Why talent marketplaces are a game-changer during the Great Resignation

Find out how to use technology to your advantage as the Big Quit continues

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

April 4, 2022

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When the Great Resignation started making headlines, many leaders hoped it would be a momentary fad. For some, it was hard to imagine in a world where quit rates could hover around 4 million US employees per month. There was seemingly no way that these elevated turnover rates could become a sustained business reality.

Yet, nearly 12 months later, ongoingly high resignation rates have become part of the landscape. In recent Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs reports, as many as 4.3 million employees called it quits on a monthly basis. 44% of workers admit that they’re actively looking for a new job right now. And to make matters worse, new challenges are emerging as the turnover tsunami stretches on. Most notably, burnout is on the rise, as employees struggle to cover for their colleagues who recently called it quits. Nearly one-third of workers report struggling to get all of their work done, while 27% feel less loyal to their employer amidst the ongoing tumult.

Fortunately, businesses don’t need to accept record-high turnover as their organization’s fate. Led by the talent marketplace, a new generation of technology promises to safeguard organizations from the worst of the turnover tsunami. After a handful of pioneering companies began reaping the benefits of these tech-enabled solutions, every leader is now looking to take a page from their winning playbooks.

The state of the Great Resignation today

It has been almost one year since professor Anthony Klotz warned of a “Great Resignation” in an interview with Bloomberg. In the months that followed, the term began dominating the news cycle and stunning employers of every size and sector.

While turnover rates dipped slightly below the record highs that were seen during 2021, they remain elevated. The Big Quit is accompanied by plummeting employee engagement rates, after more than a decade of steady gains. These higher rates of disengagement usually lead to lower morale and motivation, which in turn hinders performance and productivity.

Now that employers are feeling the impact of the Great Resignation, many are experimenting with new strategies to get their people to stay. Companies like Twitter and PwC have made remote and flexible work permanent, while Microsoft Japan has been trialing four-day workweeks. Yet despite these efforts, turnover, on the whole, remains elevated. Something else needs to change if organizations want to put a stop to high churn.

Internal mobility as the antidote to the Big Quit

Many leaders are beginning to recognize that access to career opportunities has the potential to move the needle on employee turnover during the Great Resignation. Our research shows that a lack of growth and development opportunities is the second most common reason that employees decide to call it quits. And 67% of workers claim that they will leave their jobs if internal mobility isn’t possible.

Consequently, it’s no surprise that leading companies have begun tapping into talent marketplaces as a means to improve internal mobility at scale. By dynamically aligning employees to relevant projects, gigs, and assignments, the AI-powered platforms democratize access to opportunities at a speed and scale that would otherwise be out of reach.

3 stories that illustrate why talent marketplaces are essential during the Big Quit

#1. Schneider Electric put employees in control of their careers
Employees are stepping off of traditional, linear career ladders and searching for opportunities that align with their interests and goals. Rather than expecting your people to stick to a one-size-fits-all track, leaders must empower employees to take their career development into their own hands if they want to hold on to top talent.

That’s the exact mindset shift that Schneider Electric made. When surveys revealed that nearly 50% of exiting employees cited a lack of internal growth opportunities as their primary reason for leaving the company, the leading energy enterprise decided it was time to make a change. Implementing a talent marketplace provides full visibility into the opportunities available within Schneider Electric, giving all workers an equal chance to grow and progress in their careers.

This enhanced internal mobility has been essential over the past year, as Schneider Electric’s Vice President of Digital Talent Transformation, Jean Pelletier, explains. Referencing the Big Quit, she explains “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.

 

#2. Seagate democratized access to opportunities
For employers, the bar has never been higher. Employees want to see their organizations stepping up and making a difference, and they’re willing to jump ship if these expectations aren’t met. One of the most crucial changes that leaders need to make is leveling the playing field when it comes to career development.

When Seagate implemented their talent marketplace, the platform became a powerful tool for promoting inclusivity and equity. As Divkiran Kathuria, Director of Talent Mobility and Talent Technology, explains, “Anyone using a talent marketplace will immediately be able to discover hidden talent— candidates and skills that they didn’t know existed. And they’ll be able to experience how diverse, valuable, and capable these discovered candidates are.”

 

In addition to moving the needle on DEIB initiatives, Seagate’s talent marketplace has been crucial for maintaining headcount during the Great Resignation. Their Chief Human Resources Officer, Patricia Frost, sums it up by saying, “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.”

#3. Unilever empowered employees to find their purpose
Today, employees are putting a premium on purpose. They don’t want dead-end jobs; they’re looking for careers that feel meaningful. But traditional talent management decisions fail to factor personal ambitions and long-term goals into the equation.

In contrast, the suggestions that talent marketplaces generate are grounded in every employee’s unique set of skills, experiences, and ambitions. As a result, workers have the chance to participate in the projects and assignments that they care most about, which will keep them inspired and engaged.

For one Unilever employee, this meant pivoting into an entirely new function of the business. After 18 years in R&D, Vanessa Otake harnessed Unilever’s talent marketplace, FLEX Experiences, to apply for an opportunity that allowed her to explore her passion for diversity and female leadership. Today, she spearheads Unilever’s Gender agenda. Reflecting on her journey, she says, “FLEX Experiences gave me an opportunity to bring my purpose and work closer together. Now that I’m in this role, I feel like a kid in a sweet shop. I’m back into learning again, growing again, and being able to grow with something that I’m really passionate about.”

 

The full picture: 3 complementary tools to keep on your radar during the Great Resignation

There’s no doubt that talent marketplaces are a game-changer when it comes to improving retention during the Big Quit. But given the magnitude of the Great Resignation and its sustained impact, employers need to cover all the bases to ensure their workforce feels heard, recognized, and empowered to achieve their full potential.

If you’re looking to go the extra mile for your employees and maximize your efforts against the turnover tsunami, you need to create a unified destination for employee development. Here are a few components to prioritize:

#1. Employee analytics platforms
Now that the power dynamics have shifted in employees’ favor, businesses are looking to better understand workforce sentiment. From return to work plans to new DEIB initiatives, leaders are striving to incorporate feedback into every element of their strategy. The newest generation of analytics platforms makes it easy to keep a pulse on employee sentiment and adapt initiatives accordingly.

#2. Wellbeing platforms
COVID-19 shined a well-deserved spotlight on the importance of employee wellbeing. Fortunately, this emphasis on emotional and physical health isn’t going away any time soon. With burnout on the rise, organizations are making a concentrated effort to address employee wellbeing. For leaders, that means finding and implementing technologies that support employees and empower them to prioritize their health. Thrive is one example of a platform that is revolutionizing every aspect of workplace wellbeing.

#3. Learning experience platforms (LXP)
As leaders recognize the importance of internal mobility, they must ensure their people have the tools and resources needed to bring their career goals to life. The most impactful skill-building initiatives pair hands-on development opportunities such as projects and gigs with compelling coursework delivered through a leading LXP such as EdCast.

As labor shortages continue and the hiring landscape gets even more competitive, pioneering organizations that leverage tech-enabled solutions will have a serious advantage. To learn more about the Great Resignation and the powerful role that internal mobility can play in safeguarding against it, check out our research report.

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