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

As the economy rebounds, organisations are racing against the clock to consider their revised talent strategy . For many, the long-anticipated ‘seismic shifts’ have already arrived – employee expectations have changed and the thought of being in the office 9-5, five days a week feels like a distant memory. Added to that, the pandemic has provided the necessary space for self-reflection with many employees asking themselves “how do I really feel about what I’m doing?”.

It is no wonder then that business and HR leaders are left scratching their heads. Almost all organisations are rethinking the workforce in one way or another to respond to the changing nature of tasks and work to be done. With greater flexibility in the hands of employees and a fundamental need to rethink the nature of work, there comes a seemingly paralysing question on both sides of the hiring equation - how to best capitalise on this opportunity?

A potential solution: Talent Marketplace platforms

Put simply, a Talent Marketplace harnesses the power of AI and smart algorithms to connect people, skills, and tasks across functional and geographic boundaries.

Fundamental to the success of any Talent Marketplace platform is the atomisation of “traditional” jobs – breaking up roles into their component skills to offer an alternative way to look at who does what, when and where.

If implemented effectively, a Talent Marketplace has the power to fundamentally change the way talent is sourced, attracted, retained, and developed from the ground up.

Here’s my view on why a Talent Marketplace can be so transformative :-

1)  Skills become the currency of the organisation

For a Talent Marketplace to truly work and embed into any given organisation, skills must become the new currency of work. Traditionally, we have seen jobs as the base unit of any organisation - codified by qualifications, degrees or certificates. But now, more than ever, we are challenged to shift our thinking to take account of the skills and experiences held by an individual.

When applied correctly, skills can act as both the vehicle through which employees know themselves as well as the root to support a more effective matching of workforce supply (people) to demand (roles).

2)  It helps breaks down traditional talent boundaries and hierarchies

Traditionally, HR has adopted a functional view of learning and development in which career pathways are largely stove piped by job families. A Talent Marketplace has the power to turn this on its head by empowering employees to take ownership of their own skill development and career pathways.

By making all roles visible across the organisation, employees can compare and contrast their skills profiles and find suitable next steps. Using clever AI and algorithms, a Talent Marketplace can offer suggestions for potential career moves based on skill match or adjacency which may be outside of an individual’s functional area or specialism.

This opens up exciting opportunities for a more inclusive and project-led resourcing model – placing the right individuals with the right skills in the right work.

3)  It puts data front and centre

Unlocking the value of workforce data beyond the four-walls of HR is crucial to enabling a Talent Marketplace to flourish. To derive maximum benefit, employees need to feel a sense of ownership in their skills and careers; regularly reviewing and updating their profiles as well as seeking out feedback to support their understanding of ‘where or what next’. 

Additionally, most Marketplace platforms provide a lens into emerging skills and roles by tapping into real-time labour market data – giving organisations the confidence to know both the skills they have now as well as what they may need in the future. Instead of just being a data repository for reference or benchmarking, a Marketplace platform can provide a dynamic comparison between the skills available externally and internally. Such insight has the power to unlock internal efficiencies, boost organisational agility and tap into previously unknown capabilities.

4)  It shapes an exciting employee experience

Seemingly a paradox given the emphasis that Marketplace Platforms give over to data, but foundational to the success of this approach is its ability to engage and facilitate an improved employee experience.

The pandemic has certainly accelerated a shift to more digital business models – as customers we now expect a personalised, effortless, and connected experience and it’s becoming no different for us as employees. 

When implemented effectively, a Talent Marketplace can empower and elevate the workforce, providing the necessary transparency and engagement that employees are increasingly craving. Indeed, learning how to engage staff while also enhancing their skills can unite business leaders, HR, and employees for similar goals. 

What the Talent Marketplace calls for

To make the most of a Talent Marketplace, leaders and employees alike need be open to new ways of working. For employees, having the ability to steer their career is a radical shift from being led by managers and climbing an established career ladder. Psychological safety and empathetic leadership are critical for employees to feel confident in exploring opportunities outside their functional home in the dynamic internal marketplace.

Given the possible benefits, we are already seeing several organisations take the lead in adopting talent marketplaces. Considering the changes around us, I expect to see more conversations on the use of a marketplace platforms not just as another HR technology but as a tool that fundamentally alters the talent strategy for better.

In the next blog, we’ll look at key areas to get right when implementing a Talent Marketplace.   

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@KPMG.co.uk or Alex.Luck@kpmg.co.uk