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 board member China Gorman.

Everywhere you look these days people are focused on the future of work: who will do it, what skills will be needed, how many jobs will robots take? But what about the future of talent? Shouldn't we be focusing on that as well?

In the next 10-15 years global business enterprises will change dramatically. These profound changes will impact current and future employees in terms of the required speed to adapt to the changing business climate. The demands on employers, educators and policymakers to deliver a new generation of talent for success in an increasingly fast-paced environment means that these three influential groups must collaborate to develop the talent landscape necessary for continued world progress and financial success.

A new organization is being formed to consider this perspective - globally. The Future Talent Council, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden with staff members in Singapore, the U.K., Australia, and the U.S., is focused on creating an invitation-only membership organization to consider the looming talent issues facing employers all over the world. Members, who are joining now, are from global employer C-suites, University administrations, and policy-making/governing bodies all over the world.

The Council's first step was to identify 8 Imperatives that all three stakeholder groups need to understand and work together to address:

1) Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Automation

2) Big Data and Predictive Analytics

3) Diversity/Employing and Empowering Marginalized Populations

4) Ethics, Transparency and Sustainability

5) Flexibility and Work-Life Integration

6) Global Workforce

7) Leadership

8) Lifelong Learning

The second step was to begin to interview global executive leaders in all three stakeholder groups. Today, more than 165 of these interviews have been recorded, with more to come. Whether we talk with the CHROs of global organizations headquartered in North America, Europe, and Asia/Pacific; or the heads of Universities in Hong Kong, Kenya, and the U.K.; or government ministers/leaders in Luxembourg, Lithuania, and The Netherlands; the Council is striking a chord among global leaders who are eager to participate in this future-focused collaborative.

The third step is about to be launched: a global survey of more than 50,000 leaders and managers from organizations in the same three stakeholder groups: large global employers, universities, and regulatory bodies. The survey results will inform a series of white papers, podcasts, newsletters, and webinars.

And the fourth step - an annual step - will be the convening this fall of our first Summit of Council members in Amsterdam for two days. We will “roll up our sleeves” in a variety of working sessions to further identify and discuss the issues impacting the Future of Talent, and lay the groundwork for closer collaboration between the three stakeholder groups to ensure business and societal success.

As the Managing Director of the Council, I can share that our membership is growing every week and the interest in participating in this work is getting stronger and stronger. It's clear that there is some engagement between these stakeholder groups in national or regional forums, but none that are global and dedicated to the long-term engagement of serious leaders, working on serious solutions. The Future Talent Council is leading this effort.

The Future Talent Council is the outgrowth of founder Lars-Henrik Friis Molin's history of innovation in the global landscape of talent, education, and policy. If you'd like to participate in our global survey, or would like to nominate a Council member, please reach out to

Guest Blog submitted by: Greg Scott, Jennifer Earls, Kelley Kossakoski

Hello, everyone!  We are excited to introduce you to a unique miniseries at the Workforce Institute, a series of blog posts that will follow the early stages of professional development of three recent entrants into the working world. We'll tackle issues that affect how generations interact in the workplace: technology, communications, perspectives and anything else that we, or you, feel is relevant.  Welcome to the Ground Floor.

So, who are we?  All of us just recently joined the workforce, and are members of a Marketing Employee Development program at Kronos, Inc.  More importantly, we're all from Generation Y (which includes anyone born after 1980).  We may have our obsessions with iPods, text messages and the Internet, but we're also beginning to enter the workforce - in HUGE numbers.  At 75 million strong, Gen Y is the largest generation to come along since the baby boomers.

Let's face it.  The workforce is now more diverse than ever, especially with regard to age.  In fact, 64 million people will be leaving the workforce by 2010.  Conveniently, the largest generation since the baby boomers, Gen Y, is stepping in to fill their shoes.

We're here to share our thoughts and insights on how generations can work together, and more importantly, establish a dialogue on these cross-generational issues.  We want your comments, ideas, and experiences!

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