There was a time when people looked upon the company HR as a service function & cost center. The processes within the organizations were departments operating in silos, usually with significantly less integration, imagination & understanding of the overall business of their organization, and the impact they were able to create. No one bothered about what the 'Future of Work' looked like, how being agile in our ways and digitally-enabled could redefine the whole landscape for the work, workforce & workplaces of the future. There was minimal technology utilization, and cloud, AI, or data-powered insights were more like buzzwords. In the same era, the individuals largely depended upon the traditional job portals in need to look for career opportunities, usually outside their organization.
The higher internet & mobile penetration, emergence of social media, and the changing demographics of the working population with a mix of Gen X, Y & Z started to change the whole scenario around work and, therefore, the needs & expectations from the HR function. People's aspirations evolved. As more & more people realize they are spending half their lives at work, making it a large part of their personal development & even social needs, there is a rising expectation of seeking belongingness. It challenged the business leaders, CXOs, and the HR leaders of the companies to assess their HR teams, functions & processes with an entirely new perspective. That helped HR evolve towards becoming a people engagement & experience management function(from a mere service function earlier) and a profit-center (from a cost-center earlier). While the business leaders and companies were still grappling with this change, the world got hit with the pandemic, posing a completely different set of challenges that demand a radical view of the solutions.
Today we live in a world where the definition & concept of work, workforce & workplace has got disrupted and redefined significantly. The pandemic has accelerated the need for business transformation with technology, process & people as the three key pillars. Inspired by the constantly changing market dynamics, there is a fast-emerging need for fractionalizing work for increased efficiency. Therefore, the emergence of a digital marketplace model is helping the companies dissolve the silos and enable unlocking more extraordinary performance, potential & value of the talent. Various critical facets of HR function like talent discovery, attraction, engagement, retention, development, and management do not operate in silos anymore. They are instead very close-knit teams & processes with design thinking at its core. Digital marketplaces for HR enable the HR teams to be at the forefront of how the business moves, yet staying highly nimble to lead the companywide change or HR transformation.
Some of the high-impact areas where digital marketplaces offer an edge to HR are a first-hand understanding of the demand & supply, market dynamics, best ways to design and distribute the work to achieve high-performance with proper allocation. It also enables HR to be able to innovate, constantly leveraging the data & insights using technology. While on one hand, AI(Artificial Intelligence) allows real-time matching amongst the work creators, work providers & the business, a holistic business approach in digital marketplaces also enables change management & CRM at rapid velocity. The companies no longer have to worry about using multiple tools for crucial activities like job posting, application tracking, talent engagement & management, talent development, talent analytics, talent mobility, skill-mapping, etc. All of this & more is already enabled in a holistic digital HR marketplace model. Other benefits of the Digital HR Marketplaces include collaboration, connectivity, networking, utilization, productivity gains, speed-to-market or go-live, and skill-mapping & matching.
Today, a large part of work is happening in a hybrid model(on-premise & remote). Individual aspirations are changing fast, and there is a significant shift in the mindset from mere job-seeking to seeking more meaningful work opportunities & purpose. People also expect much higher flexibility from their employers regarding their work planning, tracking, delivery & evaluation. All of this enabled by some excellent tools & tech platforms on the cloud. The digital marketplaces for HR are perhaps one of the most exciting models that are helping us view the whole HR talent marketplace more like an opportunity marketplace now, unleashing humongous potential, performance & opportunity for the companies and individuals both.