How a talent marketplace can help with career development
Employees are constantly on the lookout for the “next best thing,” and with the consumer dynamic, new or better products, jobs, and experiences are just a click away. Today, organizations face the fiercest competition for talent ever, with the added challenge of a growing skills gap and ever-shifting employee expectations about career development and mobility.
Companies with internal mobility – that promote from within and help their people develop and grow – are best equipped to address these challenges. HR tools and technology that facilitate internal mobility support employees by helping them become what they want to be and do what they want to do. And that means supporting employees in their search for the best opportunities that suit their skills and capabilities to advance their development and careers. As well, employers and managers are also always looking for the best possible talent internally for critical projects or assignments.
Thanks to new technology, new tools called “talent marketplace” solutions are equipping HR teams with up-to-date visibility of the capabilities and ambitions of their entire workforce, as well as demonstrating the organization’s commitment to career growth to potential recruits and employees.
What is a talent marketplace?
A talent marketplace matches people to opportunities and potential roles based on their skills, interests, and preferences. It can also connect employees with experiential, on-the-job learning that will give them the chance to learn new skills or practice the ones they are developing.
An ideal talent marketplace considers the entire individual, including their skills and competencies, but also moves beyond traditional considerations to look at interests, work styles, and learning preferences, for example. The marketplace builds knowledge beyond what people can do to include what they want to do and how they prefer to do it. A talent marketplace provides employees with opportunities to grow and thrive while giving organizations the insights to future-proof their workforce.
How does a talent marketplace work?
Employees who access the marketplace have visibility into a variety of recommended opportunities based on their capabilities, experience, and interests. People are empowered to take control over their career and development through this bottom-up approach. These development opportunities include for example:
- Special short-term assignments or projects that align to their interests and goals
- Fellowship opportunities to develop new skills and gain new insights and perspectives
- Courses or training to support skills development, including reskilling and upskilling
- Role recommendations that provide possible career paths
- Mentorships or mentoring programs that help accelerate development
- Dynamic teams that enable people to better connect, align, and influence project outcomes
- Gig work for temporary or project-based tasks that give people a chance to practice skills they are developing
- Peer connections for informal sharing with subject-matter experts
How a talent marketplace can benefit everyone
Today, people want more out of the work experience than just “getting the job done.” They want to be connected to opportunities that reflect their values, interests, and capabilities in a way that gives them the chance to grow. Whether they are interested in honing their current capabilities or developing new ones, people want an experience that simultaneously matches their preferences and interests – and fits the needs of the organization.
With a talent marketplace, organizations and managers can tap into unknown or hidden talent and understand the capabilities of their people, gaining the ability to prepare their workforce for the accelerating pace of change.
Some of the key business benefits of a talent marketplace include:
- Creating an agile workforce: With the pace of business and technological change accelerating, insights into workforce capabilities and interests from a talent marketplace can help organizations quickly respond to the market and gain a competitive edge.
- Closing the skills gap: Due to hiring freezes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, as much as 58% of the workforce needs new skill sets to do their jobs successfully, according to Gartner. A talent marketplace allows people to see opportunities and, importantly, the skills associated with them. People can then find and build on those skills to qualify for new roles and advancement. Additionally, organizations can track which skills are lacking and in demand and where more investment is required. Seeing these talent market trends, companies can mobilize internal resources and fill their skills gaps from within.
- Leading on the diversity and inclusion imperative: Employees and customers expect a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. By opening doors that people and managers might not otherwise see, a talent marketplace can reduce potential bias regarding an employee’s perceived and real skills. This can help uncover hidden talent, break down barriers, and foster diversity and inclusion by providing employees with equal opportunities.
- Encouraging a growth mindset: A talent marketplace can foster a culture that embraces continuous learning and development. When employees know there are accessible and equitable opportunities for career advancement, they’re more likely to seek internal, rather than external, opportunities. In addition, companies with this kind of culture attract new talent among people looking for workplaces that support a growth mindset and who want to build their careers.
- Being a magnet for new talent: Potential recruits are looking to work for companies that are committed to their long-term growth and development. Showcasing the company’s talent marketplace to potential recruits is a good proof point that the company will support their growth, development, and career advancement over the short and long haul.
For employees, including contingent workers, the benefits of a talent marketplace include:
- Enhanced internal mobility: According to the 2021 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report, employees at companies with better internal mobility stay twice as long before departing for other roles. Employees gain from the psychological boost of knowing that one can grow in their job or career and learn new capabilities along the way.
- New skills development opportunities and experiences: Just as employers gain when closing the skills gap, employees can gain a new set of skills and experiences by taking advantage of dynamic learning and development opportunities through a talent marketplace.
- More fulfillment through engagement: Employees want to be inspired and to pursue their passions and desired career paths. According to LinkedIn’s report, employees who move into new jobs internally are 3.5 times more likely to be engaged with their work than those who stay in their current jobs. And it’s a virtuous cycle: 82% of learning development professionals told LinkedIn that engaged learners are also more likely to participate in internal mobility programs, which creates more wins for everyone.
Adopting a talent marketplace
Change management is always a challenge when adopting new technologies and processes. A talent marketplace is no exception, as it requires a significant cultural shift in a company’s approach to employee engagement, development, and mobility.
One key to the cultural shift is management buy-in. Managers need to embrace the benefits of a talent marketplace overall for the organization, as well as the potential impact to their own team. Consider, for example, the following situations and questions that may arise: How will managers respond when one of their employees requests a fellowship role for six months on another team? What are the possible consequences when an employee works on a project that is a priority for the organization or for their own career development, but not necessarily for that manager?
Organizations must communicate with managers to help them understand that they need to support mobility and career development to keep and attract the best talent. This might mean that managers receive a combination of incentives to develop their people and provide them opportunities for further development. What’s most important, however, is that leaders show by example their support for talent mobility and experiential learning.
A talent marketplace gives employees the control and insight that they need to feel empowered, whether that’s how and where their time is spent or the type of work they are doing. Employees are more ready than ever to pursue their passions. And for organizations, a talent marketplace presents them with valuable insight for maximizing the potential of their people and their business.
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