What Is An Internal Talent Marketplace? Why Is It Critical Today?

May 23, 2020 00:15:04
What Is An Internal Talent Marketplace? Why Is It Critical Today?
The Josh Bersin Company
What Is An Internal Talent Marketplace? Why Is It Critical Today?

May 23 2020 | 00:15:04

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Show Notes

The Talent Marketplace is one of the most exciting innovations in business and HR. What is it and why is it so important, especially now?
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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:01 Hi, this is Josh person. Welcome to Research-Based Perspectives on the Ever-Changing World of Work, leadership, learning, and HR with a heavy dose of insights on the exciting world of HR technology. Speaker 0 00:00:16 Today we're gonna talk a little bit about talent mobility and the talent marketplace, which is an incredibly powerful new concept that started to take off in companies. First of all, there's a little bit of context. For many, many years, companies developed career models based on the functional hierarchy. So if you were a salesperson, you'd start out as a junior salesperson, and then you'd be a senior salesperson, then an account exec, and then a sales manager, and then a sales executive, and then a senior sales executive, and then a sales vp, on and on and on. And those career paths are all over business. They're all over the job market, they're all over your career models. And we've built really entire educational systems to some degree around them, but actually they're not working anymore because while functional roles are critically important in companies, what we're now finding is that success is actually driven by a pattern of horizontal moves and vertical moves, and that you actually become a better salesperson if you spend a little bit of time in marketing. Speaker 0 00:01:21 If you spend a little bit of time in consulting, if you change industries, if you change accounts, if you change geographies, the breadth of experience creates success and improves your level of performance because it gives you greater perspective. And of course, on the flip side of this, in the organizations, companies now are starting new projects, new initiatives, new technologies constantly. And we need people to move into these roles quickly. We can't always hire from the outside, certainly not in a tight job market, but even now, the skills are hard to find. Oftentimes you'll look for somebody who's done a job that you've just created, but nobody's done it before because you just created it. So we need to create a much more dynamic system for internal mobility. The third reason we need to do it is that it's a great way to develop people. When people move around your company in a more horizontal and developmental way, you actually end up with a better company. Speaker 0 00:02:19 The company's more adaptive, it's faster and easier to start new projects. People have better context and cultural experience inside the company. So, so anyway, there's many, many reasons. This is a good thing. Now, for 20 years that I've been sitting this, it's been a lost cause. There were career models, there were career coaches, there were career paths. Nobody really used them very well. There were levels we had in many companies, 30 or 40 levels. Sometimes one company told me they had 60 levels and they became really bureaucratic and brittle and they got in the way. So a new idea has emerged pioneered by, you know, a lot of vendors. And I think I've had something to do with marketing. This is this idea of the internal talent marketplace. In a marketplace, you have buyers and sellers. The buyers would be the project managers or the hiring managers who are trying to get work done and they need help or staff or skills or arms and legs to get the work done. Speaker 0 00:03:25 The sellers are us, the workers, the employees, the people that are trying to get, you know, kind of have a fun job and a fun career. And so this idea of matching buying in sellers is extremely powerful, especially now in the middle of the coronavirus where every company is transforming its workforce as fast as it possibly can. And a lot of the projects that are being fired up are cross-functional projects that were certainly not planned in anybody's career model. Now, if you look at the actual space, there are pretty much three approaches to solving this problem. The first is the traditional one I mentioned with a planned career architecture. And a lot of you probably would like to do that because it's the most familiar to you and it feels like it would fit your company. Manufacturing companies often do this very, you know, large companies that have been around a long time have very established career models. Speaker 0 00:04:26 And in those organizations they're oftentimes very strict and well-developed developmental paths. Uh, you actually get certified to move from level to level, and you can put together a whole variety of programs to support that development plans, coaches, very specific competency models and training to go along with it. And that's really business as usual. The second model that's more flexible to that is what I call facilitated talent mobility. And what this is, it reflects the fact that we have these traditional career models, but we're going to work around them when we have a special need. When we have a high potential person, somebody needs a developmental assignment, somebody maybe is tired of their job, we move them, we facilitate their movement outside of the normal path. I'll tell you a story about my situation. When I was at I B M in the 1980s, I spent 10 years there and I started in technical support and then sales and eventually into management and marketing. Speaker 0 00:05:29 I really got tired of it after a while and I had a wonderful boss and I was about to quit. And I actually offered, uh, took another job and he said to me, wait, wait, wait. You're making a big mistake. I'm gonna give you a temporary assignment to be the executive assistant to the general manager of the whole western area. And so he moved me, facilitated the movement of me out of the sales organization into this executive role, and I spent a year getting to see what this executive did. And it was a fascinating eye-opening experience for me. I ended up staying at IBM a few more years and then eventually left. But that facilitated movement was very important to me. I think IBM wanted to keep me around and it was outside of the normal career path. It wasn't the normal career path that people went through at that point in time. Speaker 0 00:06:19 Now the third model is what I call fully agile. And in the third model, the company becomes a professional services company. And by the way, I think most companies are moving in this direction over time. It won't be long before every company has agile projects, teams, initiatives, SWAT teams, sprints, we used to call 'em it Deloitte. And people are just joining into them at various points in time. And their rewards, their pay, their performance management is reflective of those assignments. Now, there's all sorts of talent issues to address. How are we gonna pay people? Are we, are they going to inherit the pay of the new position or the old position? How do we track their progress and their success? What if we move them too frequently? How do we track whether they actually had any success in the job at all if they only did it for a few months? Speaker 0 00:07:12 In fact, there's a funny story about this. I remember years ago the GE folks who had prided themselves on talent mobility for many, many years, GE sort of wrote the book on this, wrote a very long article by the C H R O or maybe it was the Chief, uh, leadership officer. And she basically said, we need to be more electric, less general <laugh>. And what she was really saying is that we can't move people too fast because it takes three to five years for them to really understand the business that they're in. So the agile model of mobility facilitates a lot of project work, but it doesn't necessarily create depth. So, so you have to really think about all three of these models at the same time where agile, uh, talent mobility is very effective, is inside of a function, inside of it, inside of hr, inside of finance, inside of marketing where we have very skilled people assigned to projects and we need their skills on another project. Speaker 0 00:08:12 And you know, they may not report to the manager that needs them, but they would like to contribute to the other project. So we can facilitate that in an agile way. Now, given those three models, how do we do all this? Well, it turns out the HR tech market has evolved and thanks to some pioneering companies, one of the most well known pioneers is a company called Fuel 50, who I've spent a lot of time with. We now have products, software products designed specifically for talent mobility because it's a complicated problem. Not only do we have to have a great user experience so that people's profiles are up to date and we know, know who's interested in and skilled in what areas, but we have to have matching algorithms. We have to have AI that recommends opportunities to people, and then we have to have the development available somewhere so that when you take one of these new assignments, you get some coaching and tips on how to be successful. Speaker 0 00:09:13 Let me just mention some of the vendors that are all circling around this space in a very significant way. I mentioned Fuel 50. Fuel 50 was founded by a team of people who come from the career coaching industry. They are one of the leaders in the market. The second is Gloat. Gloat is a company that came from the recruiting industry and built an incredibly powerful AI driven matching algorithm for recruiting and then pivoted the company into talent mobility. Also a pioneer in the market. The third is a company called Eightfold. Eightfold was a was or is a recruiting company that built an incredible technology for AI driven matching and algorithmic recruiting. And they have shifted into this area because they can effectively tell from skills inference who is likely to be a good fit into what role. A fourth is a company called Talent Guard, which is a smaller company, but similar to Fuel 50 in its history. Speaker 0 00:10:12 Workday has introduced the Workday talent marketplace, which is actually mimicking many of these features. So they plan to offer the same kind of capability behind the scenes in Workday as a technology they call the Workday Skills Cloud, which is intended to match you to certain opportunities based on your experience and skills. And then there are companies like Phenom, people who are working on this. Cornerstone has a plan to build a product in this area based on the cluster acquisition they did a couple of years ago. And I have to believe that success factors will get there and, and Oracle and ADP and everybody else in time. The reason this is such an important market and it is so new, is that mobility is talent management. You know, if I think back about the research reports we did on talent management years ago, we looked at competency models and job descriptions and then performance and hierarchical goals, and then the various reward systems that would be associated with the various levels and goals and developmental paths. Speaker 0 00:11:22 All of that sounds great on paper, but it doesn't really work that well in a company that's going through a transformation. And every company is now going through a transformation. Every company, you know, if you're shutting down your retail stores and you're moving people in e-commerce, if you're, um, taking people out of your branch locations and having them work from home, if you're creating a SWAT team to focus on new protocols for the coronavirus, uh, all of these changes are essentially talent mobility problems. And people will move into these new roles as quickly as possible if they feel supported and they feel there are systems to enable them to move into these new roles in a positive and successful way. Traditional talent management was never designed for that. If you look at the talent management products that were developed in the early two thousands, they had no concept of this. Speaker 0 00:12:19 The career modeling or the career pathing was a sort of little add-on that was kind of added at the last minute, didn't really do much. People hardly ever used it. Now this is the central thing that companies are dealing with and the topics of development skills, soft skills, leadership, development, rewards, employee experience are really focused around these transitions or these mobility experiences that we go through at work. So anyway, it's a fascinating new market. There's a lot to learn about it. I encourage you to read some of the articles I've written about it or join the Burson Academy. We have a whole bunch of information on it in there that will help you understand how to put together a fantastic talent mobility strategy for your company. Thank you. Speaker 0 00:13:16 If you like what you heard, please join the Josh Bersen Academy, the world's professional development academy for hr for less than a cost of a nice dinner in a town near you. You can have an entire year's access to hundreds of courses, articles, research studies, case studies, and an entire community of more than 10,000 HR professionals all collaborating with each other to help you learn and solve the problems in your particular company. We call the Burson Academy, the world's home for hr, and you'll find it to be one of the most important parts of your career and your company's HR strategy for the years ahead. Thank you.

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