65% are not immediately interested in taking on a new job within the same company.
2 in 5 organisations don't know the skills their employees possess
There is still a lot of ignorance in the workplace about the career paths employees really want to explore. Only 43% of employees know what job they can advance into and how they should approach this.
Although six in ten European companies know what types of talent they need in the long term, only half have an actual overview of the ambitions their employees are pursuing. Two in five organisations lack precise information about the skills of their employees. A talent platform that offers a detailed overview of all employee skills may offer a solution to improve internal mobility and collaboration.
Bruce Fecheyr-Lippens at SD Worx: "The desire to allow people to grow is certainly there, but we still lack the right information to achieve it. And yet there are many tools available out there that can make employees’ careers more transparent. We use Huapii as a talent platform, for example. It allows employees to take ownership of their careers based on skill and performance management. Almost half of organisations (46%) are already using such technologies."
Half of companies encourage job crafting
There is definitely a positive learning climate out there. Two in three employees learn new things at work on a daily basis, and half of European companies encourage job crafting, which allows job content to be adapted to employees' talents and preferences. One in three employees already engages in job crafting. Nevertheless, there is still room for improvement. Only one in three employees indicated that they have sufficient opportunities to move on to other jobs or departments in the organisation. Less than half (43%) know what job they can advance to or how to approach this. “It seems that European organisations are already on the right track, but there are still plenty of opportunities on the table that can improve internal mobility further,” Bruce Fecheyr-Lippens at SD Worx concludes.