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Shopping for talent

Build an internal Talent Marketplace that matches skills to projects

Matching people to jobs has long been the dominant way of operating. However, when the labor market is unable to provide skills ready-made for employers, a different approach is needed. Especially with the fast-changing skills required in organizations, particularly around technology and automation, as well as a competitive labor market filled with skills shortages, it is becoming increasingly necessary to rethink the situation to realize strategic objectives.

Tap into the organization’s current labor pool

With a wealth of available skills, it’s vital to focus on the organization’s workforce and give them opportunities to move and grow within the organization. In a 2022 U.S.-based KPMG survey,1 it was found that 55 percent of American workers somewhat or strongly agreed that they are provided adequate, diverse career path opportunities into lateral and upward roles. Meanwhile, 58 percent somewhat or strongly agreed that they have open access to learning paths for alternative career paths within their organization.  These results show a positive response from a little over half of respondents, so there is still a lot of room for HR to help build organizations in which people see a promising future.

Incorporate a Talent Marketplace

One way HR Pathfinders are tackling these issues is by focusing on matching “skills to tasks” via Talent Marketplaces. 

"Talent Marketplaces are comprehensive datasets of an organization’s workforce and their unique capabilities, linked to an understanding of where those skills are needed across the organization and when."

In our survey of HR leaders, 46 percent reported that building a talent marketplace that allows for the matching of skills to tasks, as well as people to jobs, will be important to them in the next few years.2 Pathfinders are already on the way, recognizing the competitive advantage of getting this right for both the business growth and retaining talent.

While building a Talent Marketplace will not happen overnight, there are a few “get it rights” to realize the potential benefits such an approach can bring. By moving to a skills-first approach in how people are resourced, underpinned by data and analytics, and a culture nurtured toward sharing talent through a series of pilots (and learning from them), organizations can find or build on the skills they need to fill open positions.

How to get started

A frequent first step is to map the skills currently available in the organization This is the foundation of skills ontology—a view of all the skills in the organization, where they sit, and with whom. Based on this, decide whether it gives the organization what is needed for the future. If not, recruiting or building the skills internally may need to be part of the people plan. 

Some questions to ponder: 


Is there a clear view of who is where in the organization, and what they do?


Have mapped processes been mapped to achieve a Talent Marketplace? 


Is the HR function aligned to IT to help work out what technology is most suitable?


Has the HR function considered the cultural challenges associated with this new way of working?


Consider how the Talent Marketplace will flow throughout the organization. Start with a pilot area, experiment, and learn and take in feedback. 


Are there incentives for employees to keep their skills up to date? 


Are there opportunities to build skills to meet the needs of the marketplace? 


How does performance management support the aims of a flexible Talent Marketplace? 


Is there a flow between the internal Talent Marketplace and the external labor market/ recruiting? Does the HR function have a view on both to support workforce shaping? 

Read how organizations like Genentech and Aegon are creating talent marketplaces:

1 KPMG, American worker survey, Summer 2022

2 KPMG, The future of HR: From flux to flow, November 2022

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