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Internal recruitment could stem the career itch

After nearly two years of working from home, national lockdowns and job insecurity, employees are now exploring new careers.

Gartner research found 62% of candidates have explored a career change in the last year.

Facilitating internal mobility, according to Jamie Kohn, research director at Gartner HR, therefore could be the key to help preventing a talent exodus

Speaking to HR magazine, Kohn said: “Employees are rethinking the skills they have and their career trajectory as a whole.

“Employees are increasingly looking for more non-traditional career paths and find this more challenging to do within their existing organisations, where they may have worked for a number of years.”

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Speaking to the BBC, Cece Philips, a 24-year-old history graduate from London, described how she quit her job at one of the world's biggest advertising companies to follow her artistic dreams.

She said: "I've gone from working a large office in Soho to being at home painting in my bedroom.

"I think what you realise from the last year is life is short. You might as well be doing something that you love and you are passionate about."

As young employees continue to seek out their dream careers, Kohn said HR teams have an important role to play in ensuring this doesn’t result in a talent exodus on the back of the pandemic.

An ability to identify potential and transferable skills in the workforce will be crucial going forward, he said.

“HR needs to give employees visibility into a wide range of opportunities that fit their skills. We're seeing organisations use internal talent marketplace platforms to show employees their match to a variety of roles, based on the skills they have.

“This also helps employees create a development plan that will help them move across careers.”

Kohn added that HR must also create more honest conversations about career needs.

“Employees often hesitate to tell their managers about their interest in a career change. Some HR functions have career coaches available to talk with employees about their interests and goals.

“These coaches can help to identify and connect employees with project-based opportunities to try out a new role.

“Organisations can also promote conversations with mentors or managers to open up discussion about internal opportunities,” she said.

Kohn said it’s also important HR give people learning opportunities outside their role.

She explained: “Younger workers in particular are still in the process of understanding their interests, working style and career direction.

“HR should ensure graduate development programmes include opportunities to work in different parts of the business and collaborate across functions.

“These experiences will build a broader understanding of the organisation while helping younger workers to figure out what interests them.”