The ‘great reset’ has triggered a disruption in how we work and the segregation of who does what work. Most people collaborate on multiple projects, are part of multiple teams, and have a fluid job responsibility. We now know that our jobs are not fixed, repetitive routines but outcome-focused roles that are more akin to project and product-based organizations where a significant number of skills are hard to define, measure and structure into capabilities. To remain competitive, almost all industries must learn how to link organizational agility to a fluid framework of skills, capabilities, employee-led job design, and an internal marketplace where supply and demand of skills are able to complement each other.
Introducing the talent marketplace
Enter the ‘talent marketplace,’ which is now on every CHRO’s agenda. The talent marketplace promises to resolve the acute skills shortages through a democratic, employee-led, and AI-driven open resourcing in its most advanced form, linking internal talent to business demand. But is the organization and its employees ready to make it successful?
How can organizations approach the talent marketplace?
Over the last two years, we’ve spent a significant amount of time talking to leading organizations in telecom, retail and consumer goods on the journey to the talent marketplace. The common challenge is ‘where to start’? Our recommendation is to view this as a transformation journey with each stop being an organizational transition milestone.
Importantly, the talent marketplace is not a platform implementation. We see this as being a four-track transformation process.
- Experience Transformation
Employee experience (EX) is now a matured HR tech topic with rich features in the market, introduced through platforms like Microsoft, ServiceNow, Salesforce, SAP Success Factors, Workday, and other niche players. EX is now also beginning to be embedded in platforms as no-code layers that HR can configure with little training. The starting point for EX design is employee/ workforce segmentation, and, from an adoption standpoint, it is still crucial that segmentation is done for learners, skills assessments, and talent journeys. For example, the EX that companies did for onboarding is not relevant for the learner journeys leading to the talent marketplace. HR leaders should plan this in the same way as they did the recruitment or onboarding EX a few years back.
- Skills Architecture Transformation
Skills architecture transformation is the main transformation area. Almost all industries are heavily customer focused today, and much of the customer-value created within an organization depends around how the customer journeys (imagine order-to-cash, procure-to-pay and their lower levels of taxonomy) are designed. This means every employee in a market facing or business function support role must align to a journey-based competency – which implies the earlier hierarchy-based definition of jobs, skills, competency, and capabilities don’t apply.
The new way of looking at this could be mapping ‘skills of the future’ and deploying a SWOT that ultimately looks at the abilities required in the future organization to delivery customer success. The next step is to build the new model and skills horizon (current skills, emerging skills, future skills over a 2-3-year horizon) based on AI models. At Infosys Consulting, we call these the ‘digital skills horizons.’
- Resourcing Transformation
This implies both external and internal resourcing. We know the cost of an internal / lateral hire is significantly less compared to that of external hires. Moreover, internal hires are more likely to be successful as they understand the business better. In this track, we need to look at employer branding, candidate attraction (internal and external), AI based candidate calibration, AI based internal candidate matching (peer groups, past projects, learning pathways etc.) and ultimately linking to the employee / candidate career pathway.
- Learning and Talent Marketplace Transformation
Finally, we look at the internal talent marketplace set-up. If we have done the above three tracks synchronously, and have taken the organization through planned transition states, this is a platform implementation with the enablers of business change management services like communication, ways-of-working training, adoption analytics and C-level sponsorship.
In summary, we need experience design, resourcing design, skills transformation along parallel tracks to enable a successful transformation from current hierarchical job architectures and job-role based resourcing, to a talent marketplace. We also need to consider the enablers of a talent marketplace, like expanded learning content, user generated content, newer career-pathways and linking to learning-journeys – ultimately marketing career opportunities based on skills.
Associate Partner, Talent & Organization practice, Infosys Consulting
Vikram leads the HR Transformation team for the Talent & Organization practice in Europe, helping clients with digital transformation. He has advised some of our biggest clients on achieving back-office productivity through RPA, AI-led insights, and employee experience-led service mapping. Vikram has over 22 years of experience and prior to joining Infosys Consulting, he has worked in several consulting and delivery roles in firms like PriceWaterhouseCoopers, LogicaCMG(CGI) and Atos. He specializes in transformation of the HCM market from back-office productivity to employee experience-led focus.