After 11 years in Unisys India, Vinay Lakshminarasimaiah is experiencing the excitement of “starting all over again”. Vinay is one of 15 associates going through a wringer of upskilling and reskilling programmes before being inducted into a talent pool drawn from four business units. This exercise is Unisys India’s version of talent mobility, which it calls UGrow.
The uncertainties thrown up by the pandemic have led organisations to take talent mobility more seriously, and invest in such talent pools.
Ashutosh Garg, CEO and co-founder, eightfold.ai, feels talent mobility is not only about retention, culture and improving diversity and inclusion, but also about developing a learning culture in the organisation.
Panchali Dabholkar joined Amdocs one-and-a-half years ago as a learning and development specialist, having functioned in that space for nearly two decades with an impressive track record.
Recently, she embraced “learning” in a whole new sense. She switched to the ‘People Partner’ function at Amdocs, the move requiring her to pick up new skills.
How could Panchali make that switch, as senior managers generally would not want their departments to be deprived of exceptional talent?
A refreshed internal mobility policy had made this move possible for Panchali. It had lowered the criterion for applying for new positions — just one year in the current role was sufficient to seek a new position.
Organisations cannot make talent mobility work without having a clear policy around it.
“Previously, one had to get permission from the current manager. Now, many companies are setting up policies where one need not get that permission,” says Ashutosh, adding that the employee only has to make sure they follow the rules laid down in the talent-mobility policy.
“Once an associate finds a job, the current line manager has to relieve the person in two months or 45 days. An associate must be allowed to apply if he/she has completed a certain number of years,” says Ashutosh.
Companies are also making it clear that employees will be considered for a role before it is opened to outsiders.
Panchali says internal mobility policy must be employee-centric, and the process can be made anonymous.
Artificial Intelligence has emerged as a tool for enabling internal mobility.
Ashutosh explains, “Instead of an employee searching for a job, a recommendation comes to the person through AI. Through the platform, companies can frame their own criteria like associates can apply for one level up or down and their performance criteria must meet certain requirements. It can also be made anonymous, if required, so that biases can be removed.”