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Internal Talent Marketplaces: the Path to Fuel Workforce Agility

7 min read

internal talent marketplaces the path to workforce agility

In a world of work where change is the new mantra and organizations are more aware than ever of the importance of adapting to evolving demands, the internal talent marketplace has been gaining traction as a transformative solution.

While the benefits of such a platform cannot be overstated, ranging from skill development and career growth to cross-functional collaboration, this time, we’ll focus on exploring the potential of talent marketplaces to drive workforce agility.

Let’s dive right in!

What is an internal talent marketplace?

An internal talent marketplace is a platform that enables organizations to accurately match existing employees with various internal opportunities, including:

  • short term tasks or assignments
  • (cross-departmental) projects
  • job shadowing
  • L&D initiatives
  • coaching and mentorship opportunities
  • new part- or full-time roles

Internal talent marketplaces are dynamic platforms within organizations that facilitate the discovery, development, and deployment of talent from within the existing workforce. They create a more agile and responsive talent ecosystem, allowing employees to explore diverse career paths, projects, and roles while enabling employers to harness and maximize their internal talent pool effectively.

Internal mobility and talent marketplaces and identifying adjacent skills for employees—allowing people to do gig work—those are life-or-death survival strategies in an economy like we’re in today.

Josh Bersin

How does an internal talent marketplace work?

nestor internal talent marketplace

These platforms work two ways around. On one hand, they allow organizations to post projects, gigs, new roles, or even development opportunities in a centralized way and make them more transparent for all employees. Here is an example of how managers can create such development opportunities and new roles by using Nestor:

nestor internal talent marketplace

On the other way around, employees can easily access growth opportunities to expand their skills, explore new career paths outside their role, and join various projects or initiatives.

Internal talent marketplaces rely on matching algorithms and data insights to connect employees, with new job roles, projects, or development opportunities for which they have the relevant skills or are a close match. Here is an example from our Talent and Opportunity Market place module:

nestor talent and opportunity marketplace

This matching process looks at employee profiles based on their skills, interests, and career aspirations and suggests specific paths that align with individual capabilities and aspirations. At Nestor, we use skills as the single source of truth for everything we do and skills are the foundation for internal talent marketplaces.

How does an internal talent marketplace drive workforce agility?

One of the most significant benefits of adopting an internal talent marketplace is its power to nurture, speed up, and improve workforce agility. Here’s how:

Fosters building new skills

By breaking down the boundaries between teams and departments, internal talent marketplaces help employees access opportunities that would normally be outside their hierarchies.

When people expose themselves to diverse tasks and projects, they can learn from new challenges and acquire skills or capabilities that would otherwise remain underdeveloped or overlooked.

Thanks to this process, the marketplace also becomes a promoter of continuous learning and helps shape a company culture where dynamic growth and flexibility are highly valued.

Empowers employees to change the trajectory of their careers

An internal talent marketplace is a great asset for employees who are interested in exploring career paths outside their current job role or hierarchy. It enables them to shift from one role to another in an agile and ongoing way (lateral shifts, cross-functional moves) and encourages ownership over career growth.

This flexible and organized approach removes many of the obstacles associated with traditional career paths, which are more limited and sometimes rely on factors (e.g., work connections, previous experience) that prevent qualified workers from making moves that would benefit them and the company.

Flexible career paths will also make your employees more engaged and ensure they don’t stagnate or miss out on exploring their full potential — which leads to lower attrition rates and higher eNPS scores.

Helps close the skill gaps

Another way in which talent marketplaces drive workforce agility is their ability to enable organizations and HR departments to bridge their skill gaps. When learning and development opportunities are visible to the entire workforce and easily accessible, individuals can use the necessary training resources to acquire new skills.

Since these resources are listed by decision-makers based on up-to-date skill and business needs, every available opportunity can address a clear and specific skill or talent shortage and equip workers with capabilities they can start using immediately in a current or future in-demand role.

Enables cross-departmental collaboration and exchange of knowledge

By matching employees with opportunities based on their skills and key traits instead of job roles, an internal talent marketplace encourages collaboration with colleagues from different backgrounds and functions.

As a direct result, workers develop a more in-depth understanding of the organization and engage in the sharing of best practices and knowledge that can be used across different roles or teams.

Knowledge sharing is especially valuable for leadership or other key positions, where the company cannot afford to lose the expertise they have when a current employee chooses to leave or retire.

Connects employees with experiential, on-the-job learning

On-the-job learning often happens in an unorganized or unplanned manner. It simply arises in the day-to-day interactions and exchanges between colleagues or between team members and managers. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Through an internal talent marketplace, L&D specialists can take their development efforts to the next level and offer experiential learning opportunities in a structured and democratic way.

This will fill in a significant gap in this area and ensure employees gain valuable skills and expertise by actively participating in projects and initiatives that take the organization forward.

Accelerates innovation

Workforce agility and innovation go hand in hand, and both are encouraged through internal opportunities. When employees engage in a wider range of projects and knowledge sharing, they further enhance important soft skills, like creative problem-solving and out-of-the-box thinking.

By allowing members from different departments to work together, organizations also increase the speed and effectiveness of projects that rely on novel approaches or ways of looking at things.

This process also improves collaboration, since different teams that may work (or not) together have an opportunity to understand their major pain points and how they can help each other deliver better and faster results.

Enables fast-paced redeployments

When redeploying a part of the workforce becomes necessary, fast transitions and decision-making are essential. Internal talent marketplaces facilitate that by providing an already updated database of employee profiles, which can be used by leadership to quickly decide who fits each role based on their current skill set and aspirations.

The marketplace also shows the history of programs or opportunities in which each employee has engaged, highlighting the candidates who are more open to learning or taking on a different role (even if only temporary).

Final thoughts

When used to its full potential, an internal talent marketplace is a powerful driver of workforce agility. It takes collaboration and talent development to the next level and helps employees expand their skills with a democratic, empowering, and self-service approach.

If you’re interested in learning more about our Talent and Opportunity Marketplace, what makes it different, and how it connects with our People Intelligence Platform, schedule a free demo.

Make smart, fast, and confident decisions with Nestor's skills-based talent management solutions

Make smart, fast, and confident decisions with Nestor's skills-based talent management solutions