Talent Management and Acquisition

Summary Notes: TL&L Community – Internal Talent Marketplaces

  • December 8, 2023

On November 29th, CRF hosted an online discussion for the Talent, Leadership and Learning community on the topic of internal talent marketplaces. Chaired by CRF Research Director Gillian Pillans and with input from four speakers who shared their experiences of implementing talent marketplaces, topics discussed included key considerations for implementation, overcoming challenges and leveraging technologies. This summary shares key insights from the discussion.

Introduction to Skills and Internal Talent Marketplaces
Anaïs Fadli, Skills Framework Lead at STMicroelectronics, formerly Novartis

Anaïs outlined the significance of skills in talent strategies and marketplaces, emphasising that skills can help to unify all aspects of the HR value chain. She also stressed the importance of a skills taxonomy, which can be built in house or bought off-the-shelf according to what best suits organisational needs. Examples of platforms that provide off-the-shelf taxonomies include Gloat and Lightcast, which organisations can adapt through focusing on the skills that are core to their business.

Organisations can then create a skills ontology from their skills taxonomies, helping them to determine how skills are used in their business and what skills the organisation should focus on developing. Whilst undertaking these processes it is important to consider use cases and what is the business problem you are trying to address.

Anaïs also discussed the importance of using AI to enhance the HR system and improve the user experience:

  • Obtaining good quality data is critical as it will be used for decisions that affect the company.
  • Whilst data might be crowd sourced in the future, these systems currently rely on encouraging individuals to input their skills and career aspirations into the system.
  • However, encouraging employees to use these systems and input data can be challenging. Anaïs therefore suggested targeting communications to ‘moments that matter,’ such as when line managers and employees are preparing for review conversations, and emphasising that the technology will help people prepare more quickly.
  • Other steps that can increase engagement include partnering with work councils, ensuring that any platforms are user friendly and being transparent and clear in your approach.

Talent Marketplace Implementation at Dunnhumby
Laura Reilly, Head of Talent at Dunnhumby

Laura Reilly discussed the implementation of a talent marketplace at Dunnhumby, a data science company owned by Tesco with 2,500 employees across 20 countries.  She shared how Dunnhumby wanted to enhance career development and on-the-job learning for their employees, though were struggling to identity the right specific opportunities to enable this. They therefore decided to implement a talent marketplace integrated with their existing learning system Degreed to help close skills gaps, leverage internal skills and kickstart projects more quickly. The key steps included: 

  • Implementation began with a pilot focused on one specific area where there was strong and engaged leadership (data science). The start of the project also coincided with innovation work that was already being undertaken which helped generate further interest.
  • Before they started to look at skills, they first considered what projects they wanted to include, deciding to focus on short term and part time projects which created a learning opportunity for the right person.
  • The platform has expanded since the pilot and now facilitates visibility of opportunities to everyone.
  • Laura emphasised that Dunnhumby are still at the start of their journey, and are focusing on facilitating cross-functional projects and on the learning opportunity for individuals. They are also now using the talent marketplace more strategically, asking employees to come forward with projects that the talent marketplace can be used to advertise.

Talent Marketplace Implementation Challenges
Deepa Shah, Group and Global Functions at Bupa

Deepa discussed the challenges faced in implementing an internal talent marketplace at her organisation through WorkDay. The implementation had the overall aim of creating a more agile, project and sprint-based way of working and the concept was initially well-received. However, there were cultural issues that hindered its success: managers found it hard to break up their work into short-term tasks and there was a culture of employees waiting for permission to work on something outside of their main duties. Deepa therefore emphasised that organisations should ensure that the culture first fits before introducing a talent marketplace, and shifting what is prioritised if needed.

Deploying a Talent Marketplace at Scale
Watson Stewart, Head of Talent Solutions at Standard Chartered

Watson outlined the implementation and scaling of Standard Chartered’s talent marketplace, which began with a talent marketplace pilot in 2020 through a partnership with Gloat. The organisation’s talent marketplace now has around 30,000 users globally and nearly 2,000 gigs have been completed.

  • Their talent marketplace initially focused on gig-based work. However, they found that people associate career development more with job changes and so they were likely to receive more engagement through posting full time roles. They also found that there was a greater appetite from colleagues for gig-based working than from senior leadership. Watson also emphasised that hardwiring the use of gig working into their skills-sourcing process will be very important in the future.
  • To generate momentum, the project was started with only light touch guidance on who could post and what they could post. The organisation also collected data on the types of skills in demand, which they then used to focus more deeply on specific parts of the business to help the marketplace mature.
  • Watson also discussed the communication and change management tactics they used to engage their workforce and drive platform adoption. For example, they found that engagement was higher if they highlighted what individuals would personally gain from using the platform. They also identified areas such as sustainable finance where they could generate proof points of the marketplace’s success.
  • Watson also emphasised the importance of incentivising and upskilling leaders to share talent throughout the organisation. 80% of completed gigs were cross-functional, emphasising the importance of showcasing stories which highlight collaboration.

Further Resources
CRF. 2020. Talent – Careers, Development and Succession in a Changing Landscape
https://www.crforum.co.uk/research-and-resources/talent-careers-development-and-succession-in-a-changing-landscape
CRF. 2021. Building A Future Fit Workforce: Reskilling and Rethinking Work https://www.crforum.co.uk/research-and-resources/research-report-building-a-future-fit-workforce-reskilling-and-rethinking-work

The next TL&L online community event will take place on March 7th 2024, with the topic to be shared in due course.

If you have any further questions please contact CRF Research Director, Gillian Pillans gillian@crforum.co.uk

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