How a talent marketplace can boost internal mobility
With the war for talent raging on, more and more companies are prioritising internal mobility. Still, many of them fail to deliver. “From reluctant managers to poor data management, there’s often more than one hurdle to overcome”, says Alice Tranchant, co-founder of huapii. “The good news: a talent marketplace can get things moving – literally.”
Objective: attract, engage, retain
Research by SD Worx indicates that about 4 in 10 European employers struggle to find talent. This is slowing down the growth potential of thousands of organisations. To make matters worse, attracting talent isn’t the only issue. Engaging and retaining talent appears to be almost as difficult – particularly for larger companies. And if turnover rates increase, the lack of adequate inflow only becomes more worrying.
Now what? “With internal mobility you address all those issues”, says Alice Tranchant. “You target people who already align with your culture, know your processes, and – equally important – want to be empowered.”
3 main hurdles for internal mobility
So, why aren’t all employers moving their talent around until the pieces of the puzzle fall into place?
Alice Tranchant: “There are three main obstacles. The most important: a lack of centralised quality data. For example, what are the skills of employees and which projects are available? This data is often dispersed or only exists in the minds of people. Second, silos are still very real in companies, leading to ineffective collaboration and reduced transparency. Last, managers tend to hold on to their best workers – also known as talent hoarding. An internal mobility strategy will only have success if you overcome these three hurdles.”
The missing link: a digital talent marketplace
“A digital talent marketplace is a platform where employees can create a profile with their skills, interests, career aspirations, project results, and other data. HR staff, on the other hand, enter info about open positions, roles, projects and mentorships within the organisation. The platform then matches employees to opportunities. By doing so, it offers companies a way to overcome the three main hurdles for internal mobility.”
Visualising data – A talent marketplace helps employers to identify strengths and training needs, both on an employee level and organisational level. This type of skills mapping is essential for internal mobility.
Stimulating collaboration – Anyone in the organisation has direct access to the marketplace within seconds. Employees can take the right action to move their career forward, while managers gain full visibility of the bigger team, thus breaking down silos.
Reassuring managers – With a marketplace, managers not only think about who they could lose, but also who they could add to the team. This triggers a mentality shift. Moreover, you could incentivize managers who recruit internally.
For employees, by employees
“There are many tools for talent marketplaces out there, but the most effective ones put the employees at centre stage. The platform needs to provide clear answers to them in a user-friendly way. If not, you risk investing a lot of time and money in a tool nobody will use.”
“This implies employees create their own profile, without the need for validation – similar to LinkedIn. Trust is key. Others can give feedback, but can’t modify information. The platform then suggests a wide range of opportunities. Not only open positions, but also development plans, new projects, mentorships, and more. That way, we also connect with employees who are happy where they are, but might be interested in passing on their experience as a mentor or in working on a project outside their day-to-day scope.”
A spot-on conversation starter
“Let me be clear: you can’t set up a talent marketplace and wait for the magic to happen. The tool is an enabler. It reveals opportunities for employees, which can then be the subject of career conversations between those employees and their managers. In other words, the real magic happens face-to-face, but a marketplace does fuel the conversation with the right questions. This is particularly helpful for employees who are more introvert, while it can also be a good way to get to know flexible workers better.”
“More than ever, companies will need to rely on all their talent to thrive. The goal: getting the right people in the right place at the right time.”