Talent marketplaces as “cultural evolution”

HR Leaders Discusses How Leading Enterprises Have Transformed Their Businesses by Launching an AI Talent Marketplace

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By Nicole Schreiber-Shearer, Content Marketing Specialist @ Gloat

August 19, 2021

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Less than two years ago, Gartner spotlighted internal talent marketplaces as a key trend in human capital management technology. While the research advisory described the platforms as “embryonic” at the time, a lot has changed over recent months. 

With the new war for talent, the gig economy, and the rise in hybrid work serving as powerful accelerants, talent marketplaces are no longer fledgling technology. Instead, they are quickly becoming ubiquitous among agile organizations that are pioneering the future of work.

Four pioneering HR leaders we’re proud to call Gloat partners and champions recently came together to discuss their own experiences launching talent marketplaces on a recent HR Leaders podcast episode: Markus Graf, Novartis’s VP HR & Global Head of Talent; Divkiran Kathuria, Director of Talent Marketplace Technology and Transformation at Seagate; Mauricio Pordomingo, VP of HR & Talent Leader Europe at PepsiCo; and Watson Stewart, Global Head of Talent Solutions at Standard Chartered. 

We’ve recapped some of their insightful takeaways below.

Insider insights: best practices for building an AI Talent Marketplace

Take upskilling to the next level

Upskilling is going to need a rewrite in the new world of work. Most HR leaders are currently taking a reactive approach to addressing skills needs, with many relying on fixed curriculums and established processes. Gartner found that employees apply just 54% of the skills they learn through these tactics, making it clear that this strategy isn’t working. 

All signs point to dynamic learning as a superior alternative. When skills shifts are anticipated in real-time and employees have access to non-traditional L&D opportunities like classroom training and hands-on learning, performance improves by 24% and employees leverage 75% of what they learn, according to Gartner

From ad-hoc projects to mentorships, talent marketplaces provide employees with experiential learning opportunities that are personalized and continuously evolving. As Watson Stewart notes:

How do we take reskilling and upskilling beyond consuming learning content or going on a learning program? All those things that many organizations are doing. How do we make it have real business teeth? Give people the opportunity to participate in developmental experiences on the job. Learn and make a difference at the same time, and prepare them for the future.

Watson Stewart, Head, Talent Solutions, Standard Chartered Bank
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Communicate your “why”

Introducing disruptive technology like a talent marketplace can come with its own set of challenges. Employees are likely to be unfamiliar with how the platform works, and some may be reluctant to explore it, at least initially.

Since usage rates directly impact your platform’s efficacy, cracking the code for widespread adoption is critical. So what does it really take to get your employees on board with the new technology?

According to Divkiran Kathuria, transparent messaging introducing your platform and its intended purpose is a must. “Communicate, communicate, communicate,” she advises. 

The more we communicate why we are introducing a major change like the talent marketplace, the better. Share the goals of the organization and explain the why behind this program and how it ties into the overall growth of the company. Introducing new technology is really about communication, transparency, and empathy.

Divkiran Kathuria, Director, Talent Technology, Seagate Technology
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Expect your success metrics to change

Once you launch your talent marketplace, how can you quantify its success? Since the platforms present leaders with plenty of data points, you’ll need to be strategic about pinpointing the ones that matter most. 

As your platform matures and the amount of user information builds, you might need to shift your measurement targets. Watson Stewart describes Standard Chartered’s iterative approach to measurement, noting, “We started by looking at how many opportunities are live and how current they are. Increasingly, we’re thinking about moving our measurements to adoption and impact. As the marketplace matures, there’s an opportunity to start thinking about some predictive analytics that will really reinforce the business case.”

Divkiran Kathuria expresses a similar sentiment and offers the following measurement guidance: “It will differ depending on the phase you’re in. If you’re just starting, it’s important to have a lot of registrations and good quality projects. As you progress, you have to see if people are returning and continuously using it.”

Embrace the ‘open’ in Open Talent Marketplace

Diversity, equity and inclusion will be defining characteristics in the new world of work. Employees have spoken and virtually all are in favor of more inclusive workplaces, with nearly 80% noting that it’s important for their employer to prioritize diversity, according to CNBC.

While DE&I has risen to the top of the agenda, some enterprises struggle to drive actionable change. To create a workplace that is truly inclusive, leaders must minimize the biases that can hold people back and ensure all employees get access to equal career opportunities.

Talent marketplaces can turn aspirations for a more inclusive workplace into a reality, as Markus Graf explains. 

We at Novartis believe in equal access to opportunities, and we know that traditional approaches to Talent Management still have quite some bias. We believe that this new Talent Marketplace, enabled by technology, can really significantly minimize the bias – making it worth it to make the investment.

Markus Graf, Global Head of Talent, Novartis
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Launch is only the beginning

Launching a talent marketplace won’t just improve retention rates and enhance upskilling. Introducing this kind of disruptive technology will pave the way for profound shifts in the HR function and transform your approach to human capital management.

Consequently, leaders should anticipate and embrace the profound cultural changes that go hand-in-hand with launch. Rather than viewing your platform rollout as the final destination, think of it as a new beginning. 

Exactly what kind of changes can you expect? Markus Graf explains how launching a talent marketplace has catalyzed a profound mindset shift at Novartis. He describes the change by noting, “Our new culture is centered around unbossing, including unbossing the traditional understanding of talent management so that we democratize talent with more access to opportunities. Maurici Pordomingo discusses a similar phenomenon: “The talent marketplace is going to help you to accelerate or unlock your cultural evolution.”

Gloat's Content Newsletter

Read about the top insights into the future of work from the voices leading the Talent Marketplace transformation.


Back in 2019, the same Gartner article that introduced the then embryonic talent marketplace noted that the platform’s benefits were “…potentially transformational, enabling tomorrow’s more lean, agile, and adaptive organizations.” Today, we’re seeing that prediction take full effect, as the success of organizations like Seagte, Novartis, PepsiCo, and Standard Chartered illustrates. If you’re looking for more insights from these organization’s leaders, check out the full recording of HR Leader’s podcast episode here.  

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