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Editorial Team
04 Jan 2021



Achieving talent mobility – and how talent marketplaces get you there

Achieving talent mobility – and how talent marketplaces get you there

Talent mobility moves the best people into the best roles, tapping their skills and ambitions toward organizational and personal growth. Talent marketplaces can help get there.

Can a company hoard talent? Yes, according to a study by social recruiting suite RolePoint. Half of the managers believe they could be unintentionally hoarding talent, preventing capable people in the same roles for extended periods till they feel trapped enough to seek growth in greener pastures!

Why do employees look to switch jobs?

What gives additional weight to this thought is the fact that 45 percent of employees confirmed they switched jobs in the search for growth. They want to expand their learning, to be able to use their strengths – in essence, to do what they are good at doing. This makes it important for employers to ensure employees do not lose interest, by offering them opportunities to advance their careers and grow their experience, knowledge, and skills. The competitive talent market is quick to snap up a dissatisfied, skilled worker!

Where do progression models fall short?

Most organizations have people entering at the lower levels and working their way up – the usual grind. Career development, however, requires a modern approach that is more fluid. It is rare to see normalized movement across teams, departments, and operating divisions in agile progression structures flatter than what is in place at the majority of companies.

Culture often gets in the way. The fact that internal mobility comes with risks, and often gets tripped up by someone wanting more experience or readiness, or the fear that there is no turning back in case it does not work out well. This of course is if someone is even permitted to move internally.

What is the way ahead?

Linear paths have lived their time in the sun, and it is time to move on. Rapid changes in the job market mean career switches are no longer the outliers they used to be. Lifelong learning keeps employees and their skillsets agile through their professional lives, with younger workers being allowed to experiment with roles while moving upward.

There is a clear recognition of the need for talent mobility – it was the third most important trend for the future of HR, according to 65 percent of talent professionals responding to the 2020 Global Trends Report from LinkedIn.

What is talent mobility?

According to The Echelon Group, talent mobility is “the practice of moving people within an organization, in hopes that new skills will be gained and sharpened through the employees’ new roles and responsibilities. The objective is to have the right talent at the right place at the right time to ensure business results and successful business outcomes.”

Bersin by Deloitte defines internal mobility as “a dynamic process for moving talent from role to role at every level.” What makes this important is the need to have each role staffed by the best person for the job – and a highly motivated one, at that. Talent management provides the foundation and talent mobility the push for organizational progress and growth.

The advantages are clear:

  • Recruitment is cheaper (63 percent of talent professionals believe it is also faster)
  • Strong employer branding pulls in the best talent
  • People are more engaged
  • Retention is higher (according to 81 percent of talent professionals; employees stay 41 percent longer)
  • Onboarding takes away no productivity (new hires are in fact more productive according to 69 percent of talent professionals)
  • Succession planning is stronger

Deloitte studies on the fastest-growing organizations uncovered excellent talent mobility programs as a key ingredient – twice as likely as in static organizations, thrice as much as in shrinking organizations.

How do you create a talent mobility culture?

Keep goals clear and transparent, be the KPI targets or better solutions, so there is a display of confidence in the internal talent pool. Recognize the successes of employees, ensuring regular conversations between them and leadership. Steer clear of biases or other common pitfalls, and facilitate the workers growing into their new roles through well-established training programs. If these fall into place, it in fact becomes a self-sustaining system, with employees attracted to teams or managers who champion these beliefs.

Where do talent marketplaces fit in?

A breed of software platforms, talent marketplace platforms trace their roots to initial systems of career pathing that made internal talent marketplaces difficult. Internal opportunities have subsequently more than proven their worth, boosting cultures of internal growth and mobility. Software vendors initially sought to address this through static features bereft of the dynamism employees required.

Talent marketplaces are akin to a cocktail of recruitment, career management, and social networking! They place experiences and skills above linear careers, allowing the strongest performers to work on international assignments, with different leaders, or pick up adjacent skills – real-time requirements that older models did not handle.

How do talent marketplaces work?

They leverage the power of smart algorithms and AI, matching employees with relevant positions, and tapping people's abilities and ambitions to the benefit of organizations, even if this runs contrary to what those people were originally hired to do.

Highlights of modern talent marketplace systems are:

  • Inter-role movement management
  • Recommending assignments and projects as per interests
  • Promoting aspirations and skills
  • Mentorship and learning tools and opportunities

What help do HR professionals get?

Keen insight into opportunities, projects, and roles on one hand, and workforce skills on the other. Algorithms get to work, proactively recommending opportunities to candidates. HR comes in once an employee actually shows interest in the new opportunity. This helps in timely filling up of open positions, as well as better defining business and talent strategies.

In summation…

Talent mobility is an undeniable need of the modern organization. The benefits it brings can be realized by a combination of cultural changes and technological tools. The top-to-bottom effort reinvents leadership, learning, and management, definitively changing careers, rewards and payment systems, and organizational and personal growth for the better!

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