Today’s post comes to us from Workforce Institute board member and Skeptical Guy, John Hollon. 

When some people talk, others sit up and listen. 

So it is with well-known HR technology analyst Josh Bersin. He recently wrote that he believes that the U.S. economy is getting ready to take off, and that a booming job market will be right behind it. 

Others have been making the same case, but Bersin takes the forecast to another level when he says that, "We are about to enter one of the hottest job markets in a decade." 

That's a bold statement considering how strong the job market was prior to the global pandemic and lockdown, but he points out that we're already operating with 13% more open jobs than we had a year ago, and, that estimates from Goldman Sachs predict that the unemployment rate will drop to 4% by the end of the year. 

That's amazing given what we all experienced in 2020, with a year-long lockdown and some of the worst unemployment numbers since the Great Depression. 

Making the most of an internal talent marketplace 

What's even more surprising is that Bersin not only makes the strong-but-obvious case for better funding and management of your talent acquisition team, but also to "accelerate your internal talent marketplace" as well. And THAT tells you that the concept of an internal talent marketplace has now graduated from niche concept to mainstream business practice. 

Don't know what an internal talent marketplace is exactly? 

Here is some background: It's a more efficient, technology-driven employee management and retention system. Better retention is the one of the big end-goals, and an internal talent marketplace does that by tracking the skill-set of employees and then helping them to develop and build upon their skills. This sometimes means upskilling (building upon and advancing someone's current skills), or reskilling (training in new skills). 

But an internal talent marketplace does something else as well -- it tracks what skills employees have, what jobs they have worked in, and works with them to build a career path within the organization. The larger goal is to better utilize employees when internal openings occur. As a result, filling openings with current staff as part of their career growth experience becomes more important than just recruiting people from the outside whenever a position opens up. 

Some companies have done this for years, but the pandemic and lockdown made the internal talent marketplace a more important concept and built on the notion that current employees were important resources that could be utilized all over an organization. 

As Bersin put it:
"(During a labor shortage) It starts to take months to find people, and employees with in-demand skills start job-hopping. This makes an even bigger case for internal mobility.

One of the most exciting innovations in HR is the creation of internal talent marketplaces. Big companies like Cisco and IBM have had strong internal mobility programs for years. Now, technology can help any company manage and facilitate internal mobility much more efficiently. 

For example, if you have a good talent mobility system, you can identify employees with key skills (such as marketing professionals, software engineers or analysts) and move them from business unit to business unit based on demand. This is a good thing for employees’ careers and greatly increases the dynamism of your company. It’s also much less expensive than hiring externally."

Filling that opening with someone right under your nose 

It sounds obvious -- Why wouldn't companies want to look to current employees first and give them a shot at internal opportunities that open up? 

Well, as people who have worked for a few years know, a great many organizations are pretty terrible about letting employees know about open positions inside the company. And, growing and promoting employees takes a deep commitment from top management and a strong company culture that puts a premium on making it happen today, tomorrow, and in the months and years to come. 

Deloitte probably described the thinking behind internal talent marketplaces best: 
"The business opportunity is clear-cut. First, you can avoid replacement and recruitment costs incurred when people leave. But even greater is the opportunity to reshape your employment brand and workplace culture. Many of today’s youngest workers are eager to build their careers rapidly and want to work for organizations that challenge them and promote them quickly. Internal mobility — how that happens—is not just a way to retain talent. It also helps to create a powerful magnet for people outside your organization who seek professional growth. 

The result? The talent market can see your organization as one that champions ambition and performance in everything it does. Think about what kind of talent you’ll attract and keep — whether inside or outside your organization." 

Yes, maybe the U.S. economy is ready to take off and recruiting and hiring will go gangbusters again. But even if it does, embracing internal talent marketplaces is a good thing for smart companies to do. After all, the person who may be the best fit for that job you're trying to fill might already be working for you ... and right under your nose. 

Today's post comes to us from Workforce Institute board member John Frehse.Here he discusses why a slowing economy doesn't release top talent for you.

Talented employees are a precious resource. The Container Store has a famous mantra: Three good employees are equal to one great employee. I agree with them. Great employees contribute more, promote a positive culture, and drive extreme results. Unfortunately, they are also becoming harder and harder to find.

The problem with talented employees is that they are always in demand. As global markets retract, the need for talent may actually increase as companies require a higher level of performance from fewer employees. This may cause the supply of available great employees to shrink, creating wage pressures and trapped revenue for those that cannot function without them.

Great employees are dedicated and rarely available in the free market for hire. They must be lured away from companies that place a high value on them. When negative market trends appear, they are the last to be considered for layoff. What does happen is medium to low performing employees become greater in supply and this does not improve hiring situations for companies in need of talent.

Challenges upskilling and large skills gaps are already clearly defined in areas such as manufacturing and technology, but this may only get worse.

It would be an incredible advantage if your company was better than the rest of the marketplace at identifying and hiring talent. As technology catches up with the marketplace for great employees, it has become easier to identify talented employees (and to hire them away from companies who do not fully appreciate them). Visibility into individual employee thought leadership, project work, and general accomplishments is on display on LinkedIn and other platforms, and more hourly employees are participating than ever before.

Because of sites like Glassdoor and social media in general, talented employees also have more visibility into the true culture of companies in their field of interest than they ever have before. It is easier to identify the great companies but also the underperformers. This visibility into areas of compensation, culture, and total rewards is allowing employees to find the right employer. Companies talking the talk but not walking the walk are getting punished both on social media and business sites. Transparency is allowing talented workers a job mobility they have not always enjoyed. This will only increase as technology improves this visibility into the truth.

So, what can be done? The first step is to look within your own company and be honest about the culture. Too many organizations suffer from the Pollyanna effect. This is when companies ignore realities and refuse to discuss internal challenges (which all companies have). Instead, they promote a false narrative about how everything is perfect. No company is without challenges, and employees know the truth. Not addressing this truth perpetuates a broken culture and this will inevitably spill out into public view.

Today's post is courtesy of Joyce Maroney, Executive Director of the Workforce Institute @Kronos.  

Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Derek Baltuskonis, Director of Talent Acquisition at Intuit.  You probably know that Intuit is a giant in the information technology space, well known for its flagship products QuickBooks, TurboTax and Mint. Along with being known for its popular products, Intuit is also widely recognized as a great place to work with a unique corporate culture that contributes to the company’s long-term success. Intuit was ranked #13 on this year’s Fortune 100 Best Places to Work list up from #34 last year. The company is headquartered in Mountain View California and has just under 8,000 employees.

During our conversation, Derek and I discussed the following topics among others:

  1. Derek began his career in Finance.  How and why did he make the move to HR?
  2. How do Intuit's company values shape their recruiting and retention strategies?
  3. Derek discusses Intuit's strategies for ensuring that the diversity of their workforce is robust.
  4. As a company, Intuit has really embraced social media – with almost 150,000 followers on LinkedIn, 224,000+ likes on Facebook, and one of the highest rated CEOs on Glassdoor. Learn about Intuit leverages their social presence in their recruiting efforts.

You can listen to our conversation below.  And please comment and let us know how your organization is attracting and retaining your best talent.

Podcast with Derek Baltuskonis of Intuit:





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