SumTotal Blog

What is a Talent Marketplace?

January 4, 2023 | by SumTotal Blog | 3 min read

These days, employees rarely stick to one job track. Instead of climbing the corporate ladder in one department of one company, they’re likely to move between roles and industries to build their skill sets. Human resources (HR) teams can capitalize on and engage with this career convention by utilizing a talent marketplace to provide mobility opportunities and encourage employees to take charge of their careers.

What Is a Talent Marketplace?

A talent marketplace is an internal job board or platform where employees can seek new opportunities within their organizations. It can either be a static job board (like craigslist) or a dynamic platform that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to match employees with opportunities based on skills and interests. Talent marketplaces help employees find and apply for jobs, participate in training programs, network with colleagues from different departments, and even land promotions.

What Are the Benefits of a Talent Marketplace?

Introducing a talent marketplace to your organization can:

1. Boost employee engagement

With 1 in 5 workers considering changing jobs, focusing on employee engagement is key to overall retention. According to McKinsey, two of the most important drivers of job satisfaction are interpersonal relationships and having an interesting job. A talent marketplace addresses both points by giving employees unique learning opportunities and a way to engage and build relationships with others across the organization — not just co-workers on their team.

2. Help solve problems faster

Companies can work faster and more efficiently when the right people are paired to the right projects, and a talent marketplace can facilitate these connections. When employees learn new skills from other teams, they are able to apply these to their original roles, creating a domino effect of higher customer satisfaction and more streamlined operational performance.

3. Bridge skills gap

More than one-third (37%) of professionals pointed to upskilling/reskilling current employees as their top way to address skills gaps. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn” — and that’s where talent marketplaces come in. Having access to new people, ideas, and material can lead to creative boosts, a renewed sense of purpose, and inspiration.

4. Identify career paths

By using a talent marketplace to pinpoint opportunities that interest them, employees can easily see where they want to go and how they need to get there. When presented with tangible examples, managers can more easily understand what their team members are trying to achieve and how to support them.

5. Promote transparency

In addition to improving visibility into open projects or roles, talent marketplaces can help remove mental barriers associated with insecurity about qualifications — for instance, while men tend to feel confident applying for roles if they have 60% of the needed criteria, women typically won’t apply unless they meet all the job requirements. An AI-powered talent marketplace can help address this imbalance by sending job recommendations to employees whose skill sets are deemed to meet specific needs, thereby circumventing barriers associated with self-evaluation that may otherwise hold back candidates from applying.

Which Companies Use Talent Marketplaces?

Companies with successful talent marketplaces include:

  • Unilever: Originally introduced in 2018, Unilever’s talent marketplace lets employees explore new jobs and projects within the company. During the pandemic, Unilever used the platform to redeploy over 8,000 employees.
  • Schneider Electric: Schneider Electric uses its talent marketplace to build mentor relationships that break down traditional hierarchies and connect staff across the globe.
  • Allstate: According to Josh Bersin, Allstate built its own talent marketplace, which exemplifies how solutions can often be found from within!

Invest in Your Employees

Talent marketplaces can be key tools to manage talent, increase employee engagement, and help your employees identify new career paths within your organization.

To learn how SumTotal can help your organization develop your workforce and drive results, connect with us today.

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