82% of employees say it’s important for their organization to see them as a person, not just as an employee, according to Gartner. 47% of HR leaders are prioritizing employee experience in 2023. Businesses have strategies – and tools – for personalizing the customer experience at scale; now, they need to look at how they deliver that same experience for the talent they are trying to engage and retain in a tricky economic environment.
The crucial role of data and technology
The key to personalization is data. The more you understand about your employees’ skills, interests, working preferences and aspirations, the easier it will be to show them the most relevant ways they can reach their career aspirations inside your company.
Indeed, taking a skills-based approach – ensuring that you have up-to-date, accurate, enriched data about the skills of the people inside your organization – is the ideal way to match up people and opportunities. As long as your opportunities (gigs, roles, learning) are also categorized based on skills, you can apply AI to all this data and get insights and recommendations that a human might miss. What does a set of skills imply about other skills the individual might have? Can we glean their proficiency, and how they do their best work? How do their profiles stack up to people who are already successful in similar roles? What skills are they lacking, and how could they be developed?
With explainable AI, you can highlight suitable roles, gigs, learning programs, mentors, and other internal opportunities dynamically, freeing up resources to do the strategic work HR teams and managers need to focus on. This approach also removes bias from the process, ensuring that ‘progression’ isn’t something that only applies for a select few.
Give people control
Personalization is also about control. It’s not desirable – or often feasible – to survey everyone in your company and then get managers to dish out recommendations to people. AI can handle the automation of ‘role matching’, but the ideal scenario is that employees have a say in what information is shared, and then take the lead when it comes to discovering opportunities that work best for them.
“Companies are no longer happy with end-to-end talent management systems designed for HR – we now need platforms that help employees (and contingents) manage their own talent experience at work.” Josh Bersin
What you need is a platform for employees to explore opportunities, apply for them, stay notified, and keep their profile up to date – with the types of opportunities they are interested in, ideal locations, and working preferences.
Implement a Talent Marketplace
A Talent Marketplace brings together your dynamic skills data, available opportunities, the power of AI, and an engaging user interface to deliver personalized recommendations for employees.
An AI-powered Talent Marketplace can support the employee experience in several areas:
Career path discovery
Let employees see routes to different types of career in the organization: this will be specific to each individual, and will evolve and change as they add new skills to their profiles. Keep them coming back to check what skills they would need for the next stage of their ‘squiggly career’, and help them explore open opportunities to help them get there: learning programs, mentorships, on-the-job training and then, ultimately, new roles inside the organization.
Learning & development
The Talent Marketplace should be able to surface training programs and learning content that is personalized to employees’ development needs and goals, and helps them – in quite a clear way – prepare for the next stage of their career at your company.
Personalizing your L&D strategy means quick productivity gains and a greater likelihood of course completion – giving the learner full control, and overall democratizing the way knowledge and skills are shared in your company.
Beyond formal learning programs, your Talent Marketplace can help people find mentors who can provide insights and knowledge to power the next step. With the ideal mentor, people can get more context around the path to success – understanding both the technical skills and ‘soft’ skills required.
Career development through mobility
In our Talent Index research, 38% of people told us they would be looking for opportunities for career development in a new job. 78% of companies have lost talent due to a lack of career development opportunities, and only 20% of companies offer career development to every employee.
With a Talent Marketplace, you can show people personalized recommendations for internal gigs and short-term projects – offering hands-on experience of different roles, and helping them expand their organizational knowledge.
You can also recommend long-term internal moves – promoting your vacancies to internal talent – to fill your open roles quickly and easily. This is likely to boost retention, as people will see they don’t need to leave your organization in order to progress.
Personalizing the employee experience, with the right data, technology and mindset, drives higher employee engagement: employees who take advantage of customized recommendations and suggestions will perform at a higher level and stay at your company for longer. This in turn boosts your employer brand, helping you continue to find the right candidates for roles they can thrive in – where their interests are aligned with their job, and talented people don’t need to look elsewhere for their next exciting challenge.