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When L’Oréal surveyed their workforce, they discovered that a lack of transparency into available opportunities was contributing significantly to employees leaving their organization. As such, they kickstarted a global initiative to deliver greater visibility into potential career pathways and keep talent rising through the ranks.

Their vision was the catalyst to fill 75 percent of externally posted vacancies with L’Oréal employees. The benefits of increasing internal mobility in this way were numerous and far-reaching, improving engagement and retention and lowering hiring costs and time. They also empowered HR with the tools to discover hidden gems within their employee base and to identify individuals who were a high flight risk.

A Lack of Visibility Into Internal Career Opportunities

When L’Oréal surveyed their workforce and hosted exit interviews, they drew their attention to several concerning issues:

  • 50 percent of employees wanted more visibility into career opportunities within the organization.
  • 40 percent of positions posted externally were filled by internal candidates.
  • 56 percent of former employees who regretted leaving L’Oréal identified a lack of visibility into career choices as a key factor behind their departure.
  • 18 percent of employees who were extended a counteroffer after expressing a desire to resign were retained with a change in roles.
  • 51 percent of new hires aspired to change jobs internally within three years at the company.
  • Additionally, employees sought more clarity into the criteria for promotion.

To deliver more transparency into potential professional growth for their workforce, L’Oreal teamed up with Avature, with whom they had built a referral portal, to design an internal mobility platform. This partnership would help reduce turnover among employees disgruntled by the lack of perceived opportunities for personal development at L’Oréal.

A Global Vision of Talent Mobility

For an organization as diverse and wide-spanning as L’Oréal, it was crucial that various global cultural specificities were considered when constructing a program to improve visibility into internal career opportunities. With this in mind, they sought input from 38 HR leaders worldwide across businesses varying in complexity, allowing L’Oréal to build a globally consistent yet locally relevant program.

This democratic vision helped the organization navigate a myriad of cultural requirements. For example, concerns included when to inform the direct manager of an individual who applied for a position change. In some parts of the world, where there is a deep-rooted respect for hierarchies, this can be a sensitive issue. In such cases, the program was designed to not alert the direct manager until an exploratory conversation between the employee and HR was staged. On the opposite side of the spectrum, in other regions managers are immediately alerted to applications in a way that matches the more relaxed relationship they share with their workforce.

Similarly, this level of flexibility y was invaluable in dealing with the question of how long employees should be in a role before being able to apply for a new position. Given that employees change jobs more frequently in certain markets, geography was a determining factor along with role and career stage.

How Employee Mobility Took Shape at L’Oréal

L’Oréal’s vision of internal mobility took shape in POP (Positions Open Portal), an Avature-built platform that launched in August 2018 across 70 countries. This one-stop-shop prides itself on significantly reducing the involvement of HR and giving control back to employees by allowing them to perform a variety of actions, such as applying for openings, sharing postings with colleagues internally and referring friends or family.

This newfound freedom afforded employees greater transparency. Previously, employees had little idea of the options available, but they now had complete visibility into various open positions. To further support the aspirations of their workforce, POP allows users to implement customized notifications for vacancies that align with their professional goals.

L’Oréal also recognized how they could use the program to identify employees at risk of leaving the company. They accomplished this by flagging individuals who applied for a given number of jobs within a year. HR facilitated these preemptive measures founded in the theory that if an employee is applying for positions internally, they are likely to be exploring external opportunities as well.

Results: How POP Propelled Internal Mobility at L’Oréal

Even in its relatively short life, POP has already reinforced the importance of promoting internal career growth:

  • 81 percent of job openings are first posted internally.
  • 75 percent of positions posted on career sites are filled by L’Oréal employees.
  • 40 percent increase in roles filled by internal candidates against external applicants.
  • 42 percent of vacancies where a successor had been identified were eventually filled by an internal candidate.
  • 37 percent of internal applicants were identified as active job seekers.

The above results have driven a variety of cross-company benefits. By filling more openings with internal candidates, L’Oréal has achieved noticeable savings in recruitment costs and time coupled with hires already being a proven cultural fit, reducing investment in onboarding and the likelihood of future resignation.

“POP has enabled HR to unearth standout talent in their scope. This is complemented by an organization-wide notification system that drives greater awareness of open positions throughout L'Oreal. HR teams are now empowered to have more meaningful career conversations and recommend not only local job opportunities but also future international ones."

Niilesh Bhoite

Chief Digital Officer at L'Oréal

The Future of Talent Management at L’Oréal

With the undoubted success of POP and the Avature-built POP 2 scheduled for release, the future is looking bright for L’Oréal. This will further empower employees with a variety of exciting initiatives:

  • Going global: The new platform will enable employees to apply for openings outside of their home countries.
  • More career mapping: L’Oréal will give their workforce more agency over their trajectories by allowing them to forge a pathway for their career aspirations.
  • Nurturing growth: By increasing visibility and allowing applications to transversal projects within L’Oréal, the portal will allow employees to work on a variety of initiatives and continuously hone skills while growing in their current roles.
  • Staying in touch: One of the most exciting findings was that 83 percent of previous employees surveyed were interested in the possibility of being rehired at a later date. POP 2 will leverage this meaningful insight by opening the portal to former employees.


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