Your existing workforce can be a major source of untapped talent. And although you might have a variety of initiatives in place that exist to encourage internal mobility and develop high-potential employees, it can still be difficult to foster meaningful engagement with those efforts.
But a lack of engagement isn't always due to a lack of interest – your employees may simply not know where to look or even be aware that they have the option to pursue development opportunities within your organization.
If all this rings true for your business, a talent marketplace solution could be an impactful addition to your talent development strategy.
What is a talent marketplace?
A talent marketplace is a digital platform that allows employees within an organization to access internal development opportunities. This can include job openings, skill building courses, educational resources, and more. Talent marketplaces work to break down silos and generate cross-departmental visibility that allows employees to expand the scope of their existing skill sets.
There are a variety of talent marketplace solutions available on the market, all with varying features that allow you to customize how your marketplace functions. These tools are typically powered by artificial intelligence that can match employees to development opportunities based on their interests, current skills or career goals. More advanced solutions have the ability to showcase what education and training an employee may need to hit milestones along their desired career path.
Internal talent marketplace vs. external talent marketplace
You might be more familiar with external talent marketplaces, which are traditional job boards that help recruiting teams find talent. Internal talent marketplaces solely cater to those employees already on your team, allowing you to better engage and utilize the talent you already have under your roof.
What is a talent marketplace used for?
A talent marketplace can be used to search for development opportunities such as:
- Upskilling or reskilling courses
- Educational opportunities, such as degree or certificate programs
- Job openings available to internal employees
- Volunteer opportunities
- Cross-functional assignments that allow employees to broaden their skill set
- Mentorship or sponsorship programs
- Short-term projects outside of an individual’s regular responsibilities
Benefits of talent marketplaces for employees
Put simply, a talent marketplace enables employees to be drivers of their own professional development. A dedicated marketplace platform allows for full visibility into the development opportunities available within the organization — showcasing to your workforce that your company's commitment to employee growth isn’t just an empty promise.
Team members can explore opportunities within areas of the business outside of their expertise to see if there are roles or projects on other teams that they might be interested in pursuing. Having the flexibility to explore different interests and passions on the job is key to fostering a positive employee experience.
Plus, the digital nature of a talent marketplace solution makes it easy to access and use. Instead of having to comb through a handful of HR resources or ask colleagues for information, they have a single, easily accessible platform that provides them with the most current details on what is available to them.
Benefits of talent marketplaces for businesses
A talent marketplace comes with many business benefits, too. These include:
Promote skills visibility and internal career mobility
Utilizing a talent marketplace provides people managers and other members of your leadership team with greater visibility into the skills strengths and gaps of your workforce. With this data, you have clearer insight into the status of your internal talent pipeline and can determine which high-potential employees could be a fit for succession planning.
Additionally, you’re able to shine a spotlight on reskilling opportunities that employees may not even be aware of. Many employees are used to working around rigid career ladders that only go up, and never sideways, but a talent marketplace can help your people discover positions in other areas of the business, as well as the learning and education required to make the switch.
This level of transparency helps to fuel an enterprise-wide culture of learning and fill your internal talent pipeline with strong candidates.
Spread greater awareness of your L&D initiatives
Through a talent marketplace, you can easily help employees connect their development goals to the L&D programs that can help achieve them. For example, if you work with an online course provider or have a workforce education program, employees have the ability to learn more about these initiatives right within the marketplace platform.
Additionally, employees currently enrolled in any type of learning program have the ability to immediately apply what they’ve learned in the classroom on the job via side projects or other cross-functional assignments that are listed on the marketplace.
Boost retention and engagement
Today’s employees are no longer satisfied with stagnant jobs that simply pay the bills. They seek out employers that can offer them career mobility, skill-building opportunities and room to grow. In a recent survey, 80% of employees stated that better development would help them to feel more engaged on the job. In another study, 94% of employees said they would stay longer with their current company if it invested in their career development.
With a talent marketplace, not only are you able to better promote the development opportunities that are available but you’re also empowering employees to take control of their own career growth. While they should still consult with their managers before jumping into something new, employees don’t have to wait to be noticed by leadership and instead can take initiative to determine what they’re most interested in pursuing.
The value of a talent marketplace
Talent marketplace platforms are just one of many software tools that HR professionals have at their disposal. And while the benefits of leveraging this type of solution as part of a greater talent development strategy are clear, a talent marketplace is rarely a silver bullet solution.
Before adding a new product to your HR tech stack, it’s critical that your organization has the systems in place to support strategic internal mobility, as well as the learning and education resources required to effectively upskill and reskill your people into new roles. Without these fundamental components, a talent marketplace is just another software tool that could go underused.
Discover more workforce development resources: Skills are the new currency in today’s workplace. Download the skills disruption playbook to learn why a skilled workforce is your business’ greatest competitive advantage.