The War for Talent has reignited to support business growth and productivity. Yet, companies find it challenging to map the talent economy and deploy existing employees to address the skill gaps. A talent marketplace is a quick and reliable way to address skill demands, enable rapid deployment of talent and help companies match employees with job portfolios based on their skill sets. Yet, many HR leaders remain unclear on how to leverage it to address their business needs.
A recent People Matters and Virkware webinar where Sunil Misra, CEO of Emtec Inc, and Vijay Yadav, Chief Revenue Officer, Virkware explored the business advantages of new-age talent marketplaces.
Shifting talent management trends
There has been a significant shift in talent preferences over the past few years due to the changing nature of business and technology. The workforce has changed too, with the new generation of employees looking for valuable experiences. For companies, figuring out what employees want is difficult due to the numerous formal-informal, structured-unstructured elements.
Vijay Yadav, Chief Revenue Officer, Virkware, mentions, "With the workforce having aspirations of their own, and the skillsets of organizational requirements evolving very fast, the talent management construct is quickly evolving". Sunil, CEO at Emtec Inc., believes that in this new normal, the real challenge is, “How do you make the informal, formal? How do you make sure to engage employees in a manner they want to be treated? and how do you address the newfound people's aspirations, giving an informal plus formal start-up culture feel to talent?"
In an age where broad-based metrics no longer make sense, everyone needs to have individual plans to help figure out what works for both employee and company. A talent marketplace provides an impactful tool to solve this problem. Vijay believes that a talent marketplace helps capture the informal aspects and gives a formal picture to the organization of employee aspirations, the pulse of employees and the organization's mood. Hence, it is the need of the hour to build a talent marketplace faster, cheaper and more pervasively to enable interactions and extract meaningful insights to create contemporary talent solutions. HR needs to own this up.
The role of the talent marketplace
An effective talent marketplace solution enables the organization to compete for its talent. It should enable connectivity and visibility for employees to project their skills and aspirations and tie this connectivity to different roles and gigs in the organization. Companies can achieve this by building an AI-based system with a robust and comprehensive display board which gives a gist to the skill path. Vijay highlights, "We should use AI and ML to throw us the best optimal options for employees and organization both. Such a system can help realize up to 10% benefits in employee costs, 7-8% improvement in productivity and 3-4% improvement in retention."
Sunil resonates with this thought, adding that "talent is the key ingredient to achieve growth. We cannot be on the treadmill of hiring if we do not nurture people well. We need to create internal competition for talent, especially what is not visible across the organization. The baseline of talent needs to be maintained while growing".
A talent marketplace can effectively make this possible from a broader business sense in trying to attract and retain talent.
(insert video to the webinar)
What makes a great talent marketplace?
"What can HR want to enable through the talent marketplace?" was an important question the panellists addressed. Some of the critical AI-based elements are:
- AI-based Open Talent Management (aiOTM): Vijay emphasizes the need to use AI engines to map talents with aspirations and roles to provide employees exposure to talent requirements within the organization.
- AI-based Open Collaboration and Engagement (aiOCE): The AI-based tool must help deliver open collaboration and engagement, such as access to mentors, buddies, higher management, etc.
- AI-based Open Skills Development platform (aiOSD): Knowing the skill gap from the management inputs and looking at employees' aspirations will help organizations map the market and assess what is missing from within.
- AI-based Open Career Path (aiOCP): The platform should enable vertical, horizontal, and lateral growth. "Employees today have been known to create designations for themselves; can the organization enable that?" said Vijay.
Training and creating impactful learning pathways for employee development is an added feature of robust Talent Marketplaces like Virkware. "Employee development cannot be linear," shares Sunil adding, "today, people want to develop and expand their horizons in an amorphous manner like they do in their personal life. We have to harness the power of the crowd, i.e. everyone in the company." An organic place to offer many-to-many interactions and individualized pathways and add value to people is essential to ensure employees happily stay with the company.
Above all, the way companies address people has to change while enabling the change in how they interact and learn, reiterates Sunil.
For talent marketplaces to truly add value, a new lens must evolve. "We need to start looking at people as individuals, not as groups, numbers, titles etc." says Sunil. It is about building a culture of proactive co-creation by enabling people with systems and processes which are not top-down directed but are organic and amorphous. Organizations must begin by looking to fulfil the professional needs of people in a company environment. Tech is a significant success factor. Vijay strongly believes that HR can be the enabler while the platform does the backend work of tying everything together. "This will help to get people to do the things they desire to do while staying within the framework of the organization," says Vijay.
For Sunil, the right talent marketplace can foster an ongoing culture curation by harnessing CXO buy-in. Moreover, CEOs look not only at the tangible benefits but also for broader implications such as culture building, people getting together and helping each other, and collective solutions. Hence there is a strong business case for systems that promote engagement entirely. "Culture cannot be easily measured, but the end results are measurable. And the right system can help initiate this dialogue internally", reiterates Sunil.