The Talent Marketplace, Explained

Everything you need to know about the most essential new tool in the HR leadership toolbox: Talent Marketplace.

By Adam Etzion, HR Analyst @ Gloat

April 28, 2021

talent marketplace

Traditional human resource management relies on certain ideas about how organizations are structured and run. Usually, it’s something along the lines of “employees are hired to do a specifically defined job. They answer to managers, who, in turn, are being managed themselves, all the way to the top.” A clear, well-defined hierarchy.

But as the technology that lets us track and manage these systems changes and improves, the systems themselves can change as well, allowing for greater flexibility, adaptability and agility.

Recently, Josh Bersin has stated that Talent Marketplace Platforms Explode Into View – “Companies have been restructuring at lightning speed (driven by the Pandemic) and now, more than ever, they need an intelligent way to move the right people into the right role”. Bersin interviewed leaders from Unilever and Schneider Electric who were the pioneers to embark and implement a talent marketplace-focused platform.

Talent Marketplace is an innovative new approach to HR management that completely revolutionizes the way talent is utilized within large organizations. 

Because it relies on advanced computational abilities and AI, it hasn’t been seen as a viable option before, but new advances in the field are quickly turning it into an essential, mission-critical tool that is being adopted by global industry leaders.

So what is a talent marketplace?

It used to be that managers “owned” their employees.

We mean this in the sense that managers traditionally saw the members of their teams as dedicated resources at their disposal, there to do the job they were hired to do; no more, no less.

But while this approach grants the ability to control and track exactly what employees are doing, in the process it forfeits any additional skills and talents employees may have, and overlooks their very human desire to try new things. 

This is where the talent marketplace comes in.

Talent marketplace is a platform that allows managers throughout the entire organization to post opportunities for open positions, temporary assignments, short- and long-term part-time projects, mentorships, and any other initiative that talent within the organization is needed for. Using AI and smart algorithms, the Talent Marketplace can then match relevant opportunities to employees, and allow the organization to benefit from the untapped ambitions and abilities of people it employs, regardless of what they were originally hired to do.

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Aligned Interests

While the idea behind a talent marketplace is simple, its ramifications are far-reaching. 

In addition to the ability to quickly and easily reallocate existing talent from one part of the company to the other, it changes the power dynamic between managers and employees for the better.

When fully embraced, the talent marketplace creates a reality in which employees are no longer assigned to one manager and tasked with one specific set of responsibilities. Instead, they become a company-wide resource that can be utilized in many ways. The platform ensures that any opportunity that aligns with both the employee’s and company’s interests, be they professional ambitions, career development, geographical relocation, networking, and more, will become an actionable decision that can be made in real time, and in everyone’s best interest.

But the talent marketplace does more than that.

Reskilling and Future Proofing

Because the talent marketplace coordinates all of the talent within the company in light of constantly changing positions and opportunities, it allows unprecedented insight and visibility into the organization’s structure. The company’s strengths and gaps become instantly apparent, and taking the necessary actions to close them becomes a matter of only a few short steps from there. 

Whether it’s structural reorganization or reskilling and training, the talent marketplace not only lets decision-makers know what needs to be done to move forward but also allows them to find the right people within the organization to lead that change, in ways that align with their own personal goals.


A Mission-critical Tool

While the concept of a talent marketplace is a new one, the benefits that it entails are so far-reaching that companies that choose to adopt it enjoy unprecedented advantages in almost every aspect of their human resource management.

During the recent coronavirus pandemic, the talent marketplace has proven especially useful in redeploying talent from low-demand areas to high-demand ones, letting organizations that utilized it react quickly and efficiently to the dramatic shifts of their economic surroundings. Even NASA implemented a talent marketplace.

Whether it’s maximizing talent potential, recognizing and addressing gaps in organizational structure and capabilities, or just boosting employee engagement and morale, the talent marketplace is a tool more and more leaders in the business community are realizing they have to start using.

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