By Simon Lyle, Managing Director, Randstad RiseSmart, UK.
Last month, we looked at how the pandemic has had a positive effect on destigmatising redundancy.
Here, we dive into whether the same is true with redeployment. There’s no doubt that companies that implement effective redeployment programmes reap the benefits.
Pre-pandemic research from Aberdeen showed that best-in-class companies were over four times more likely to see a year-on-year increase in average revenue per FTE than others that didn’t operate an effective redeployment programme.
However, our own research showed that, while 82 percent of companies encourage employees to apply for open positions, only 24 percent feel they are doing a good job of matching employees to open positions.
One reason for this might be the perception redeployment sometimes has internally. One member of a redeployment team in a large UK financial services organisation reported that, whilst recruiters say they understand the benefits of redeployment, when she has tried to position internal candidates for roles, a common response is “We don’t want to dumb down the business” - implying that an internal candidate coming from another area is inferior to the external talent available.
Similarly, speaking to a former colleague who was at one time in a redeployment pool, she says she had a sense that some hiring managers were interviewing her to “tick a box”, and she worried about how she was perceived at interview when her current role was at risk.
Now, the Covid era has ushered in a change in thinking on both sides of the redeployment equation: employees are thinking more about how they need to upskill themselves to be more agile and become more ‘retainable’; and hiring managers have become more proactive. We’re seeing them seek out what the redeployment pool can offer first - after all, it’s quicker than going externally, and they’re embracing the insights, best practices and social capital someone from another part of the business can bring. Plus, reducing the need to exit someone from the business is good for employer brand protection too.
Doesn’t this all sound positive, both for employers and workers? Well it can be, but in large organisations, the sheer scale of matching the skills and talents of a global workforce with all available internal opportunities can seem overwhelming. This is where a blend of coaching and technology comes into play. Personalised career conversations that help individuals think through their interests, strengths, and transferable skills, coupled with AI-powered semantic searching that can easily parse tens of thousands of employee profiles and deliver rank ordered matches for open internal vacancies can make the whole exercise far more efficient and effective. And this can be achieved with almost no requirement to consume valuable - and already thinly stretched - HR resource.
So it seems the very large and gloomy pandemic cloud may have another little silver lining in our changing attitudes and approach to redeployment. The social, intellectual and cultural capital in employees who may be affected by changes taking place in your organisation is worth retaining - and the technology is available to make implementing the process straightforward and light-touch. Will you grasp this opportunity and unlock the redeployment potential in your organisation?