This is at odds with the 70% of companies who report confidence in filling their critical roles internally. More needs to be done to help employees recognize the compelling career paths that exist within their own organizations.

Part of the disconnect stems from the fact that career path information is not readily available and career conversations aren’t happening regularly.

The problem also in part appears to be structural. Companies are at different places with respect to defining their job and career architecture.


The vast majority are creating new job levels and/or adding stepping stone roles – and there are regional variations. To learn more, go to our Talent Trends report.

Ultimately, this issue comes down to one of philosophy and architecture and being intentional about the employee experience. In this era of the individual, employees expect to have more of a voice about where, when and how they work – and this isn’t just about Millennials.

Individuals want to be fully informed about their choices for career development and advancement and want frequent conversations with their manager to help brainstorm possible career moves and strategize how to build their skill set.

This needs to be design driven, as it isn’t happening organically. In this talent demand economy, the onus is on the organization – and direct managers – to architect and inspire career experiences that have movement built in by-design.

Talent strategists at Mercer can help your organization get it right.

Global Talent Trend Priority 3: Architect Compelling Careers.

Create a Career Framework and train managers on career coaching to stimulate 'talent flow'.

  1. Design high impact careers using real career paths – getting the Transparency, Control and Velocity right to meet the organization’s needs for a ready-now pipeline and employees' needs to feel that they are advancing at the right pace.
  2. Institutionalize a career culture using technology to ensure career information is easily accessible but invest time in ensuring managers see career development as central to their roles. Facilitate movement and career progression by recognizing non-lateral career moves, celebrating learning rather than just promotions, and rewarding high potentials with more meaningful career experiences. Learn more about Mercer’s Career View technology solution.
  3. Make careers engaging and fun. Boring career framework documents and same-old conversations lead to boring careers. Equip managers with talking points on how to lead career conversations effectively with the objective of showing employees that your organization is one in which they can grow and thrive.

Make sure your careers engage and inspire your people to keep their eyes on the prizes inside your organization – before it’s too late.

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