Talent Mobility in Corporate L&D During the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 has transformed numerous sectors globally, from social adjustments to corporate regulations worldwide. The pandemic has also taken a toll on corporate Learning and Development by forcing sudden changes within the workforce and implementing new learning strategies to support corporate L&D goals. During this pandemic, talent mobility plays an important role, setting its own standard through a learning perspective, to maintain a high quality workforce and prevent retention.

The world of L&D has been facing endless impacts during the COVID-19 pandemic since the World Health Organization declared it as a pandemic, in early March 2020. L&D professionals have set new standards to fulfill successful learning and development for corporate businesses and the entire workforce during this pandemic.

This is where talent mobility comes in handy and becomes an important highlight during this time.

Talent Mobility During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Bringing new talents to the workforce during this pandemic might be avoided by many companies, meanwhile many take advantage of this situation to refresh potentials and talents, and provide talent mobility opportunities.

Talent mobility in corporate L&D in general, is defined as the practice of employees moving within a workforce, cultivating internal pipelines, to fulfill new roles and responsibilities at the same time gain skills and develop in their careers.

During this COVID-19 pandemic, talent mobility is happening in many sectors and many forms. From employee layoffs and substituting with internal employees, filling in the empty slots, to switching employee work roles to support the current condition.

With this current situation, L&D professionals are suggested to maximize talent mobility programs within the workforce, to ensure the quality of employees still align with the corporate business goals and fulfill each role effectively.

There are a few options L&D professionals can implement to create an effective talent mobility program to support this. This includes facilitating mentorship programs for employees to expand their knowledge and skills during the pandemic, accessible for all segments of the workforce.

This can also be done by pointing out project responsibilities to employees, to present their capabilities is also another way to maximize the talent mobility program. This enables employees to showcase their talents and see if they are ready to step up in their career. At the same time this approach can have employees more invested and increase engagement within the workforce.

It is also important for L&D professionals to support the culture of mobility within the workforce and make it familiar within employees. This can increase engagement within employees and provide career opportunities without having to leave the company.

Meanwhile as for other options, talent mobility culture can be implemented by providing encouragement through discussions and delivering clear information regarding talent mobility possibilities. This can also increase employees’ trust towards the company’s values, at the same time increase their potential to provide the best for the company.

The Football Team Analogy

To have a better understanding, talent mobility in corporate L&D is like your favorite football team.

A successful mobility program requires teamwork from each and every member. Corporate business as the football club, L&D professional as the manager or coach, and employees as the team players.

An effective mobility program for development will require support from the corporate business to provide an effective program or training session for the employees to set their goals. Like how a football club allows a manager or coach to set their training program for their team players, to train and seek potential from each player to maximize the talent individually and as a team, for the success of the football club’s main goal.

Likewise, L&D professionals should be providing quality programs for employees to seek the potential they have, to achieve great results personally for the employee, and also  for the workforce. Career development should also be offered to prevent retention and also maximize current potentials within the talent workforce. With this kind of program, employees can develop their talent, alongside their career.

By providing a learning talent program, employees are given the chance to grow and become better in various fields. When the time comes for L&D professionals to fill in empty roles, these employees can be a priority option, rather than having to seek new talent from external sources.

Similar to when a player gets off the field due to injuries or permanently leaves the team. The manager or coach will prioritize internal team members, in this  case, substitute players to refill the empty slot. Of course, this can happen after the manager or coach recognizes a players potential and talent, during training programs.

A well prepared training can spark the best out of each player.

A well prepared program can ignite the best out of each employee.

With an effective talent mobility program, L&D professionals are able to identify which employees have higher standards to meet future expectations. For the long run, professionals can maintain the best employees, and when the time comes for one to leave, professionals can also substitute the role to a high quality internal employee that meets the standards.

But then again, it’s perfectly normal for a football player to want to move to different football clubs, as it is for employees to want to move to different companies. But with an effective mobility program, professionals can make the best out of the process, despite their employees staying or ending up leaving the workforce.

There will always be adjustments and there will always be unpredicted conditions. But with a well-prepared talent program, this shouldn’t be an obstacle.

Talent Mobility Shaping The Future of Corporate L&D: Post Pandemic

The main question. Why is learning and talent mobility important for the workforce? And how is it shaping the future of L&D, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic ends?

Well, talent mobility has its goal to have the right employee at the right time.

It is one of the most effective ways to hire and retain high quality employees, at the same time give employees an opportunity to grow and develop their skills.

Robin Erickson’s Calculating the True Cost of Voluntary Turnover: The Surprising ROI of Retention shows that all workers in an organization, especially millennials expect the opportunity to rise. Without that they prefer to find and move to a different path.

An employee can start off at a certain point and position in the company, and make their way up through talent mobility. This prevents retention, maintains high quality employees and reduces financial cost, compared to having to hire a new employee externally.

And yes, talent mobility will shape the future of a workforce through its employees.

As 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends state, 84% percent of organizations increased investment in reskilling programs. Also 77% are prioritizing learning and increasing headcount for learning sectors which indicates a healthy growth in talent mobility.

By giving employees the chance to learn, develop and grow is highly valued by employees and will reduce the chance of retention with a higher count of tenure. This will be a great asset to a company, to gain the best of the best and reach their desired goal. Employee’s will gain trust towards their company and have a higher possibility of providing the best in all aspects.

Especially after this pandemic, talent mobility programs will be valuable to companies to optimize the workforce to survive, revive and grow stronger.



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