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University of Phoenix and Executive Networks share findings on internal talent mobility as a new business imperative

By Sharla Hooper

Research highlights findings and recommendations to implement internal talent strategies that increase employee retention, satisfaction and individual agency

University of Phoenix and Executive Networks are pleased to release the findings of their shared research study from a survey of 600 human resource leaders and knowledge workers on internal talent mobility and digital talent marketplace technology solutions in a new whitepaper, “Building Internal Talent Mobility: The New Business Imperative.” Internal talent mobility refers to the ability of workforce members to access new positions, skills, and opportunities at their current employer. The study shares that developing a reliable pool of internal talent leads to increased employee retention, engagement, and satisfaction, and offers actionable recommendations for employers.

“To fill roles in 2023, employers need to start democratizing access to new career opportunities and assist employees in their journey to grow and develop in their jobs,” states Jeanne Meister, Executive Vice President, Executive Networks. “Providing access to internal mobility is cost-effective, can increase employee retention, and advance gender equity in the workplace.”

According to the University of Phoenix Career Institute® 2022 Career Optimism Index® study, workers think employers aren’t doing enough to help them upskill or reskill and so they feel replaceable. The new research in the survey by University of Phoenix and Executive Networks had similar findings: while two-thirds of employees in the study agree that they would be more likely to stay at their company long-term if they had more opportunities for career advancement, employees are not aware of the opportunities that companies say are made available.

Raghu Krishnaiah, chief operating officer at University of Phoenix, points to the value of leveraging technology, such as a digital talent marketplace, which was considered as a tool by the study and highlighted in specific examples. “A skills-centric talent marketplace allows employers to unlock the potential of their current workforce. It resolves major gaps of understanding between employers and employees about how to access opportunities.”

The study highlights that internal talent mobility efforts can promote a strong, engaged workforce, if done well. “These efforts and related technology must be supported, and their value realized fully only when backed by major consideration to shift the culture. It requires a change in mindset where individual talent is embraced as a company asset,” shares Leo Goncalves, vice president, Workforce Solutions at University of Phoenix. “A stable, engaged workforce with access to mobility supports a stronger culture.”

The study also revealed key skills being sought by both employers and employees. HR leaders (54%) and employees (55%) alike believe that building effective communication skills is a key area for growth within the internal talent pool. They also agree data-driven decision making is a vital skill (43% and 47%, respectively).

University of Phoenix and Executive Networks recently co-hosted a webinar to discuss their shared research, featuring Krishnaiah, Meister, and Barbara Schifano, senior director of Learning Development at University of Phoenix. The webinar recording is available here.

Goncalves shared insights on internal talent mobility and research findings during a virtual media tour on February 28, 2023, speaking with media outlets across the U.S.

The complete study results are available here.


About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit


About Executive Networks
Global 1000 human resources leaders trust Executive Networks to facilitate safe, meaningful, and innovative peer conversations that deliver accelerated, relevant insights and solutions. Leaders who are looking for authentic peer connections and the assurance of confidentiality while adding value for their organization through sharing industry-agnostic insights appreciate the support and research Executive Networks can provide. Learn more at