AKS - Fotolia

Internal talent marketplaces bloom as workforce changes

In this sluggish economy, employers are turning to internal talent marketplaces to connect employees to short-term projects.

In the past two months, Oracle and Workday have announced internal talent marketplace offerings. That's along with an active third-party vendor market.

Firms are reluctant to hire in this economy, which is driving demand for talent marketplaces, according to industry experts. Major goals of these marketplaces is to help employers get the most out of their workers by identifying upskilling needs and giving employees opportunities to work on a variety of projects.

Talent marketplaces are systems that broadly allow employers to fill short-term project needs with internal talent, which could result from an unexpected disruption such as the coronavirus pandemic. One example may be a need to support customers by phone or virtually, instead of at retail stores or branch offices. 

Firms in a "low-hire mode" are trying to understand their existing employees' skills and reskilling needs, said Aneel Bhusri, Workday's co-CEO, on a conference call last week with financial analysts. 

The internal talent marketplace segment has exploded.
Josh BersinIndustry analyst

"Can you source that work -- that work that needs to get done -- from your existing employee base?" Bhusri said. The idea of using gig workers or a contingent workforce to complete projects is part of this trend, he said. 

Demand for internal talent marketplaces is accelerating and is "white-hot," said Josh Bersin, an industry analyst and head of the Josh Bersin Academy. "The internal talent marketplace segment has exploded."

Pandemic drives interest

"The big driver is the need to rapidly redeploy people into new roles driven by COVID," Bersin said. Internal talent marketplaces enable firms to reorganize quickly, he said. 

Social unrest and even the political divide is helping to drive interest in talent marketplaces, according to a recent report from Deloitte.

These "marketplaces can help with embedding meaning into work and fostering belonging by giving workers opportunities to consider and activate projects and roles that contribute to their own and the organization's purpose," according to Deloitte. 

In September, Oracle announced its Opportunity Marketplace and said it would enable firms to fill short-term needs quickly. In October, Workday announced the availability of its Talent Marketplace to connect people to targeted opportunities.

The talent marketplace landscape also includes third-party vendors such as Gloat, Hitch Works Inc. and Phenom People Inc., which this year launched Phenom Gigs, an internal talent marketplace for gigs or one-time tasks.

"The talent marketplace is something that we've seen a big investment in from a lot of the vendors," said Trevor White, an analyst at Nucleus Research. "With people not hiring, you've got to drag as much talent out of your workforce as possible."

Dig Deeper on Talent management

Business Analytics
Content Management
and ESG