In recent years, organizations have struggled to find and retain the right talent to fill critical roles. This can be attributed to a combination of factors, including an aging workforce, a lack of critical skills needed for current and future organizational needs, and increased competition for talent from other organizations seeking similar skills. Our research shows that, within the next five years, one-half of all employees will require significant reskilling and upskilling in order to keep pace with the changing job market. As a result, organizations are facing a talent shortage and are struggling to fill their open roles with qualified candidates. This poses a clear threat to the ability to execute critical business initiatives. In response, we assert that by 2025, one-half of organizations will implement a more comprehensive approach to determining organizational readiness, including sentiment analysis, skills gaps identification and adjacencies assessments to optimize employee potential.
To address the challenge, many organizations are turning to internal opportunity marketplaces to match internal candidates with open roles, projects and even mentors. An opportunity marketplace is essentially a platform that brings together the skills, interests and aspirations of employees with the available opportunities within an organization. This can include job openings, projects, stretch assignments and training opportunities. By using an opportunity marketplace, organizations can create a more agile and responsive talent management system where internal candidates are more easily matched with open roles and where employees can better identify and pursue career paths that align with their skills and interests.
The benefits of an internal opportunity marketplace are numerous. First, it can help organizations retain their top talent by keeping employees within the organization when new opportunities arise. By providing a platform for employees to explore different career paths within the organization, it can also improve employee engagement and job satisfaction. Second, an opportunity marketplace can help organizations identify and close skills gaps by providing training, coursework and projects that help employees develop new skills and competencies. Third, it can help organizations future-proof their talent strategy by enabling employees to develop/gain the skills required for the continued success of their business, rather than looking primarily to the extremely competitive, finite, external pool of candidates to meet skills requirements as their overall organizational growth strategy evolves.
Despite the benefits of an internal opportunity marketplace, there are also challenges associated with implementing such a system. One of the primary challenges is that it can be quite time-consuming, requiring consistency of job architecture, robust skills taxonomies, integrations with other systems (such as ATS or LMS) and performance management. Additionally, adoption by workers and hiring managers can be a challenge, particularly for those not familiar with the concept of skills adjacencies. These challenges could lead to the incremental rollout of opportunity marketplaces, where perhaps single divisions or job families are implemented first, or LMS is integrated at launch with ATS integration coming later. While this appears to be a reasonable approach for such a large initiative, it can also be quite limiting to the overall benefits of the opportunity marketplace, with only a small number of roles available to a finite set of employees, with limited career pathing and access to mentors available. Organizations choosing this approach must do so with a detailed and well-rounded change management plan in order to properly sell the benefits of the system and garner the buy-in and patience required for success.
Opportunity marketplaces are much more than just internal job boards. Organizations can use these platforms not just to post new job openings, but even more importantly to optimize their investment in existing employees by matching employee interests and acumen with career paths that may have otherwise gone undiscovered, leading to regrettable attrition when top talent is unable to see a future in their organization. Opportunity marketplaces can show employees more than just their ultimate job. They can create a path to reaching that job, including skills training, projects and even mentors to help guide the way. While there are challenges associated with implementing such a complex system, the benefits of increased retention, engagement and skills development can make it a worthwhile investment for organizations looking to stay ahead in the proverbial war for talent.