Career Mobility: A Growing Trend

10.10.2018 / Zachery Tweddell

Director, Marketing & Innovation

Employees are looking for career mobility, growth opportunities, and a good fit.

What do we mean by “Career Mobility”?


We generally think of career mobility in two ways; am I able to relocate geographically, or am I able to move laterally within an organization to find a good fit? As the gig economy continues to boom, flexible work options have never been easier to find. That, coupled with a Manpower Group study reporting that 83 percent of retail employees ranked flexibility as the NUMBER ONE reason why they would take or stay in a job, means the global desire to hold down a steady 9-5 is dwindling.

As employers look at whether or not they should offer more mobility to employees, it’s important to understand what is driving the need. According to a recent Gallup study, 87 percent of Millennials—a group projected to represent 75 percent of the workforce by 2025—say professional development or career growth opportunities are very important in a job. CNN Money also reported that experiencing four job changes before the age of 32 is normal.

What does this tell us?


  1. Millennials are looking for opportunities where they can grow while figuring out exactly what it is they want to do long-term.

  3. They’re not afraid to quit in order to make it happen.


Now that we understand the who, what, and why, let’s find out if employers are willing to play along.


Let’s start with relocating geographically. SurveyBot recently published findings from an Atlas Van Lines survey and reported that exactly half of all companies involved saw an increase in the volume of corporate relocation packages. The same survey also found that 41 percent expected relocation budgets to rise, while 44 percent saw international relocation volume as probable to increase.

When we look at internal hiring, research shows that, while companies are making a concerted effort to hire from within and offer employees more flexibility, the process to make it feasible is lagging behind. A recent study published on PageUp suggested that 40% of companies attribute their highest-quality hires to internal candidates. This, in turn, has seen a significant uptick in companies allocating resources to internal hiring. In fact, “Mercer has found that 79% of organizations are focusing their efforts toward building and promoting their own talent from within.” With all of that said, research conducted by PageUp reported the struggles that we mentioned earlier with only 41% of companies claiming to have a well-established process for such hiring efforts.

What is the impact if you do not offer mobility?


If we take a dive into the statistics behind why employees leave a company, there is little doubt that career mobility offers a potential solution for the most common of them. According to Gallup research, four of the top six reasons that employees quit are; career advancement or promotional opportunities, lack of fit to their job, management or the general work environment, and flexibility/scheduling.

Now, if we couple this research with the cost of replacing employees that do quit, we can better understand the need for offering career mobility. CBS News reports that the cost of replacing an employee making $50,000 or less (40% of the U.S. workforce) is around 20% of their salary, while the cost of promoting from within and hiring for the vacated, lower-level role is less than half of that.

Understanding your candidate/employee audience is key in developing and positioning key value proposition points in a way that resonates. If you want more information or would like to brainstorm an approach, please reach out.