processus de mobilité interne

Published on 16/05/2024

With the latest changes in the working world, the internal mobility process has become a key concern for managers. It has logically become a strategic issue for HR departments seeking to :

  • Quality recruitment
  • Retention of talent, particularly from Generation Z

89% of HR managers believe that career paths within their organization lack clarity for many employees..

Extract from the study "The 5 priorities for HR managers in 2024" carried out by Gartner

Internal mobility is the ideal way of meeting the employee's high expectations. It is also a major asset for organizations that know how to put it in place: it promotes employee motivation and commitment.

Ultimately, it's a win/win partnership between employees and their employer. It's the start of a virtuous cycle whose ultimate aim is to :

  • Strengthening the corporate culture
  • Improving the employee experience

The result is a stable professional environment focused on the objectives to be achieved and part of an ambitious corporate project. 

In this article, we give you the keys to setting up an internal mobility process within your organization. You will see that internal communication is at the heart of this approach.

#1 - Definition of the internal mobility process

What is internal mobility? This process brings together various practices that punctuate an employee's career path via :

  • Internal recruitment
  • The cooptation programme
  • Internal promotion
  • Professional retraining

It materializes in the form of :

  • Internal transfer
  • Direct integration
  • Change of job (without change of grade or rank)
  • Detachment

In practical terms, internal mobility means changing jobs, departments or responsibilities within the same organization.

#2 - What is the internal mobility process?

Internal mobility process: definition and applications

The internal mobility process therefore describes an employee's change of function, status or department within the same organization, which may be:  

  • Public: State administrations, local authorities, communities of municipalities, conurbation communities, etc.  
  • Private: SMEs, national or multinational companies, associations 

The term internal mobility conceals a number of different realities. Mobility can be initiated by: 

  • From the employee: this is known as voluntary mobility. The employee gives his or her own reasons for requesting internal mobility
  • From management or the HR department: this is known as involuntary or imposed mobility, and may be the result of a departmental reorganization, a reclassification or an urgent need for a particular position.

The different types of internal mobility

Before explaining the stages in the internal mobility process, it is necessary to briefly recall the different types of internal mobility encountered in organizations:

  • Horizontal mobility

Horizontal mobility occurs when an employee changes departments within an organization but remains in the same job.


  • Vertical mobility

The concept of vertical mobility applies when an employee receives a promotion within the same department. This translates into more responsibilities and potentially a higher salary.


  • Transversal mobility

Under cross-departmental mobility, the employee moves to another department within the same organization and gains responsibilities (and even salary).


  • Geographical mobility

Geographical mobility should also be mentioned. This covers mobility to a different branch, site (in the case of a multi-site company) or administration, generally closer to the employee's place of residence.

#3 - Why the internal mobility process is important: the stakes

Internal mobility for employees

Today's employees are demanding more from their employers in terms of: 

  • Their working conditions and environment
  • Their prospects for internal development
  • Their business skills

Employees want to boost their careers and fulfill their professional aspirations. In particular, they want to:

  • Open up new career prospects by changing site, subsidiary or administration
  • Move within their company to vacant, different or complementary positions


For employees, the internal mobility process is a way of:

  • Showing your commitment and professional ambition
  • Apply for all job offers, even those that are far removed from your profile  
  • Listen carefully to promises of internal mobility
  • Relay internal job offers on one of its professional networks, such as Linkedin
  • Promote the employer brand (employee advocacy) to your professional network 

Internal mobility at the service of organizations

When it is effective, the internal mobility process offers many benefits to employees. But it is also advantageous for companies that know how to support the internal mobility process: 

  • Reduced staff turnover and absenteeism
  • Reduced start-up and recruitment costs: no need to use the paid services of a job board or external recruiter
  • Retaining talent
  • Improved employee experience and engagement
  • Enhancing your employer brand
  • Strengthening the corporate culture

The internal mobility process is therefore an opportunity to pacify and regulate relations between employees and management. The latter shows its desire to help employees, and therefore the organization itself, to grow. 

The partnership between employees and their management is a win-win situation, with both parties benefiting.

The decisive role of Human Resources

This is where the role of HR departments comes into its own: they need to work together intelligently with senior management and managers to drive this mobility for the benefit of employees. 

The coherence of the internal mobility process depends on their involvement. They are in the best position to design the mobility plan:

  • Define the organization's business or management needs
  • Establish the precise scope of the positions to be filled
  • Decide whether or not it is preferable to draw on the internal pool (in collaboration with managers)

They handle the operational side of internal recruitment:

  • Communicate job vacancies via an internal communication tool, for example
  • Monitoring job offers
  • Off-boarding and on-boarding new arrivals, even if they are already members of the organization
  • Supporting employees in an active, agile approach
  • Adopting an adaptive approach to each individual's career path
  • Adding mobility clauses to employment contracts

#3 - Advantages and limits of the internal mobility process

The benefits of a successful internal mobility process

➡️ A smooth internal transition

As we have already mentioned, internal mobility offers many advantages to an organization. 

It responds perfectly to the need for organizations to adapt to the labor market. It is easy to replace a departing employee with an internal recruit:

  • No resignation required
  • No notice period
  • The trial period cannot be terminated
  • Availability is almost immediate

The internal transition is a smooth one: the employee has time to get used to his or her new duties, initially dividing his or her time between each position.

What's more, the current employee already knows the company:

  • Its working environment
  • Its issues
  • How it works
  • His future direct colleagues

➡️ A new employee who is already known to the employer

From an administrative point of view, there's no need to set up a new recruitment file or check employment history. 

However, it is important to update the employment contract by means of an amendment as soon as possible. Be careful, however, to ensure that the internal representative has the required skills: seniority is not always the most appropriate criterion for making a decision. 

Internal mobility is one aspect of the employee experience within a company that deserves to be promoted through internal communication initiatives: 

  • Feedback from HR managers
  • Reports from employees who have benefited from internal mobility

The limits of the internal mobility process

➡️ The need for external recruitment

There are not only advantages to internal mobility. This process has its limits. That's why it needs to be carefully thought through in order to target needs and expectations.

The creation of new internal positions and the contours of certain functions (strategic or technical) sometimes require us to recruit talent externally: in this case, we need to call on headhunters, job boards or ATSs (the classic methods of external recruitment).

Over-systematic internal mobility stifles a company's dynamism and its capacity for renewal. This is often the symptom of companies that find it difficult to recruit externally: 

  • They have limited recruitment resources 
  • They are located in low-growth employment areas
  • They are far from major transport routes 

What's more, it's useful to have an outside perspective on the way a department and, more generally, an organization works. Bringing in new energy is useful. 


➡️ Internal mobility, a source of imbalance

Some organizations favor internal mobility to manage staff movements. Care must be taken to ensure that recruitment does not cause an imbalance in the operation of the department of origin or destination.

The risk is that certain aspects of the collective, such as:  

  • Work reflexes among colleagues 
  • The scope of each person's activity
  • Service operation and performance
  • The service atmosphere 

The problem is the same when it comes to resolving conflictual situations by using the internal mobility process. You run the risk of displacing a problem or creating new ones.

In the case of small organizations (SMEs, for example), it is complicated to rely solely on internal mobility:

  • The number of candidates available is necessarily limited
  • The number of vacancies too

The benefits of internal mobility are limited. External recruitment is once again essential.

#4 - How to implement internal mobility: the 5 key stages

➡️ Step 1: Draw up and distribute an internal mobility charter

The internal mobility charter is the document that serves as a basis for any employee likely to be interested in internal mobility. This charter must be easily accessible to everyone. It conveys a clear message that everyone can understand. 

The company mobility charter structures your internal mobility process. It sets the framework: 

  • General policy on internal mobility 
  • How to apply for mobility: how to apply
  • The tools available for finding a job and applying for mobility
  • Eligibility criteria for internal mobility requests 
  • The identity of the dedicated contacts: Human Resources and/or managers

The internal mobility charter sets out your organization's values, such as respect for equal opportunities for men and women. This has the effect of putting an end to any suspicion of favoritism or rigged promotion. 

The charter sets out management's commitments in terms of supporting employee mobility and ongoing training.

Disseminating this information is of crucial importance: to ensure that everyone is informed, use your internal communications tool to publish a post including a link to your mobility charter.

Communicate your mobility charter and raise awareness among your employees. An employee who applies internally is first and foremost an employee who is fully aware of his or her career development opportunities.


➡️ Step 2: Assess your employees on an ongoing basis

The know-how and interpersonal skills of employees should be assessed on an ongoing basis by department managers, especially if internal job vacancies are advertised frequently. Managers take the pulse of their departments. They measure the efficiency and motivation of their staff.

Managers have a relay role with HR: they assess employees' skills (hard and soft skills) and communicate them to HR.

Some managers build up internal pools of talent that are likely to respond positively to HR's expectations for future vacancies. 


➡️ Step 3: look after the annual interviews

An unavoidable ritual in many organizations, the annual performance review is a way of rewarding the efforts made during the year. It is sometimes a place where employees express both their frustration and their ambitions. 

It is up to the HR department to develop the skills assessment process that will be used by the manager during his annual appraisal interview. This involves: 

  • Draw up a skills matrix based on strategic objectives and job descriptions
  • Drawing up a skills rating grid
  • Challenge the assessment process in place

The annual performance review deserves to be properly prepared and led by the manager:

  • Plan the length of the interview and the questions to ask
  • Taking stock of the year as a whole
  • Assessing objectives and skills
  • Looking ahead to the year ahead
  • Listening to employees' training plans (feedback) or career aspirations
  • Finally, support the employee: financing training, changing tasks, requesting internal mobility, etc.


➡️ Step 4: Encourage training and professional development

Raising awareness and encouraging your employees to move internally is a good thing. Taking a proactive approach over the long term is even better. A concerned and motivated employee is one who is aware of the possibilities for internal development. 

As a result, it is essential to communicate regularly about the training available and to offer each employee opportunities for professional development. Your employees will acquire additional skills that will enhance their professional activity.

This will boost their career within your organization and, why not, encourage them to apply for internal mobility.

66% of HR managers believe that the career paths offered to their employees are unsatisfactory.

Extract from the Gartner study "The 5 priorities for HR managers in 2024".

In other words, the personalisation of career paths is still lacking. Internal mobility should be flexible, so that each individual's career path can be adapted to suit:

  • Her wishes
  • Its skills
  • Current opportunities

The practice of "Living my life" in a company is an interesting way of understanding the skills expected, the constraints and the social interactions of another job or a particular assignment.


➡️ Step 5: Carry out internal recruitment in the right way

Internal recruitment should be carried out intelligently, respecting all the stages of traditional recruitment. Candidates will feel valued and their efforts will be appreciated.

On the HR side, this means:  

  • Defining requirements for a vacant post
  • Communicate the job advert to all employees
  • Collecting applications
  • Select the most interesting candidates
  • Welcoming each applicant to listen to their motivations
  • Communicate the decision to both successful and unsuccessful candidates, encouraging them to persevere and overcome any disappointment they may experience 

On the candidate's side, this involves: 

  • To officially apply by sending a covering letter and an updated Curriculum Vitae (resume)
  • Seriously prepare for the selection stages, starting with interviews with HR and the head of the department concerned
  • Demonstrate motivation and ambition

The internal mobility process: in brief

Setting up an internal mobility process is an opportunity to demonstrate flexibility and adaptability. When well structured, internal mobility responds to the challenges of the labor market.

 It allows organizations to:   

  • Meeting employees' career aspirations
  • Respond quickly to their skills needs
  • Retaining and engaging the most talented employees over the long term

But setting up an internal mobility plan is not enough. You also need an effective internal communication tool to disseminate, communicate, explain, convince and encourage your employees. 


As part of our internal communications tool, Steeple's Jobs application stands out from other job boards and ATSs thanks to its ease of use and efficiency: 

  • Job advertisements can be seen on the platform's home screen
  • Reduced recruitment times
  • All employees are involved in recruitment 



In just a few clicks, employees can access all the functions of the Jobs application

  • They browse internal job offers
  • They are candidates
  • They coopt a third party
  • They monitor the progress of their application

The Steeple Jobs App is the best HR tool for internal mobility and cooptation.

What is cooptation?

Within a company, cooptation is when an employee recommends one of his or her contacts for open recruitment.

It has a number of advantages: 

Employees who recommend someone they know make a commitment to the company. We can therefore be sure that they will propose a reliable and competent profile for the post on offer.
It reduces recruitment time. The advertisement does not need to be posted on various platforms, and Human Resources do not have to spend hours searching through CV libraries. 
Finally, by reducing working hours, the company makes financial savings at the same time.

What is the employee experience?

The employee experience represents the employee's life cycle within the company. It begins at the recruitment stage and ends when the employee leaves the company (offboarding).

The employee experience must be mastered from start to finish to guarantee a stimulating working day for the talent.


Visit our dedicated page What is the employee experience?

How can we improve the employee experience?

The employee experience can be improved in a number of ways. Firstly, it is essential to put in place effective internal communications that are accessible to employees. Then there are other elements that can complement it: the introduction of employee benefits, the creation of an internal mobility policy, a work/life balance, etc.

How can you use digital tools to engage your employees?

Digital transformation plays an important role in employee engagement. But beware of deploying too many tools. The ideal solution is to have a single tool that creates a link with employees. Internal communication, internal mobility, cooptation... Using a single tool like Steeple and its Jobs app is a real time-saver.

What are the advantages of an internal recruitment application?

There are many advantages to using an internal recruitment application: 

  • facilitating internal mobility requests
  • easily share available vacancies
  • communicate available vacancies to all employees

Using an internal recruitment application is a real asset for the Human Resources department. In addition to these advantages, recruitment times will be considerably reduced. It will therefore have an impact on the overall efficiency of the company, as positions can be promoted more quickly and to qualified profiles. 

 Discover the Jobs internal mobility application

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