How Leading Enterprises are Unlocking Agility, Cost-Free

What Tomorrow’s Leaders Are Doing to Move Faster Today

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By Nicole Schreiber-Shearer, Future of Work Specialist @ Gloat

January 27, 2022

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There’s a lot of uncertainty in our next chapter, but two things have become clear: the challenges are unprecedented and the stakes are higher. Gartner predicts that turnover will be 50-75% greater than previous years, while the total number of skills that each job demands will climb by 6%. Widening knowledge gaps and shrinking talent pools will prove particularly disastrous for fast growing enterprises, where there may not be another employee with the same expertise for leaders to turn to when their colleague resigns.

Since these challenges are uncharted territory, leaders can’t rely on the same tools and tried-and-true strategies to overcome them. Instead, every organization needs to embrace disruptive technologies to ensure they have the right talent in the right places. And when it comes to unlocking agility and powering the free-flowing exchange of skills, talent marketplaces have secured their status as a business necessity.

Although the technology is relatively new, visionary organizations have already begun leveraging AI-powered platforms to democratize career development and reallocate talent to meet evolving priorities. Curious what kinds of results your enterprise can achieve with a talent marketplace? Keep reading to learn more about the game-changing impacts that these platforms can have:

Reduced Hiring Costs

As any talent acquisition team will tell you, recruiting isn’t cheap. In fact, a recent survey by the Society of Human Resources Management found that the average cost per hire hovers around $4,000 in direct recruiting expenses, let alone onboarding, training, and productivity loss costs. Rather than spending thousands of dollars every time you’re looking to fill a vacancy or hire a contractor, talent marketplaces help you identify internal candidates whose skills, experience, and ambitions align with the role you’re looking to fill.

As Jean Pelletier, VP of Digital Talent Transformation at Schneider Electric, explains, “Definitely, the ROI is the unlocked hours. Think of your people and your gigs. Normally, you might go and hire a contractor to do something when there is someone who has the bandwidth within your own company to do what you need.” She credits her organization’s talent market place with a $15,000,000 savings in enhanced productivity and reduced recruiting expenses.

And rather than limiting the scope of your talent marketplace to filling full-time and freelance roles, you can also leverage the platform to address short-term staffing needs. “One of our managers had one person on her team go on maternity leave,” notes Andrew Saidy during his time at Seagate. “Typically, we go to a third-party company and hire someone temporarily for $30,000 or $40,000 and that’s it, but this manager decided to split this HR person’s role into 5 different roles of a 6 hour per week commitment. She staffed all of these roles on [her internal talent marketplace] and how much did that cost? Zero,” he concludes.

Embracing Agility

Agility emerged as the make-or-break factor that determined whether businesses would sink or swim during COVID-19. And the importance of reacting and evolving quickly is only going to increase as we look beyond the pandemic and enter the new world of work.

But while many organizations understand the importance of agility, few know what it takes to unlock it. First and foremost, you’re going to need complete visibility into your workforce’s skills and capabilities so that talent can be redeployed at a moment’s notice to meet evolving priorities. Talent marketplaces put these rapid pivots and fast-paced redeployments well within reach, as Laurel Catlett-King, a VP at Nestle, explains. “This is about speed and agility. And tapping into skills you don’t know about. This tool screams the opportunity to be agile and to achieve speed.”

Patricia Frost summarizes how Seagate has leveraged their talent marketplace to meet evolving business needs, noting, 

At one point, we were doing up to almost two redeployments a day, or running a redeployment and then filling these projects. And I will tell you, we have gotten tremendous positive feedback from our employees about the projects they have worked on.”

Patricia Frost, CHRO, Seagate

Improving Turnover Rates

Turnover rates are no longer just an HR problem. Following a year during which more than 38 million people voluntarily left their jobs, workforce retention has now become an enterprise-wide priority. And it’s going to be especially important for lean teams and smaller organizations to do everything they can to keep their people engaged and inspired.

Rather than relying on perks and benefits to motivate your employees to stay with your organization, you need to think about what your workforce is really looking for. Our own data revealed that nearly two-thirds of employees would like to be considered for new opportunities within their organization. By aligning workers with meaningful career advancement suggestions and experiential learning experiences, a talent marketplace can encourage your people to grow with your organization, rather than outside of it.

Jean Pelletier explains that her organization hasn’t experienced an uptick in turnover, even amidst the Big Quit. “Right now, what I will tell you, especially with the Great Reshuffle and the Great Resignation, is that we’re holding steady. And that’s super important to know,” she says. Similarly, Patricia Frost explains, “We haven’t seen the Great Resignation at Seagate. The game-changer for us is this journey we’ve been on with Gloat. Employees have their careers in their hands and they can see vertical and lateral movement possibilities.”

Instant Response Times

As the pace of change accelerates, no business can afford to stick to the status quo. The next generation of leading brands are the organizations that keep their fingers on the pulse and rapidly iterate their products and services to meet consumers’ evolving demands.

However, while many companies strive to move faster, rigid hierarchies and organizational silos often stand in the way. Visionary brands are increasingly turning to talent marketplaces to fast track innovation and launch new ideas on expedited timelines, as Unilever demonstrates. When the pioneering consumer goods enterprise wanted to debut a new low-calorie ice cream brand in Hungary, leaders leveraged their talent marketplace to find an employee who had both the skills and capacity their project required, as well as knowledge of regional preferences.

As Unilever’s Executive Vice President of Human Resources, Jeroen Wels, explains, “It was a win-win: [the employee] had the chance to work with marketing and better understand the category, while [the manager] got amazing support to deliver the launch.” Ultimately, it became an even bigger win-win, since the employee was inspired to move into a full-time marketing role that aligns with both personal passions and business-critical needs. And Unilever has plenty of similar success stories to tell, which are explored in our guide, Why Talent Marketplaces Are Crucial for the Future of Work.

Building Future-Fit Skills

When it comes to upskilling and reskilling, the clock is ticking. The World Economic Forum predicts that as much as 50% of the workforce will need to learn new skills by 2025. Instead of letting knowledge gaps widen, tomorrow’s leading organizations are prioritizing skill-building needs now so that their workforces are ready for the future.

L&D content is a step in the right direction, but employees also need the chance to put these lessons into practice, which is exactly where a talent marketplace comes into play. The platform can generate suggestions for experiential learning opportunities like projects and gigs, as well as fueling mentorship matching at scale, as Spotify discussed in their recent blog about their own internal talent marketplace.

“The talent marketplace is a speed and acceleration opportunity for how we re-skill and upskill priority segments of our workforce,” says Watson Stewart, Head of Talent Solutions at Standard Chartered Bank. Patricia Frost, Chief Human Resources Officer at Seagate, echoes a similar sentiment, noting, 

Gloat is giving us visibility into both the skills and passions we have within the organization. Things managers might not have known because they couldn’t see it.

Patricia Frost, CHRO, Seagate

With the new world of work on the horizon, it has become very clear that we must recalibrate workplace operating models if we want to set our organizations up for success. To learn more about how you can leverage a talent marketplace to save costs and get ahead in your next chapter, read our full report.

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