A Talent Marketplace is a platform that matches internal candidates with jobs. Employees at an organization may use a Talent Marketplace to find and apply for gigs, projects, mentors, and full-time roles that match their skills – the system handles the whole process. Employees can share their capabilities and interests, and the system will recommend suitable opportunities.
75% of CHROs are interested in Talent Marketplaces as a way to deliver on a skills-based approach.
The benefits are manifold: the business gets engaged and empowered employees who are more likely to stay (longer) at the company; those filling roles enjoy a quick and easy way to match vacancies with existing skillsets; teams spend less money and time on hiring and then training up external candidates; and employees get a better, more democratic working culture.
But to realize these benefits, the Talent Marketplace must be implemented correctly. Making your Talent Marketplace a success
When you introduce a Talent Marketplace, there are a few key tips to make it successful:
1. Think skills (and potential) first
A successful Talent Marketplace will bring together a deep understanding of the talent in the business, with the needs of the business, in real time. This understanding should be based on skills: on what people can do, want to do, and may be able to do in the future.
Before setting up a Talent Marketplace you will need to ensure you have the right skills taxonomies in place, and gather skills data from employees, but this is a technical task that can to some extent be automated. The hard part is adopting a new perspective. The talent in your business is composed of individuals with a living, evolving set of skills; with dynamic levels of proficiency. They are not static collections of requirements that fit an existing open role. This is where an AI-powered Talent Marketplace will help you not only keep on top of raw skills data, but contextualize those skills in terms of proficiency and seniority, for your industry.
Everyone in your business should understand why skills matter: why there is a focus on identifying and improving skills, and how the new Talent Marketplace will bring numerous development benefits. Making ‘skills’ the currency of your organization will provide the right basis for a successful Talent Marketplace.
2. Make it part of a holistic strategy
True talent mobility is about more than just a platform: it needs to be part of a wider strategy that looks at talent holistically. Implemented correctly, it could help businesses with decision making across every stage of the talent lifecycle.
A Talent Marketplace lets talent teams see what skills they currently have at their fingertips. In other words, you can see and assess your total talent universe (candidates and alumni as well as employees) in a fair, objective way. You can identify the skills that you need and the adjacent skills your candidates can learn, and use it as a central tool for workforce development.
The Talent Marketplace is a key part of what we call Talent Lifecycle Management: the idea that you can and ought to manage, operationalize and measure every stage of the talent lifecycle from one place.
3. Embrace flexibility
With the implementation of a Talent Marketplace, you will need to be ready to embrace more agile ways of working when it comes to internal recruitment, new methods and tools for learning and development, and handing over some ‘responsibility’ for hiring decisions to smart technology.
You will also need to be prepared to remove departmental silos, and – as we outlined – shift your focus from experience/qualifications to skills and potential.
4. Rethink incentives
Internal mobility faces a stumbling block because often managers are incentivized based on the performance of their team, rather than their contribution to the overall business. While keeping the ‘best’ talent on your team may be good for your metrics in the shorter term, it won’t aid engagement and retention, because it is often to the detriment of an individual’s career aspirations or learning goals. As Helen Tupper points out in HBR, “Managers need to be rewarded not for retaining people on their teams but retaining people (and their potential) across the entire organization.”
5. Explore new methods and tools for learning and development
A Talent Marketplace allows you to get the best from the people working in your company. By letting them move desks instead of companies, you keep the knowledge they have gained inside the company: but you also expand it. Through internal gigs, short-term projects or full-time moves, employees will learn new skills, think differently about challenges, build new relationships and ultimately make every team more efficient.
But a Talent Marketplace alone will not ensure that learning is harnessed, measured and applied correctly across the organization. As people move more freely throughout the organization, you need to ensure that HR is poised to approach L&D in new ways.
6. Make the candidate experience amazing
While some companies have some form of internal mobility program, or offer opportunities for lateral moves, they don’t always make the experience enjoyable and seamless for internal candidates.
Our latest report with Aptitude Research found that 37% of companies have the same application process for internal and external candidates, and just one in two companies personalize feedback and learning opportunities for internal candidates.
Studies show that overall job satisfaction of rejected candidates trends downward, but they are also more than twice as likely to leave the company compared to their teammates.
7. Deploy ethical AI
A good Talent Marketplace uses AI to bring together a clear understanding of the skills in the business, with the needs of the business, in near real time. Using machine learning to do this task not only saves a ton of time, it is more effective: AI can uncover talent (skills in the business) that managers and HR teams were not even aware of. This is an excellent way to bring objectivity – and, likely, greater diversity – to the hiring process.
Most businesses cannot say they have all the data around their employees’ skills, knowledge and potential. It’s certainly rare that these insights are inferred from a range of data sets, and kept up to date dynamically. A Talent Marketplace with AI at the center will gather, infer and analyze skills-based data in near real time, so the information is always up to date, and not affected by manager bias.
We know that there are concerns around the use of AI in recruitment – and indeed the wider world. As people worry about fairness and transparency, it’s crucial that the AI you apply in your Talent Marketplace is open and auditable.
Choosing an expert Talent Marketplace partner
Choose a solution that comes from years of experience working with HR teams, recruiters and talent operations teams, and can therefore integrate with the other tools you use, and is customizable based on your unique circumstances.