Cultural evolution: top talent marketplace launch tips

How leading enterprises are harnessing talent marketplaces to spearhead their transformations

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By Nicole Schreiber-Shearer, Future of Work Specialist at Gloat

August 19, 2022

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Transformations take time, but one hegemony is already starting to turn. Just a few years back, Gartner spotlighted internal talent marketplaces as a key trend in human capital management technology. Since then, a lot has changed from when the research advisory described the platforms as “embryonic.” 

With the war for talent, the gig economy, and the rise in hybrid work serving as powerful accelerants, talent marketplaces are no longer a fledgling technology; they are quickly becoming ubiquitous among agile organizations that are pioneering the future of work.

Four trailblazing HR leaders we’re proud to call Gloat partners came together to discuss their own experiences launching talent marketplaces on a recent HR Leaders podcast episode. Markus Graf, Novartis’s VP of HR & Global Head of Talent; Divkiran Kathuria, Global Director of Talent Agility at Seagate; Mauricio Pordomingo, VP of HR & Talent Leader Europe at PepsiCo; and Watson Stewart, Global Head of Talent Solutions at Standard Chartered Bank each shared their experiences with talent leaders looking to make a similar impact at their organizations.

5 talent marketplace best practices from visionary HR leaders

Rather than thinking of your talent marketplace as an update, leaders need to prepare to launch an entirely new system that will revolutionize the way their organization works. There are a few tips to keep in mind to fast-track your platform’s impact.

#1. Take upskilling to the next level

Upskilling needs a rewrite in the new world of work. Instead of focusing on fixed curriculums and established practices, HR leaders need to embrace more dynamic ways of learning. When skills shifts are anticipated in real-time and employees have access to non-traditional L&D opportunities, like hands-on learning experiences, performance improves by 24% and employees leverage 75% of what they learn

From ad-hoc projects to mentorships, talent marketplaces provide employees with experiential learning opportunities that are personalized and continuously evolving. As Watson Stewart notes, “How do we take reskilling and upskilling beyond consuming learning content or going on a learning program? All those things that many organizations are doing. How do we make it have real business teeth? Give people the opportunity to participate in developmental experiences on the job. Learn and make a difference at the same time, and prepare them for the future.”

#2. Communicate your why

Introducing disruptive technology like a talent marketplace can come with its own set of challenges. Employees are likely to be unfamiliar with how the platform works, and some may be reluctant to explore it, at least initially.

Since usage rates directly impact your platform’s efficacy, cracking the code for widespread adoption is critical. So what does it take to get your employees on board with the new technology?

According to Divkiran Kathuria, transparent messaging introducing your platform and its intended purpose is a must. “Communicate, communicate, communicate,” she advises.

“The more we communicate why we are introducing a major change like the talent marketplace, the better. Share the goals of the organization and explain the why behind this program and how it ties into the overall growth of the company. Introducing new technology is really about communication, transparency, and empathy,” Kathuria explains. 

#3. Expect your success metrics to change

Since talent marketplaces present leaders with plenty of data points, executives will need to be strategic about the metrics they choose to use to quantify their success.

As your platform matures and the amount of user information builds, you might need to shift your measurement targets. Watson Stewart describes Standard Chartered’s iterative approach to measurement, noting, “We started by looking at how many opportunities are live and how current they are. Increasingly, we’re thinking about moving our measurements to adoption and impact. As the marketplace matures, there’s an opportunity to start thinking about some predictive analytics that will really reinforce the business case.”

Divkiran Kathuria expresses a similar sentiment and offers the following measurement guidance: “It will differ depending on the phase you’re in. If you’re just starting, it’s important to have a lot of registrations and good-quality projects. As you progress, you have to see if people are returning and continuously using it.”

#4. Embrace the platform’s open nature

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) will be defining characteristics in the new world of work. Employees have spoken and the overwhelming majority are in favor of more inclusive workplaces, with nearly 80% noting that it’s important for their employer to prioritize diversity.

While DEI is rising to the top of executives’ agendas, some enterprises struggle to drive actionable change. To create a workplace that is truly inclusive, leaders must minimize the biases that can hold people back and ensure all employees get access to equal career opportunities.

Talent marketplaces can turn aspirations for a more inclusive workplace into a reality, as Markus Graf explains. “We at Novartis believe in equal access to opportunities, and we know that traditional approaches to talent management still have quite some bias. We believe that this new talent marketplace, enabled by technology, can really significantly minimize the bias—making it worth it to make the investment.”

#5. Launch is only the beginning

Launching a talent marketplace won’t just improve retention rates and enhance upskilling. The platform will also pave the way for profound shifts in the HR function and transform your approach to human capital management.

Consequently, leaders should anticipate and embrace the profound cultural changes that go hand-in-hand with launch. Rather than viewing your platform rollout as the final destination, think of it as a new beginning. 

Markus Graf explains how launching a talent marketplace has catalyzed a profound mindset shift at Novartis. He describes the change by noting, “Our new culture is centered around unbossing, including unbossing the traditional understanding of talent management so that we democratize talent with more access to opportunities.” Maurici Pordomingo discusses a similar phenomenon: “The talent marketplace is going to help you to accelerate or unlock your cultural evolution.”

If you’re looking for more insights from trailblazing leaders, check out what Arianna Huffington, Al Gore, and Josh Bersin have to say about the future of work by reading our guide, 3 visionaries, 1 strategy.

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