• Ruth Svensson, Partner |
  • Alex Luck, Manager |
3 min read

In an earlier blog on this topic, we talked about the varied benefits of a Talent Marketplace.

However, these benefits can only be realised by creating the right kind of environment and making some bold moves to alter long established talent structures and practices.

Moving to a ‘skills first’ approach

Bouncing back post-pandemic, employers will be racing to hire, but sourcing talent in a disrupted world requires organisations to adopt a responsive, strategically aligned and, crucially, skills-based approach.

With a shift to hybrid working and the opportunity to harness an expanded talent pool, there is a lot of fresh thinking in the sourcing space with many organisations looking at different types of work arrangements that they may not have considered previously.

To respond to a constantly changing market, organisations need a better understanding of their current skills to meet immediate challenges and seize opportunities. Across the sourcing levers (Buy, Borrow, Build, Bind, Bot), Talent Marketplace platforms provide a potential solution helping to find skills gaps and offer objective data to prioritise re-skilling efforts, automation, and retention strategies, amongst others.

Moving away from traditional talent structures

A Talent Marketplace is not about making every job accessible to every employee for random movement. Instead, marketplaces must consider underlying structures of the organisation and look at possible moves for employees based on their skills.

In this new model, organisations are challenged to think beyond traditional career structures where managers “owned” their employees, and instead towards a more dynamic internal marketplace that allows for greater autonomy on behalf of employees whilst also addressing business needs and requirements.

To enable this, organisations must embrace a new ‘networked’ or ‘boundaryless’ business model where knowledge, skills and purposeful employee experiences are democratised, and mobility within the organisation feels effortless.

A shift to more project-based work

By measuring skill adjacency and the propensity for re-skilling, up-skilling and on-the-job learning, a Talent Marketplace can enable organisations to apply as much innovation to worker retention as they do to their business.

With this we’re seeing a greater shift to project-based work as well as facilitating more agile career models. However, to land this effectively requires a rethinking of job families. Criteria should be well defined against each role, articulated through the language of skills, such that while every employee could – in theory – see every job in a given organisation, possible career pathways or project opportunities are only open to them based on role and skills adjacency. 

The role of the leader or manager

Making room for innovation and adaptability within project-based work requires organisations and its leaders to take some risk and allow for missteps. Culturally, organisations need to instil agency into their employees – recognising and rewarding individual initiative.

The perceived ability to influence one’s future career does challenge traditional “command-and-control” leadership styles. In this model, managers are the “facilitators” of employee growth and development rather than “owners” (and sometimes hoarders) of talent.

Adopting a skills-based approach to developing, nurturing, and retaining the widest network of talent will only serve to strengthen competitive advantage.

Our next blog will explore the emergence of Total Workforce Management as a way of rethinking the workforce strategy. Ultimately, the goal is similar to that of a Talent Marketplace – it's about moving away from traditional, siloed sourcing methods and creating one cohesive strategy. We’ll explore how this approach helps break down the barriers between full-time and contingent workers and considers all available resources to identify the best fit for a project. 

To discuss effective talent management for your organisation or to find out more about events we are hosting on this topic, feel free to reach out to us at Ruth Svensson or Alex Luck.